Interview With A Gunwoman: Becca Spinks on Competing and Motherhood

Courtesy Becca Spinks

[This is the second in a series of interviews with Becca Spinks (part one here), competitive shooter, run-and-gunner, security guard, private investigator, instructor, and mom.]

ED: Okay, this is an important interview for our women readers. Let’s talk about being a mother and being a competitive shooter who is in serious training for run-and-gun as well.

RS: It’s a matter of how you juggle. Obviously, my daughter is still too young to come to the range with me. I love seeing people out there with their kids. I went to a major match last year and there was a little girl, probably 6, who was being very well minded by everyone there. She had on her ear and eye protection and was just sitting on a bench playing with her iPad or coloring. But when it was time to shoot, she was out there taping targets for us. I thought that was super cool.

Courtesy Becca Spinks

I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to learn that, to come out there and learn about and experience the sport. They’re having fun, and kids are really interested in what their parents are doing. So if she decides that she wants to compete and chooses that, obviously, I’m all for it. If she chooses to be a dancer instead, I’m all for that, too. I would like to introduce her to competitive shooting at an early age and see if that’s something she would want to do.

ED: Can you talk about work/life balance in terms of finding the time? I’ve found that when I talk to women about why they don’t train more, a big part of it is that they don’t know how to create training time, having kids and families.

Courtesy Becca Spinks

RS: Listen. I’m a single mom with a full-time job and two part time jobs. I make it happen. I get up early and knock out my workout. When I can’t make it to the range, I put targets on my fence outside so I can go upstairs, open the window, and practice rifle transition drills.

Courtesy Becca Spinks

I took paper plates and cut out circles and made little popper shapes and put them on my walls upstairs to simulate steel, and I’ll get out my pistol and practice dry fire. I do drills at home that will help me improve at the range.

I won’t lie – it’s a struggle to find care for my daughter for the matches that I shoot. Luckily for me, I have a support system. A lot of women don’t. My mom, dad, and sister love to watch her for a few hours while I go shoot. I literally give each of them the dates for the first half of the year up front and let them choose which ones they want, since they all want to see her more. I have those dates scheduled in advance – I already know what matches I’m shooting, because I’ve taken the time to plan it out and say that this is when I need help. That’s how I’ve made it work for me.

Also, I’m lucky to have a range close to my workplace. I’m not ashamed to make a messy target. I’ll do single handed shots, practice one handed, practice from low ready, practice double taps. I can do all that at my local indoor range on my lunch break. When I have a little extra time – I try to do this at least once every other week – I go to the outdoor range during the workday. I get to work early, take a longer lunch, practice whatever I need to, and come back.

I work out twice a day, 5 or 6 days a week, right now because I don’t have big blocks of time to go to the gym during the day. I split it up so that I do strength training during lunch and maybe a little cardio after work. I’ll back off in the off season. I’ve always been a fitness minded person, so it’s natural for me to work out anyway. I squeeze in range time around my workouts so that I don’t miss a workout either.

It’s really about what you value and what’s most important to you. On the days I don’t shoot, I spend literally every free moment with my daughter. I plan it out. I’m a planner, as you can tell. When I’m planning my matches, I look at how much time I have left that day so I can take her to do something fun for the rest of that day. Those two things are very, very important to me.

My daughter is obviously the most important thing in my life, and shooting comes after that. My career is in line with shooting. I’m lucky, also, that my workplace knows that I do this and is very supportive. We live in Texas. If there are any naysayers out there, they keep their mouths closed. They support me and work with me when I request time off to travel to matches and such.

I have a career, a mortgage, daycare, just like everyone else. It IS possible. It’s all about what you value, what’s important to you. And it’s a sliding scale. You get to choose how involved you become in the shooting sports. It isn’t an all or nothing type of deal. If you want to come out every weekend, and you have the time and resources, that’s awesome! If you want to come out once or twice a year just to check your proficiency, that’s also great.

ED: The reason I think it’s important to hear from someone like you is that inspiration really helps women. It means a lot to women to see another woman actually out there doing it.

RS: Absolutely it does. There’s a very close friend of mine who recently had a baby. She started working out, eating healthy to lose the baby weight. She posted a picture of herself looking amazing and I commented on how awesome the photo was. Her reply was that I was one of her sources of inspiration and that she hoped she could run and gun with me some day.

To me, that was the biggest compliment I could get, was knowing that I could make a change in someone else’s life by putting my own life out there, into the media or in other ways. That’s where social media comes in. Without social media, it would be only word of mouth. With social media, people can actually see what I’m doing, see me shooting, see me practicing, watch me run stages.

There are a lot of people who say, “I wanna go out there and shoot, I wanna try it.” Honestly, very few of the people who ever say that will actually do it. But it’s important to me that people are actually seeing it and being inspired. I like that word – inspiration.

Photo by Elaine D.; enhancements by R. Spinks

ED: It’s something that we’re going to talk about in a different interview – how women become intimidated and fearful of being judged. I think that for women, seeing a woman who has gone ahead of them into it, who has obviously endured all of those fears and is out there doing it, progressing, and doing great, helps them realize that it’s not that big a deal.

RS: It’s not. When I’m trying to get new shooters out there to a match, I’ll call it that – a match. I won’t call it a competition. A match provokes more of a feeling of fun, like a game or a tennis match. I emphasize that you’re a new shooter who is just out here to learn how to shoot better, and if you want to keep going, compete against yourself.

