About Me

I hold multiple NRA Instructor credentials, as well as SabreRed Pepper Spray. I have my own training company in Northern Virginia, www.FemaleandArmed.com and am focusing primarily on teaching women, especially those who are new to shooting.

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I am a contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!


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Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Training for strength

I met a nice lady recently, she will be a student of mine soon.  She is a cancer survivor and still getting her strength back following her treatment.  I offered to work with her one on one over as many days as it took for her to complete a class at her level of strength and comfort. 

I've never endured the rigors of serious cancer treatment, my bout with C was relatively minor and caught very early, requiring surgery only.  I spoke with a friend of mine who is a cancer survivor and she explained to me the vulnerability she felt, physically weakened by chemo; thin, frail and bald...she felt like a walking target.  Hearing that really made me think.  I haven't walked in those shoes, but I've been on crutches, my ability to respond compromised.  I tried to imagine that feeling times 10, or more likely, 100.  It was frightening and offered me a partial insight into the challenges of recovering from a serious illness.

Instructors need to give these people the gift of patience, time and caring...working at their pace to help them not only learn to shoot, but to gain comfort, confidence and empowerment.

Those who are recovering, please don't be afraid to let us know that we may need to spread the training out over a longer period of time, let us work with you, help you, and show you the respect you have earned for you have survived your fight and now are facing a new fight, the fight to regain your confidence, your strength and your empowerment.

Be safe, be strong and be patient.

4 comments:

  1. What a fine post, and a great reminder that some of us do indeed need that extra time in training. I was so lucky to have found my instructor, Ralph LaRossa who always understood that my chronic illness(s) compromised my ability to work long amounts of time without breaks, and even in how I held the firearm, or stood at the range. I'm so grateful for him and his training he so patiently has given me. I now can handle my firearms and I feel so much stronger and safer in this. Thank you for this article!

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    1. I'm glad you found an instructor who had the patience and understanding you needed. Thank you for your comment!

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  2. An excellent reminder indeed. I got lucky as well, a tumor was caught early many years ago and I only needed surgery. I didn't feel vulnerable then, but when I simply blew out my knee and spent several months with a cane, THEN I felt it. I couldn't run, still can, but for very short stretches. I'd have to stand and fight back and not with just my cane. It made the lessons I'd had in responsible self defense that much more important. The woman that has you as her instructor is fortunate indeed.

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    1. Thank you so much. You are a gift in my life and I appreciate you more than you know.

      I felt very vulnerable when I had my knees replaced. It was a year before I was really mobile with comfort.

      most of us have been there in some form, but it makes me care more about those who are struggling.

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