Jennifer Hansen’s review of Vera Koo’s memoir aptly describes Vera’s life – on and off the shooting range. If you don’t know Vera Koo, you may meet her here, and if you want to know more about her, buy her book. ~BB

“Champions” are thought to be young, robust athletes, born into a sport. With their entire lives defined by the sport, they spend their days (and years) training, exercising, sleeping, eating etc. – having no social or professional lives beyond competing. But that’s not all champions – and that’s not Vera Koo.

Vera Koo, a Champion

Vera is a world shooting champion. She is the first and only woman in the history of the NRA’s Bianchi Cup to win 8 National Women’s Titles and 2 world titles. Vera came to the shooting sports in her late 40s and achieved most of her titles later in life as a wife, mother, grandmother and a business professional. At the age of 72, she officially retired from competitive shooting. 

Vera’s story as a “champion” is less about her success on the range as it is off of it. Vera was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to the US at the age of 12. Born into a culturally traditional and male-dominated environment, Vera was raised to be a proper wife and mother. Becoming a competitive pistol shooter, owning a successful business and possessing a deep Christian spirituality were certainly not how a young Chinese girl expected her life to unfold in America. 

Like many, Vera had her share of heartbreak over the years. Vera’s story is as much about strength and self-realization, as it is a memoir of a remarkable woman. 

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Jennifer Hansen with her digital copy of Vera Koo’s book. (David Hansen photo)

Know Thyself

I am a business executive. In business as in sports, we often focus on our losses. We over analyze each missed step and plan what we will do differently in the future. But what about the times we win? Do we study what went well? Do we know why? Understanding loss is important but understanding why we win is critical to repeating it. 

Winning 8 women’s titles was no accident. Of course, she is talented, but it was Vera’s deep understanding of her mental process, her body, how she heals, and understanding her faith – that allowed her to succeed competitively … and personally.  Vera may be a champion in the shooting sports, but because of her amazing self-awareness, she is champion in life. 

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.

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