No Pain, No Gain
Updated: Jul 14
Every day, we subject ourselves to pain, inconvenience and discomfort. Some sacrifice sleep to study throughout the night while others push their bodies to unimaginable limits through physical training. Then, there are those who endure painful medical procedures to guarantee an improved quality of life. Still others work jobs they don't like to ensure their families are taken care of.
For a myriad of reasons, we all endure inconvenience to have the things we desire. Some endure for health. Some for finances. Some for safety. And some for mere pride. Nevertheless, we all endure.
Sacrifice is required to meet any worthwhile goal. Like everything else in life, our personal safety is an ideal that requires sacrifice. Endurance is required. The goal of survival must be a driving force.
"No pain, no gain!" I grew up hearing that phrase. So, I applied it to my education. I applied it to my marriage. I applied it to raising my children. I applied it to building a church and ministry. I've applied it to my career. And I apply it to my firearms training!
Often, when I discuss firearms with other gun owners, I hear about all the reasons they SHOULD NOT engage in training. After all, we Americans are guaranteed a right to bear arms. Many feel that pointing and shooting is all that should be required. The reality, however, is that there's so much more to owning a firearm than simply shooting it. Surely, if we can sacrifice a little time and money for our health, our careers, or our homes, we can do the same for our own safety and that of our loved ones.
Do you know exactly how your firearm operates?
Are you certain that it's stored properly?
Are you completely fluent in the laws of your state or jurisdiction?
Do you know how to clean your firearm?
If something doesn't work correctly, would you recognize that fact? And would you know how to correct the issue?
These are just a few of the questions that training can address. In addition to the limitless knowledge that can be gained, here are just a few more conceptual reasons YOU should consider investing in firearms training:
When I was in high school, I knew one of the sweetest and cutest guys in the entire school. Yet, he was shy and almost always alone. He had no idea that all the cheerleaders were hoping and praying he'd ask one of them out. And they had no idea that he was too afraid to approach any young lady. The problem was that he didn't even know what potential he had. He wasn't willing to speak with anyone to even receive feedback. Isn't this why we take tests in schools, why we pay top dollars for personal trainers and why we torture ourselves on the playing field? Practice builds confidence! When you train, you KNOW what you can do! If that young man had simply practiced some simple conversation, he would have been more comfortable asking for a date. He wouldn't have missed out on the unknown. Firearms training ensures we are as comfortable as possible with our guns. With comfort comes confidence, which is a major deterrent to criminal activity and a major factor to one's will to survive.
I'm not the best cook in the world. On a good day, I can bake a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies. On a bad day... well, they may double as good paper weights. The reason for my inconsistency is just that - I'm inconsistent. I don't bake very often at all, and when I do, I don't always bake the same types of cookies. Atop of that, I don't invite the experts. I'm sure my grandmother could immediately tell me what I'm doing wrong, but I suppose I haven't thought baking cookies important enough to ask her. I haven't sought out training. Without that consistent practice and guidance from someone who knows more than me, I likely won't improve. Too many gun owners feel they are "good enough" at shooting an immobile piece of paper. They may miss the mark periodically, but they are not concerned with consistency. That's a concern, because at the moment that firearm is needed, inconsistency will carry a big price! Wouldn't it be nice to know that EVERY time you shoot, you hit what's intended? While none of us are perfect, we can all be better... with practice and proper training!
Believe it or not, shooting requires physical endurance. Most people who endure an attack or otherwise stressful situation have physical symptoms. Motor skills are compromised. Body temperature and heart rate increase. Concentration is challenged. Breathing increases, and many other physical changes occur. Can you imagine running a marathon without any training? Certainly, all of us know how to run. No one has to teach us that. However, marathon trainers do teach techniques for more effective breathing and endurance. Then, the runners must slowly increase distances, over time, to ensure they can run the entire course. Once the endurance is built up, they work to increase speed. Firearms training is quite similar. Running through appropriate drills with an instructor who knows how to introduce elements of stress can better prepare us for the worst, though we hope it never comes. Even more, consistent practice produces muscle memory, meaning that your body will become so used to some movements through drills, that you won't have to think about them in a stressful situation. They will come naturally, possibly saving your life or someone else's.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding results of good firearms training is the mere enjoyment! Meeting new people, learning new skills, and getting value out of your investment into a gun can be quite fulfilling. Challenge yourself! You just may be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Just think... While your firearm may be seemingly easy to use, without training you won't employ your full potential with the tool. Even if you have knowledge of every detail in your pistol manual, a potentially dangerous situation is compounded when you lack confidence, consistency, and physical endurance. Isn't that worth a few extra dollars and hours of your time?
I'm sure those who have been involved in gun fights would agree. Along with that right to bear arms, you also have a right and responsibility to yourself. The gun is merely a tool. You are the key to your safety and survival, so never invest in a tool without investing in YOU!