It’s funny how familiarity works. When you see someone nearly every spring for more than a decade, you think you know them. From the smiles on the range and the casual quick catch ups, in truth, these interactions just skim the surface. I’ve been shooting with Vera Koo for many years. We’ve competed against one another in steel shooting competitions and at Bianchi Cup. We’ve even shared a podium as teammates representing the Unites States in World Championships. I thought I knew a lot about her, that was until I sat down and learned her story by reading The Most Unlikely Champion, her own memoir.
Some backstory, Vera and I are both passionate action pistol shooters. In fact, we both started our pilgrimage to Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club for the Bianchi Cup at almost the same time. Where I was a rosy-cheeked private on the US Army Shooting Team, Vera was nearing her 50’s. A beautiful and poised Asian woman, she and I were both far from the typical participants in this male-dominated sport.
As a young competitor, I respected Vera. If I could use only one word to describe her, it would have been tenacious. An early riser, she’d start her training days like I did, often among the first to open the range gate and hang her targets. I admired her intensity and her dedication to her own routine. I respected her work ethic and drive. I even studied her shooting style with open-minded consideration to see if it might work for me.
Reading through the pages of The Most Unlikely Champion, I wasn’t at all surprised to read about her views on work, mastery of skill or goal setting.
“Goals are important to me. I think of them as seeds. When I decide to plant one, it’s going to branch out and germinate in my mind until I see it to completion.”
Vera’s dedication to be the best shooter she could be was something she could never hide. Tucked away beyond all the hits in the 10-ring, there is so much more to her life and her story.
她以诚实、不加隐掩的态度和笔调，细述她的中国出身背景、她与家一的婚姻、两人如何度过财务和婚姻考验，以及如何遭到头生儿子夭逝的打击与痛楚。即使在她婚姻生活初期，你就看得出来环境是如何让她养成她坚韧不屈的个性，以及在考验中历练出不凡的本事。她好强的精神不容她不奋勇向前。她承认在苦难的当下她常常看不见祝福在哪里，但是随着她对神的信心增强，她完全信任神手做事的时间和目的。因为知道自己一生的起伏不是随机性质，而是有目的的，不管多么艰苦，心中自然就泰然心平。 这本书为何有意义 方蓁就是俗话所说的“人不可貌相”的传神写照。因为她看起来不像世界级射手一员就形容她是“不太可能”的冠军，是太低估了她！因为随着你发现她的韧性之高、之强，你会醒悟到方蓁原来“高度可能”达标成为世界最佳射击选手之一。她做什么事都不是半吊子，设定目标然后便以精准的专注力来完成。如同引言所说：“方蓁从她对人生逆境波涛的反应中学到一个宝贵的功课：跌到之后最漂亮的爬起来的动作才会出现。” 我认同她担当的母亲角色和把自己全然奉献给子女——身为亚裔女性，我了解我们同时拥抱与驳斥死板的传统；身为妻子，我在传统亚裔角色与现代美国价值观中间寻找平衡；身处男性主控的领域，我努力以高度的敬业和技巧来赢得两性的尊敬。年纪稍长时才进入射击圈子，靠吃苦和成熟来弥补欠缺的年轻与活力方蓁凭着自己对神的信心和自己具备的坚韧不拔精神，一而再、再二三的攻克重大难关。她要言不烦、雍容大度的说明内心挣扎的方方面面，令我极为激赏。我相信许多认识方蓁的人捧读此书时，会惊讶自己能从她不屈不挠的性格中多所收获。 无论你是射击选手还是对枪械世界有兴趣，你都会对这位独一无二美丽女士的精彩故事激赏不已！ Women’s Outdoor News here.