A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…
Many of you have heard this before, and I’ll be doing a disservice to the story, but since Jenna doesn’t have her own blog to tell this story, I’ll tell my side of it.
I’ve been around guns most of my life, and I have parts of three of the four legs of the firearms “table” – military, competition, and civilian self-defense (the last being law enforcement). All four, by the way, require an entirely different mindset from the others; none is truly superior, all have their place in the universe. Having a background in 1 area (or 3) doesn’t not, by itself, qualify you to speak for another leg. But I digress.
So after our son was born, I started to get serious about the self-defense side of it. Jenna being the supportive wife that she is, decided to at least humor me one time and go to the range with me. I did the best that any husband could… which if you were to rank how helpful husbands are when their wives want to learn something new as you would rank order the best songs of all time, it would rank somewhere just below Gangnam Style and slightly above Just a Friend [the Biz Markie version] on the greatest songs of all time list… which is to say I failed miserably.
And now I’m guessing about half of you just clicked that link. I won’t lie – I love that song. But man, is it horrible.
But then a funny thing happened – the light bulb seemed to come on with Jenna. I think her exact words were “This gun is too big. I’m buying my own.” And she did.
Before you know it, she’s in an NRA Basic Pistol class (sans me, of course) and her instructor made a point of referring to her as “the next Annie Oakley” on more than one occasion. She smoked the class, bought another gun, this time a 1911 like the one below, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So we took a few classes, some of them together and some of them solo, and I decided to get my instructor certification. Skip ahead, skip ahead, skip ahead, we were getting a lot of questions from women and Jenna started answering a lot of the questions herself.
Yada yada yada, Jenna gets certified to teach. Then she’s teaching ladies only classes. Then she starts recording her own commercials on the radio that we run locally here in Colorado.
A quick aside on that: we recently had a guy that called, and Jenna happened to be teaching a class at the time. I say this because normally, she’s the one answering the phone. But on this day, I was on the hook. So this guy calls and the conversation goes something like this:
- Me: “Hi, Carry On Colorado, this is Jeff. Can I help you?”
- Him: [there’s a slight pause] “Umm, yeah, hi, umm, is Jenna available?”
- Me: “I’m sorry, she’s teaching a class right now, is there something I can help you with?”
- Him: “Umm, well, I’ve been hearing her commercials on the radio and I was actually hoping to talk to Jenna.”
- Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but she’s busy right now. Can I help?” I really wanted to add “I do have a thing or two to do with this company, and there is an outside chance I can answer your question.” But I didn’t.
- Him: “Umm, no thanks. I’ll call back later.”
And just like that, a page was turned.
So at some point along the way, we got to know a few of the true giants of this industry. I wrote about one of them recently. But it became more obvious that Jenna needed to really start getting her name out there – a book (which she’s working on), magazine articles, more classes, whatever it takes. She’s working on all of those.
But here’s the thing: it’s not about the fame or who you meet or anything else; it’s about truly helping out others in our community. And here’s a realization I made recently after hearing some of the things that Jenna’s students have said about her: there’s a very real chance that she’s better at this than I am.
She’s confident, funny, inspiring, and doggone-it, people like her. She does her research and she knows her stuff. She’s been-there-done-that, so when she talks about what has actually worked for her, she means it.
It’s funny how you end up at your calling in life. Sometimes you have it handed to you on a silver platter. Other times, you fight for it, tooth-and-nail. And then sometimes it just falls into your lap (and then you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into it). But regardless how or why we ended up at this particular station in life, here’s one thing I know for sure: I’m damn glad that Jenna is on my side. And boy, is she fun to watch.
Carry on, Jenna!