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. 

她以誠實、不加隱掩的態度和筆調,細述她的中國出身背景、她與家一的婚姻、兩人如何度過財務和婚姻考驗,以及如何遭到頭生兒子夭逝的打擊與痛楚。即使在她婚姻生活初期,你就看得出來環境是如何讓她養成她堅韌不屈的個性,以及在考驗中歷練出不凡的本事。她好強的精神不容她不奮勇向前。她承認在苦難的當下她常常看不見祝福在哪裡,但是隨著她對神的信心增強,她完全信任神手做事的時間和目的。因為知道自己一生的起伏不是隨機性質,而是有目的的,不管多麼艱苦,心中自然就泰然心平。 這本書為何有意義 方蓁就是俗話所說的「人不可貌相」的傳神寫照。因為她看起來不像世界級射手一員就形容她是「不太可能」的冠軍,是太低估了她!因為隨著你發現她的韌性之高、之強,你會醒悟到方蓁原來「高度可能」達標成為世界最佳射擊選手之一。她做什麼事都不是半吊子,設定目標然後便以精準的專注力來完成。如同引言所說:「方蓁從她對人生逆境波濤的反應中學到一個寶貴的功課:跌到之後最漂亮的爬起來的動作才會出現。」 我認同她擔當的母親角色和把自己全然奉獻給子女——身為亞裔女性,我了解我們同時擁抱與駁斥死板的傳統;身為妻子,我在傳統亞裔角色與現代美國價值觀中間尋找平衡;身處男性主控的領域,我努力以高度的敬業和技巧來贏得兩性的尊敬。年紀稍長時才進入射擊圈子,靠吃苦和成熟來彌補欠缺的年輕與活力方蓁憑著自己對神的信心和自己具備的堅韌不拔精神,一而再、再二三的攻克重大難關。她要言不煩、雍容大度的說明內心掙扎的方方面面,令我極為激賞。我相信許多認識方蓁的人捧讀此書時,會驚訝自己能從她不屈不撓的性格中多所收穫。 無論你是射擊選手還是對槍械世界有興趣,你都會對這位獨一無二美麗女士的精彩故事激賞不已! 的文章集結而成, 此處閱讀.

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