In this blog post, originally published at Women’s Outdoor News, Vera Koo reflects on the power of forgiveness, and how 30 years ago, she took this course in her life. Find out why she believes it was the right thing to do.

As I drove to Utah last fall to practice my shotgun shooting for the 2023 World Senior Games, I was struck by just how grateful I felt.

I am blessed with transportation and the equipment to pursue this sport I took up about two years ago after I retired from Bianchi Cup. I had ammunition in my car, plus ear and eye protection. I enjoy my husband’s blessing to disappear to the practice range for days at a time. 

How wonderful, and how rare. I take none of this for granted.

I am a 77-year-old Chinese-American woman – an immigrant who did not grow up with any exposure to guns or shooting sports. I raised a family. I supported my husband, cared for my in-laws and helped run a business. Then, when I’d reached middle age, I carved out something that is my own, with my husband Carlos’ support. 

United States Action Pistol World Championship Shooting Team 2010
United States Action Pistol World Championship Shooting Team 2010

These are my golden years, and I want to enjoy them while I remain healthy. As Carlos says, we have lived full, rewarding lives, and anything beyond this is a bonus at our age. I want to cash in on that bonus. I plan to spend this phase of life pursuing new challenges and goals while cherishing opportunities to travel or gather with family.  

How many women of my generation get to do something like this? In particular, how many women from an Eastern culture like mine, which promotes stereotypical gender roles, are shooting shotguns as a senior citizen? 

I am fortunate, but I did not arrive here by luck or coincidence. Our lives are a byproduct of our choices and how we react to adversity. 

Bianchi Cup Barricade Event 2015
Bianchi Cup Barricade Event 2015

We do not choose what culture or situation we are born into, and we do not always get to dictate what happens to us. We may encounter difficulties we feel we do not deserve. How we react to those situations affects the direction of our lives.

We all suffer sometimes, but we do not have to carry our scars forever. We can let ourselves become a victim of adversity, or we can take control of our future. 

Continue reading this post about the power of forgiveness at Women’s Outdoor News.


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