By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published June 17, 2019

More than 20 years ago, my husband, Carlos, and I attended a self-improvement seminar. Probably 100 people were there, and we were all asked to stand up and say what we were afraid of.

In an interesting twist, my fear was standing up and speaking to a room of people.

One by one, people raised their hand and spoke. I studied how each person handled their turns speaking and made notes on their delivery. I decided I was going to force myself to stand and speak.

In the end, it wasn’t so bad.

I believe you should practice what you preach, and something I always say is you should push yourself outside your comfort zone, face your fears and challenge yourself.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of that.

In April, I was among a group of people called on stage and recognized by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre during the organization’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. Afterward, I was asked to talk and interact with shooters at the NRA Women booth during a mix-and-mingle event. And in late June, I will be filmed as one of the mentors for the NRA Women television program “Love at First Shot,” which highlights new recreational or competitive female shooters and tailors its episodes to educating and promoting women in the shooting sport.

None of this falls within my comfort zone.

There is a reason I have been drawn to solitary sports throughout my life. They suit my personality. I embrace the internal struggle that solitary sports bring.

That said, I have benefited greatly from interactions with other shooters over the years. However, I am much more comfortable being the student than the teacher.

I have known this for a long time.

Carlos and I lived in Singapore for a time while I was in my 30s. The company Carlos worked for moved us there.

I wanted something to do to pass the time, so I got a job teaching at the art institute in Singapore. I majored in art in college, and I spoke English and Mandarin – 2 of Singapore’s official languages – so the institute gave me the job, not knowing that teaching did not suit me.

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