Not everyone grows up, instantly loving the things their families do. As you start to become your own person you may or may not find joy in all of the family traditions, and that is okay. But sometimes, you find that you do actually love the things that you were once hesitant of.

Here’s a story of just that. One of the GunVault employees decided to open up and share her story about how she got into shooting sports. If you’re nervous about going to the range for the first time, thinking about taking the sport up as a passion, or just want to hear a good story about a fellow shooter, keep reading!

“Growing up I was surrounded by loving parents and siblings who enjoyed anything that involved the outdoors.  We would frequently go camping, hiking and partake in fishing. One of the hobbies my family enjoyed was shooting. But for me, this was one I was always unsure about. I tried to talk myself out of all the hunting and shooting range trips whenever possible at a young age, using excuses like homework and school events. However, with having such a strong father-daughter bond my father never brought my excuses.

My family was very involved in the sports shooting industry. We would attend many competitions where men and women from all over the country would compete. This mesmerized me but frightened me at the same time. As I got older and came into my own, I started to reminisce on the times with my family at the competitions and how excited everyone was. I thought to myself if this is something that is so important to my family, why not make them happy and just finally try it. Little did I know, this would bring me much more happiness than I could have ever thought.

I decided to take a chance and meet my family at the range to watch one of their competitions. While there, I started to spark a conversation with a woman who works at the range about costs, available range times and instructors. She was so relatable, and her story made me feel so comfortable that I signed up to meet her at the range the very next day. I left excited. The feeling of the unknown didn’t scare me anymore it was exhilarating.

Showing up the next day at the range with no one around, just me, the instructor and three different firearms was surreal. I remember the women who was instructing me offering me pointers, different ways to stand and hold the firearms for better comfort and control. I always thought that once you knew how to shoot, you were set and no more work was needed. However, I quickly learned that this is not the case, practice makes perfect. The more I practiced the more comfortable I felt about handling the firearms no matter where I was.

Now six years later, I am still an avid shooter. I take the time to go to the range at least once a week for about an hour to practice. I’ve built a close-knit friend group in the community, both men and women. These are not just friends at the range but ones who have become part of the family. We celebrate holiday, stand by each other in hard times, and celebrate the good things in life, all together. All from a bond built from shooting.

Today I partake in three-gun competitions where I not only compete but instruct others exactly the same way I was instructed six years ago. Shooting sports have become a part of me in so many ways. I love shooting sports because I not only know how to see a gun and not be frightened but I know now how to protect myself.

I hope by sharing my story I can inspire others to embrace the sport and develop a love for it as deep as I did.

See you at the range!”