My first shooting lesson

by cheri


I burned all of the muscle energy allotted to a 105-pounder after my first lesson with Paul at the indoor gun range today.

Holding the small 20-gauge shotgun out in front of me, rotating it to the side, positioning it in that little hollow space between my shoulder muscle and my pectoral muscle, squeezing those muscles together, bringing my elbow to my body,  standing in a  Kung-Fu Panda position with my weight equally spread out over both legs, leaning forward, squinting down the flinty muzzle to the tiny bead at its end, and finally pulling the trigger, only to be knocked back a bit–all of this stimulation sucked all glycogen out of every muscle cell I have.

Thank god I’ve been working out. This lesson, however, revealed weaknesses in my workouts–namely, my arm strength (or lack thereof). I need to be able to do 25 pushups.

How John Wayne rode his horse at a full gallop in True Grit, shooting two shotguns at one time, I will never know.

To recover, I came home and inhaled two fresh fish tacos. More protein, my body commanded!

Note: The target above was only 7 yards away. Don’t be too impressed.






About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Education, Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to My first shooting lesson

  1. Lucky Demon says:

    I think that is a lot of things to have to do in order to defend yourself – not to mention having to make sure he stood still at only 21 feet away. But still I am impressed and glad you are practicing. Keep at it. It will make me sleep better.

    • Cheri says:

      Shoreacres comment below says it all: once one practices often, the act of picking up and loading a gun becomes part of muscle memory. I don’t plan to shoot anyone. If we have an intruder when Ron is out of town, I will shoot into the hill. I just want to be able to load the damn thing, aim, and fire…and then fire again.

  2. Brighid says:

    Yay, look’n good, you go girl. Muscle memory, muscle memory, keep practicing. Don’t worry about the Duke’s abilities, just make your shots count.

  3. shoreacres says:

    Good for you. And don’t worry too much about your physical abilities. My 81 year old friend who goes to the range is doing just fine, and she’s had a stroke (recovered) broke an arm (now usable again) and smashed a knee (finally is walking without a cane and planning a river cruise on the Mississippi).

    But practice is key, and muscle memory counts as much as muscle. Just like with a camera — you need to be able to adjust the settings or take the safety off without needing time to ponder.

  4. Cheri says:

    Wow. Your friend is one to admire and emulate.
    Interesting comparison to taking a great picture when it presents itself. Fussing with shutter speed and lighting settings…and we miss the opportunity, right?

  5. Richard says:

    Cheri at CCTV screen:

    “Geez! I left the gates open.”

    Strange car with two occupants enters gates.

    “A man and a woman….my God! …….now where did I leave my shotgun…..”

    Strange car moves along drive towards house. Cheri looks around CCTV room.

    “…..Oh *** ! It’s not here. ”

    Strange car with its odd-looking occupants is half way up the drive. Cheri dashes to closet.

    “What a grizzly couple! Yikes! Not here either.”

    Strange car passes fish pond and stone frog. The turkeys scatter. Cheri, in desperation, slips into the garage. The door is open.

    “Saved! Here it is, leaning against the olive press. Must have used it to stir with.”

    Strange car draws up seven feet from open door of garage. The occupants get out. Cheri readies the weapon between her shoulder and pectoral muscles and emerges.

    BANG!!! BANG!!!



    Cheri approaches bodies.

    “My *** ! It’s Glenys and Richard!”

    • Cheri says:

      I remember well the ending to that film. There were a number of viewers who, seduced by the characterization of Bonnie and Clyde by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were were horrified to see them shot to smithereens. The same scenario played out in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, right? I’ve written about this before (so you will remember) that my grandmother ( a country girl from a small town in Texas) went to Bonnie’s funeral. I believe it was in Dallas.

      Don’t worry: that gun ain’t comin’ out unless I am in imminent danger.

    • Richard says:

      “I’ll tell you what I shall do, to get up my shooting again,” said Mr Winkle, who was eating bread and ham with a pocket knife. “I’ll put a stuffed partridge on a post, and practise at it, beginning at a short distance, and lengthening it by degrees. I understand it’s capital practice.”

      “I know a gen’l’man, Sir,” said Mr Weller, “as did that, and begun at two yards; but he never tried it on agin; fir he blowed the bird right clean away at the first fire, and nobody ever seed a feather on him afterwards.”

      “Sam,” said Mr. Pickwick.

      “Sir,” replied Mr. Weller.

      “Have the goodness to reserve your anecdotes till they are called for.”

      • Cheri says:

        Are these scenarios coming from your own fertile imagination? If so, mine pales…thank you for these laughs…you have missed your calling…or maybe not!

        • Richard says:

          I’ve been rumbled! I took this straight from Pickwick Papers. Charles Dickens clearly shows promise.

          • Cheri says:

            Oh my, now I am really embarrassed. To think you had such great expectations of me but all you got was an old American lit teacher. What a bleak house is my mind. 🙂

            • Richard says:

              Whoa! Whoa! I can’t keep up! This is too much for an old feller.

              I only happened to be reading the book for the first time. It was pure synchronicity.

              I didn’t know the book was such a treat and so funny. At least, so far.

              • Cheri says:

                Since I find the Red and the Black redundant, I’m going to read a The Pickwick Papers and Jane Eyre instead. So there, tutors from St. John’s. Their star student rebels!

  6. wkkortas says:

    I think this post imparts two very important lessons–one, guns have a kick, and a twenty-gauge has a pretty good one, and that kick and the gun which generates it both need to be respected. Two, if you are going to have a gun, take the time to know what the hell you’re doing with it, otherwise the person it’s the greatest danger to is your ownself.

    • Cheri says:

      Of course you are right on both accounts, wk.
      This gun I received many years ago from Hizzoner for the holidays. I’ve shot it before but the kick and the noise were too upsetting for me. My recent scare with men intent to get onto my property forced me into this mode. I will take lessons until I am comfortable with the loading, unloading, and shooting of the gun but I will never take it out unless I intend to shoot–which I hope is never. After I feel comfortable with this gun, I am moving on to the other guns my husband has bought for me but which remain in their boxes in a gun safe locked with a key that cannot be located by anyone but us. Thank you for your wise counsel and concern for me.

      • wkkortas says:

        And again…knowing you have a respect for guns and the right way to handle them is a credit to you. I know too many self-styled Dirty Harrys who keep a loaded weapon within easy reach, which is the best way to shoot your dog or your spouse in the middle of the night.

        • Cheri says:

          Well, Hizzoner was a military officer in artillery, so respect for firearms has been forefront since our early marriage. Although he’d like to shoot the dog, he doesn’t keep any weapon loaded or available.

  7. Now for sure I am going to call you Annie Oakley

  8. Pingback: The Other Half-Circle of Hell | Notes from Around the Block

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