Feel the Fear . . . And Do IT Anyway!
While contemplating the new decade last fall, I knew I needed to push myself forward; it was time to try something new and completely outside of my comfort zone. I was already dealing with some major life changes, and while feeling like I was standing at an exciting crossroads contemplating all the new beginnings that were possible, I was also aware of the dreaded “fear cloud” hanging over my head. I knew what I needed to do . . . Look fear straight in the face and do something I was absolutely terrified of, which came down to two choices - sky diving or going to the gun range for the first time. While I love flying and all things aviation, I have an innate fear of heights and the thought of jumping out of a plane with nothing but an instructor and parachute to save my life, wasn’t an option. Besides, I knew I would chicken out . . . Shooting guns it was!
To the average American who has grown up with the Second Amendment and the right to bear Arms, responsibly owning or shooting firearms is either the norm or considered no big deal. For me coming from the UK, a country with no gun culture (our policemen are called “Bobbies,” carry batons and ride bicycles), I found guns and their capabilities at the very least, disturbing. However, I was amped to go to the range and not only hold, but also learn how to shoot them. When I say amped I mean literally . . . Excitement was coursing through my veins, laced with a rush of adrenaline and anxiety. Not only the thought of handling a gun, but of facing my fears head-on and pushing myself through them. I knew I would need assistance, and this was the perfect opportunity to put CBD to the test and see if it could help take my edge off.
On a cold, November, Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn getting ready to head out to the range. My anxiety and adrenaline were at this point in high gear, as I packed an arsenal of CBD products to bring with me. My carefully chosen essentials were:
· CBD Cure 10mg CBD Vegan+Vitamin C Gummies: Always handy to have on the go, especially during colder months.
· CBD Cure 10mg CBD Alkaline 9.5pH Water: Great hydration anytime!
· CBD Cure 1,000mg CBD Tincture: An essential in my daily routine, and my go-to favorite.
· CBD Cure 1200mg CBD Cooling Balm: Another favorite, essential for aches and strains.
· CBD Cure 25mg CBD Cooling Lip Balm: Protection for lips. especially when out in the elements.
· CBD Cure 10mg CBD Sugar Free Chewing Gum: Easy, refreshing relief wherever you are!
Before I left home, I popped a delicious Vegan+Vitamin C Gummy in my mouth before the long drive out to California Tactical Academy, in rural Piru. Armed with my CBD Water and Gum and some great tunes I felt calm, but could feel my stomach mutedly churning and my adrenaline quietly humming.
California Tactical Academy is the largest LA, outdoors shooting range, set on 1,500 rural acres, with 50 different shooting ranges for the gun enthusiast. It’s serious stuff, and as I drove down the long, bumpy, rural road into the range, my angst turned up a gear as I exited my car to blustery, sandy winds, and the sound of loud gunfire.
Pulling up to the shooting bay, surrounded by hills and roaming cows, a million miles away from any form of civilization and battered by fierce winds, I have to admit to wondering what I was doing there. I was hungry, and the idea of bailing and grabbing a great breakfast back in the city had me questioning my commitment to being there. Then the guns came out . . . Nine of them (big and small), as my instructor, Derek, laid them out along with magazines and multiple rounds of ammunition. I had never seen anything like it in my life and my anxiety went up a gear, as did my curiosity.
Derek is a passionate, all-American, gun loving pro, who immediately showed me each gun individually. His first priority was teaching me safety; how to always consider a gun loaded (even if not), how to hold one when not aiming at the target, and how to lock and load. About to walk out on the range for the first time I quaking in my boots, and turned to my arsenal of CBD Cure.
I had another Gummy and rubbed some Cooling Balm on my injured shoulder as a precaution to any pain from holding heavy weapons, and Cooling Lip Balm to ease my chapped lips. With goggles, earplugs and headphones, I walked out to the bay, to be taught correct stance, given my first firearm, and shoot my first round using a Ruger SR22 semi-automatic pistol, which Derek had chosen as a good starter firearm. I was nervous, but calm enough to hold my gun firmly and aim well, and by rounds two and three, was consistently firing right on target and having fun. Seeing my confidence, Derek placed a Glock 19: 9mm compact handgun in my hand, which I dutifully fired. The kick back was strong enough to jostle my new found sense of calm, and I hastily retreated back to my trusty SR22.
It was at this point Derek decided we needed to take it up a notch, and brought out the big guns, which included an AR-15 and a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle.
Up until now I had successfully managed to observe my anxiety, and noticed that with a little CBD there was definitely a calming effect. Now I felt fear raise its ugly head again, like an angry dragon rearing from the depths of Hell. My stomach was in knots and I felt nauseous. This was the perfect occasion to see if CBD could really help calm the savage anxiety beast raging inside me, but I knew I had to bring out my “big guns.” CBD Cure’s 1,000mg, CBD Tincture. Whenever I am having a challenging, stress related time, I reach for a dropper-full of Tincture, and have always found it soothing. Could it help me now? I took my first 1ml dropperful, to gage if it could do the trick. 15 minutes later I was more relaxed, but still feeling nervous. Time to up it and take a second dose, and another 15 minutes later felt calm and fiercely focused as I strode out into the bay, barely aware of any previously experienced anxiety. Derek offered me the AR-15, which I quickly refused - I wasn’t ready for it, and would start easy again with the rifle.
The 10/22 was heavy, and required me to intensely focus all of my attention on what I was doing as I aimed at the metal target. I missed my first few shots, but was determined to succeed and was soon hitting the mark. After four stellar rounds and lots of ping, ping, pings as my bullets hit the metal, Derek was impressed and again offered me the AR-15 he’d been shooting. I politely declined - I was dusty, wind swept, tired, hungry, and so very proud of my achievements, but was ready to decompress over a great lunch.
As I left the range, I reflected on my day and how intense, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, but strangely empowering it was. I had started out nervous and dealing with anxiety, but with the help of a little CBD, had successfully faced and overcome my fears and had fun! It was exactly what I needed to come strong into 2020, with a resolve to banish fear from my outlook, and a feeling that if I put my mind to it, anything actually was possible! Yeah, Annie definitely got her gun!