Vera’s Blog

A 5-year (and counting!) collection of posts from “Vera Koo” – the column penned by Vera, and published by Women’s Outdoor News. A collection of these blogs appears in Vera’s second book Wisdom and Things.

How to Prepare for a Shooting Competition

How to Prepare for a Shooting Competition

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published September 24, 2014 Shooting, like any sport, requires practice, persistence and dedication. In competition, it’s preparation that can help you win, or at least provide comfort and confidence in your abilities. Ask any...

Salmon Fishing in British Columbia

Salmon Fishing in British Columbia

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published November 3, 2017 This guest post comes from Carlos Koo, who is married to the lovely Vera Koo, a formidable competition shooter. When Vera is off competing, Carlos can often be found on an adventure trip. For this trip, he...

Bette Midler, Glenn Close and Vera Koo: An Opportunity Not Missed

Bette Midler, Glenn Close and Vera Koo: An Opportunity Not Missed

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published August 1, 2017 I always advise people to never pass up an opportunity that excites them, even if the timing seems inopportune. Opportunities are fleeting. You never know when another window will open if you miss the first....

Camping on Moutcha Bay

Camping on Moutcha Bay

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 17, 2018 I watched my youngest granddaughter transform from a baby to a toddler. I experienced the high tea of a lifetime. And, most importantly, I enjoyed quality family time that included many experiences,...

Shooting and the ‘Ming’ Thing

Shooting and the ‘Ming’ Thing

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published December 3, 2014 Vera Koo explains the concept of the ming thing in relation to shooting. Have you ever seen “Madama Butterfly?” It is Puccini’s hauntingly beautiful opera that illuminates a world of love, loss and tragedy...

Vera Koo: What I Learned on Broadway

Vera Koo: What I Learned on Broadway

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 3, 2018 I like to be around energy and excitement. That is one reason why I enjoy traveling to New York City. The bright lights, the noise, the crowds on Times Square, the array of colors, I love it all. I traveled...

The Future of Women in Shooting Sports

The Future of Women in Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published February 20, 2014 Everyone has something that could make our world more extraordinary. People spend their entire lives perfecting that skill; ask any athlete, any diplomatic leader, Nobel Prize recipient or Oscar winner. As...

Vera Koo: On Being a Woman in the Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: On Being a Woman in the Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 16, 2014 Once in a while, when I am practicing shooting at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club near Columbia, Mo., I still get the question. Someone who does not know me will ask if I’m any good at shooting....

Vera Koo: 2014 Bianchi Cup Wrap Up

Vera Koo: 2014 Bianchi Cup Wrap Up

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published May 30, 2014 I went to war this week. Preparing for any major competition, athletic or otherwise, is like going to battle. You practice, drill and train for months. You ensure that your equipment is flawless, you create...

Retro WON: Climbing Your Personal ‘Mt. Everest’

Retro WON: Climbing Your Personal ‘Mt. Everest’

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published May 17, 2018 People often wonder why I am still participating in the shooting sport. I will turn 70 later this year, and my performance in recent years has left something to be desired. However, I am not ready to walk away....

Vera Koo: Why I Pushed Through the Pain to Return to Competition

Vera Koo: Why I Pushed Through the Pain to Return to Competition

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published May 17, 2015 Vera Koo describes why she has been pushing through pain of a knee injury to return to one of the shooting sports’ most prestigious competitions. They told me it could not be done. The first doctor who saw me...

One Foot in Front of the Other in Return to Shooting the Bianchi Cup

One Foot in Front of the Other in Return to Shooting the Bianchi Cup

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published March 24, 2014 Each March marks an inaugural athletic event. No, I’m not referring to baseball’s spring training, or basketball’s March Madness. On my calendar, March 1 marks the first day of my personal spring preparation;...

Vera Koo: Shing Ping and Facing Your Fears

Vera Koo: Shing Ping and Facing Your Fears

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published December 2, 2013 One of America’s great leaders, Franklin D. Roosevelt, once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This mantra is etched into American hearts and American history. But, what is our obsession...

Vera Koo: How to Become a Champion Shooter

Vera Koo: How to Become a Champion Shooter

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published October 22, 2013 There is no real formula for becoming a champion. What works for me is focus and a single mindedness that sometimes causes people to think I am aloof. I am hard on myself and do not want to fail. Becoming a...

Vera Koo: Bianchi Cup Competition Gear

Vera Koo: Bianchi Cup Competition Gear

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published March 28, 2016 The Bianchi Cup, a shooting competition which occurs near Columbia, Mo., each May, is not only a contest of skill, but also is an equipment race. Every competitor tries to have the latest technology –...

Vera Koo: A Champion’s Mindset to the Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: A Champion’s Mindset to the Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published November 6, 2013 What does the world think a shooter looks like? Perhaps a middle-aged male, wearing camouflage or blaze orange, speaking with an accent, and driving a truck. Is that a stereotype? Is that our stereotype?...

Vera Koo: Why You Must Exercise if You Want to Shoot

Vera Koo: Why You Must Exercise if You Want to Shoot

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published April 29, 2016 I think of our bodies as our vehicles that allow us to travel through life. If you want your vehicle to perform, you must keep it fueled and give it the necessary maintenance. The same is true with our...

Why You Should Compete at State and Regional Shooting Tournaments

Why You Should Compete at State and Regional Shooting Tournaments

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published September 30, 2015 Competing at the Bianchi Cup is not for the meek and faint hearted. The national event can be very intimidating because of the high number of participants, plus the spectators. The energy is high-powered....

Retro WON: Get Out There and Compete in Regional and State Matches

Retro WON: Get Out There and Compete in Regional and State Matches

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published August 24, 2017 Kevin Angstadt offered me some sound advice several years ago during a time when my Bianchi Cup performance had taken a step back. He told me I should consider competing in more regional and state matches to...

Vera Koo: Is the End of a Shooting Career in Her Sights?

Vera Koo: Is the End of a Shooting Career in Her Sights?

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published December 16, 2015 Vera Koo describes why she is looking at the end of her shooting career, and reflects on her decision. Some of my shooting friends like to remind me that I have been two years away from retirement for the...

Vera Koo: Why I am Retiring from Shooting Sports

Vera Koo: Why I am Retiring from Shooting Sports

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published July 3, 2018 I was precise in everything I did throughout my sport shooting career. I was precise in the way I practiced. I was precise in the way I ate in the weeks leading up to a match. I was precise in the way I...

Staving Off Physical and Mental Deterioration with a New Sport

Staving Off Physical and Mental Deterioration with a New Sport

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published January 28, 2020 After I turned 70 and later retired from competitive shooting, I knew I needed to find ways to keep my body in shape and my mind sharp. I cannot ignore the facts. I am getting old. I have turned 73 last...

Making the Transition from Pistols to Shotguns

Making the Transition from Pistols to Shotguns

By Vera Koo, Women's Outdoor News, Published November 14, 2019 After I turned 70 and later retired from competitive shooting, I knew I needed to find ways to keep my body in shape and my mind sharp. I cannot ignore the facts. I am getting old. I will turn 73 later...

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