We asked competition shooter and exercise guru Erin Garvin if she would give a read of Vera Koo’s book, The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir and review it. She graciously agreed to do so, and sent us this message shortly after receiving her autographed copy: “Wow! I had planned to take my time reading The Most Unlikely Champion, but ended up happily getting absorbed in it so much that I finished it in 2 days. I felt like I was catching up with a dear friend and kept wanting her to ‘tell me more.’”


Erin Garvin on ‘The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir’

Vera so beautifully shares her vulnerabilities and how she struggles to strive with calm determination that I instantly felt compassion and kindness for her, for others whose sad story I don’t know, and for myself for my own struggles. 

I’m touched by her themes of finding balance (Chinese word Pinghe’ng) and fateful coincidence (Yuanfen) in being so familiar with something as she felt with her husband and with her shooting persistence from her biological father. Anyone who loves to compete in shooting understands that balance you find when you shoot and that cellular resonance with shooting. 

Competitive shooting is like black licorice – you either love it at a deep cellular level or you don’t really care for it at all. 

I especially resonated with the way she describes her pursuit of shooting as a meditation and focus that at first took her from her pain, and later brought her joy. I understood how getting better at shooting was a way to clean her own house and how shooting is really more about self-growth than it is about beating others. 

Vera Koo’s story is moving, warm, inspiring, and reminds us how important kindness is and how important persistence is to continue toward a champion status of self-growth. 

This book is absolutely precious, much like I imagine Vera is after having read her story. 

You may purchase a copy of The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir at Amazon. It is available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions.

Original review of The Most Unlikely Champion can be found here.


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