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; 2 months of competitive shooting and training culminate with the Bianchi Cup in mid-May. The Bianchi Cup, the NRA’s National Championship, brings together top professional, amateur and military shooters for the most difficult week of shooting many of us will face during the year. The challenge of the physical endurance is only equal to the mental fatigue that competitors face.
To train for the Bianchi, my family and friends claim that I “go dark on March 1.” This has been true in previous years, but 2014 has been a very different year for me.
Many members of the shooting world are aware that last year I did not defend my Bianchi title. I was not even in Missouri during my favorite event of the year. I was in California, attempting to re-learn how to walk.
In 2013, just a few weeks before the Bianchi Cup, I broke my leg, a spiral fracture of my right fibula and tibia. My doctor felt it would take 6 months until I could walk normally, and a full year for the swelling to reduce, as I mentioned in my inaugural column for The WON. But, while I lay in a Missouri hospital, I had the same tunnel vision that I have while competing. I knew that in less than 1 year, I needed to be completely recovered from a potentially permanently debilitating injury, so I mapped out my plan for a full recovery from my hospital bed.
I know what it takes to compete at the Bianchi when I am at my best, but at that moment, I was at my very worst. So, I placed my faith in a combination of Chinese and Western medicines, the best of my own 2 worlds. Doctors in white coats surrounded me as I slept and ate thousands of calories a day during the hours I stayed awake, the Chinese method for building strength.