Courtesy Becca Spinks

This is an individual sport, just as golf is an individual sport. You go out there to improve your skills and be the best you can be at it. I don’t like it when women feel pressured to perform at a specific level. As long as you’re performing at the top of what you’re capable of, you’re doing something. You’re making a difference in your proficiency. And, you’re meeting people and having fun.

ED: I think that’s something we need to emphasize more: All of this is super fun, ladies!

RS: It’s super fun! There’s cute guys out there…I’m telling ya!

ED: Thanks, Becca! Looking forward to next time!

 

Follow Becca on Instagram: @bxbullet or on Facebook: facebook.com/bxbullet (Becca Spinks – Competitive Shooter)

comments

  1. avatar Michael says:

    Hope for the future…con safos. -30-

  2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    Now that last pic is my favorite kind of ‘Muddy Girl’… 😉

  3. avatar Pg2 says:

    A full time job and 2 part time jobs? Sounds like her kid comes up losing.

    1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

      Kinda my thought as well….
      Even if she could function on no sleep at all that kind of schedule would still leave VERY little time to be an actual parent. There’s no way that kid isn’t being raised by a daycare or an assortment of sitters/family members.

      1. avatar RugerLuger says:

        Yes, it sucks to have bills and try to meet them as opposed to sucking on the government teat.

        While you guys may have been raised in a fairy tale story many of us were raised by working parents. Kudos to her for working hard to try and ensure a future for her daughter!

        There but for the grace of God go I.

      2. avatar Bx says:

        Maybe y’all didn’t catch the part of the article where I mentioned I spend literally every free moment with my daughter, from the minute she wakes up until she goes to daycare (GASP a woman with a day job!!?). From the minute I pick her up after my 8-5 ends to when I rock her to bed every night. I squeeze all my training and workouts in during my workday. Aside from a few hours some weekends when I shoot, I’m a parent to my daughter. I’m certainly busy… but one of you could definitely come make me a sandwich sometime, if you wanted to get off the couch, that is.

        1. avatar Pg2 says:

          ‘A woman with a day job(gasp)’…really? You’re posting like it’s the 1950’s. It’s unfortunate you have to work 3 jobs to make ends meet, if that’s really the case.

      3. Go back and read it again……she says she has family who helps with the child care.

      4. avatar Quod Dixit Ille says:

        Our culture now fetishes spending countless hours upon hours with children, like the parent should be swarming near them all day. Take it from me, I raised four very wise and thoughtful young people: they need time to be with others and on their own, even. The weird modern parenting advocates who worry all the time that they are psychologically damaging their children by being away during the day are the ones who in actuality often teach them to be helpless. So she should not be embarrassed at all at how she is handling her parenting duties. She seems to have a lot locked down and I hope she meets a partner who can offer the same level of drive.

    2. avatar Swarf says:

      You’re an anti-vaxxer. Your opinions on other people’s child rearing skills don’t count.

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        Fun watching you take a dump out of your mouth on this forum.

  4. avatar possum says:

    After possum mama died I took over raising the fledglings, let me tell yah it ain’t easy. A tip on washing dishes, a clothes washer will not work . Even with a couple towels for a buffer. Also do not wash clothes in a sleep deprived stupor, you may mix whites with colors and your males may be ridiculed showering after gym class for having Pink underwear.

    1. avatar Fully Involved says:

      God I love your comments XD

  5. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

    I’m exhausted just reading what this girl does. Works 3 jobs, goes to the gym, goes to the range. Glad she has family nearby. The baby needs grandparents, aunts, uncles.

  6. avatar Southern Cross says:

    My son has been going to the range with me since he was 3 and he is nearly 11. He has just over another year before he can get a junior’s permit, if mum allows.

    He has been using the time to learn the theory and assists with score taking and safety officer, when he’s not watching movies on the laptop or practicing discus and shotput behind the parking area.

    There was never a shortage of people willing to keep an eye on him when I was competing and I doubt there will be a shortage of people willing to train him when he starts.

  7. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m glad she talks about dry fire practice. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves in most gun forums.
    Practice loading and unloading a gun at home. It costs you nothing. Use dummy rounds and empty magazines. Practice drawing your, empty, side arm. And reholstering, without looking at the holster.

    Great interview Elaine B. Keep them coming!!!
    (Smile)

  8. Go back and read it again…………..she says she has family who helps with the child care.

  9. avatar Fully Involved says:

    Finally we get part 2! Just as good as part 1 too.
    You actually motivated me to go out and look into local matches and I found a gun club that hosts USPSA matches that I’ll be joining in the near future.
    I got to spectate one of the pistol matches and not gonna lie, I was pretty intimidated to see just how proficient everyone was. It’s gonna take me some time to officially join, but in the meantime im practicing with my mark IV at a free public range near where I live. It ain’t much, but as a student that’s all my schedule (and budget) can afford me.
    Anyways, great articles and thanks you both for helping me get the ball rolling on this. Best of luck in your matches!

    1. avatar Bx says:

      Thank you! It seriously means SO MUCH to me to hear that I’ve helped someone new get involved in the sport! I hope you continue to compete and grow as a shooter 🙂

      1. avatar Fully Involved says:

        I appreciate that, and likewise!

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