幾年前我在密蘇里州哥倫比亞的比安奇盃比賽中遇見顧方蓁女士;我想可能是十五年前左右,在她射擊生涯鼎盛時期。比安奇盃名盛一方,而方蓁是比安奇盃歷來唯一一位八次奪得女子組冠軍的女性。她坐在我旁的條凳上,她當天的比賽還沒賽完,但她跟我交談起來。後來,我才知道這是她少有的動作。我記得當時我她的禪定般的光環所吸引;更坦白的說,被她的專業精神所吸引。 

時光快轉到幾年之後,我們成了朋友,為她傑出的專欄系列定期在《女性戶外運動新聞》刊出,我們開始合作。 

 

在我深入研讀她的處女作、說明它給我帶給我的啟示之前,我想多說一點那天我遇見她的情況。方蓁是一位紀律嚴明的運動員,她有一套預備比賽公式,一絲不苟,射擊界大多數人都知道並且尊重。她在她射擊專用眼鏡旁套上「屏風」,擋去會干擾她射擊的人事物;她會一遍又一遍地在腦海裡演練如何射擊、想像真正射擊時會是什麼樣的場景;有時她會臨事不亂的先做伸展,有時在她某項射擊階段展開前可能為了定心而靜坐冥想...,但那天,她坐下來和我說話,因為有人介紹我們認識,她覺得她有話要跟我說。

Vera Koo The Most Unlikely Champion cover

她告訴我,那一天是第一次有人問起她是否會把她的一生寫下來。那個人是誰?就是我!我到今天都很高興那天我在她心裡播下那粒種子。我相信無論我有沒有說什麼或問什麼她都會寫這本書,但想想也許——只是也許,在她寫書、出書的事上我擔任了一個小角色,就足以讓我高興半天。

書成之後,我看到書中包含的遠遠不止於射擊運動,遠遠不止是射擊如何豐富了她的人生。這本書關乎方蓁,關乎她如何通過射擊運動為我們帶來一個出色又相關的人生故事,鼓舞大家,讓我們思考、運用在我們的生活裡。

我讀了她寄給我、有她親筆簽名的第一版發行的書,然後,我把那本意義不凡的書寄給了我最心儀的女性之一——紐一玲(IL Ling New)。一玲也是射擊學校Gunsite Academy靶場安全官與教練,後來針對此事寫了書評,去年春天也在印第安那波利斯的美國步槍協會上巧遇方蓁和她的夫婿顧家一。一玲告訴我她和方蓁有緣分。 

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書評作者與顧方蓁
書評作者與顧方蓁

我知道他們會有超越共同遺產的聯繫。維拉曾寫道:“在中國文化中,我們相信一個概念,叫做 Yuanfen, which is when fate brings 2 people together. If you have 緣分 with another person, you will feel comfortable with that person. You can talk with each other like you have known each other forever, even if you have known each other only for a short time. 

這些年來,維拉寫了許多我銘記在心的好建議。 當我讀到她的書時,我偶然發現了更多,並决定將它們與我們畫廊中的照片配對。 我希望你會喜歡畫廊和語錄,買薇拉的書。

Excerpts from Vera Koo’s The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir

Vera Koo World Champion
(Kathryn McMillin photo)

“I didn’t touch a gun until my 40s and didn’t start sport shooting seriously until my life was shaken to its very core. I’ve probably been the most unlikely pistol champion in America.”

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir

沒有任何東西能讓我分心,我就能實現那種罕見的完美專注,這是所有參賽者都很熟悉的。 我的孤獨是我的力量

outdoor photo of Vera Koo

“我母親非常誠實……她反復告訴我,‘維拉,你長得更樸素,所以你必須發展你的內在美。’”

solitude vera koo
(Shun Chu photo)

“My mother never did. She never complained … Although she often claimed that life was one hardship than happiness, you wouldn’t have known it from her attitude. She taught me that you see the doughnut, not the hole.” 

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir
Girl power! Vera’s family on a fishing trip in Canada. (Vera Koo photo)

“I learned a lot from my mother, but above all I think I learned that your first responsibility was to your family. No matter how tired you might be, you still had to do right by them.”

Vera Koo and dad
Vera Koo and her parents

“Kai Fang, the man who raised me, must have known I wasn’t his biological daughter. But he loved me in the same way he loved his biological children. He spoiled me, taking me to beaches and on hikes. He showed me that family isn’t just about blood; it’s about love.”

The Most Unlikely Champion: A Memoir
(Shane Koo photo)

“This country could take you in, and you could turn nothing into something just through hard work. I’ve always believed – and always told my children – that if you work hard in America, anything is possible. My life is proof of that.”

Vera-Koo-Sitting-Bianchi-Shun Chu
(Shun Chu photo)

“When you’re struggling to take your next breath, something as simple as a nice smile from a stranger can help you survive.”

Vera-Koo-Bianchi-Range

“Amid all my sorrow and analysis, I began to understand certain things, too. The first was that only I could be responsible for myself – for my well-being, but also for my pain. I couldn’t let anyone else be responsible for me.”

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(Shun Chu photo)

 “My whole life has been: How do I survive this? How do I keep myself well? How do I move forward and meet my goals?”

Vera Koo Gabby Franco
Vera Koo and Gabby Franco with a group of young shooters

“To me, shooting has never been about wins or losses. It’s been about the way the sport shapes you as a person – the way you have to be stronger, more disciplined, and more focused to shoot your best. It not about the people you’re shooting against. It’s about you – the things you’re bringing to the range, the disappointments and hopes, and your ability to set those aside.”

Vera and Carlos Koo
Vera and Carlos Koo

“There is a Chinese word that sounds like ‘shing ping.’ It’s a concept that means having harmony in your heart. It means you’ve made peace with everything, and you’re not holding onto any old wounds or grudges. It’s about finding balance.”

SHOT Show Koo Baird
Vera and me, with our daughters at SHOT Show 2018

We are proud to feature Vera Koo every month at

. Currently, she is promoting her book, which has been published in Chinese. 

This review was originally published at 的文章集結而成,.

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