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June 20, 2013 / multiplesclerosis1209

New Hobby

My husband and I wanted a hobby that we could do together. He loves sports so we contemplated season tickets to professional soccer in our city. This would have been his dream come true (and soccer is about the only sport I enjoy watching) but I have a difficult time at sporting events, especially in huge stadiums. I constantly worry about needing to get to the toilet. So much so that I cannot relax. What if I wait just a minute too long and get to the bathroom and there’s a line? What if I don’t realize I have to pee until it’s urgent? Will I make it to the bathroom in time?  There’s also tons of walking, lots of noise, pushy crowds, not always railing on all the stairs, etc. Hubby’s dream = my nightmare.

So what did we decide on? Guns. I got myself a pistol (Hubby already had one) and we joined a gun range.  I grew up shooting but it had been a few years so we took a basic pistol class as a refresher.  For the last three weeks I have gone to the range on my day off, which is usually a weekday. The range is quiet during the week, during the day, and it is my new Happy Place. As soon as I swipe my badge and the gate opens, a warm peacefulness spreads through me. I am generally a bit anxious being around strangers in new situations but this place is different. My brain slows down, my breathing slows and I can relax and focus. Every range member that I have met has been helpful, nice, and genuinely happy to have a new member. They’ve even let me shoot their guns and taught me how to shoot “bullseye” where the target turns and you get ten seconds to shoot five shots at 25 yards. My confidence is building again. I was a very athletic and competitive person the majority of my life but MS has not allowed me to continue in athletics. I was always confident in my own strength to defend myself but MS took that too.

I feel like my soul is rebuilding. I feel like me again for the first time in a few years. Hubby and I don’t get a lot of days off together but when we do, you will find us at the gun range. I’m even planning to eventually compete in target shooting. I’m getting more comfortable with my pistol and maybe one day I will even carry it on me. I never again want to feel powerless just because I have a disability.

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