Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion

Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion

Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion

Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion


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Wisdom and Things is a collection of essays from the final decade of Vera Koo's pistol shooting career, documenting her journey from a 12-year-old immigrant who didn't know a word of English to the pinnacle of the action pistol shooting world. They chart the drive and ambition that led Vera to achieve great success, and show the perseverance and determination that helped her survive failures and setbacks. This collection paints an indelible portrait of a person who never gave up, no matter how difficult the challenges.

For readers familiar with Vera's first book, The Most Unlikely Champion, these articles will deepen your understanding of the quiet, behind-the-scenes moments of Vera's life - the motivations that inspired her, the setbacks that nearly broke her. For those who don't know Vera's story, the writing here will provide snapshots of inspiration and advice - how to learn new skills no matter your age; how to handle slights with humility; and how setting small goals can help you achieve big things.

These pieces show that despite thriving in multiple worlds, Vera has always remained true to her values: faith, discipline and kindness. They're values she learned from her parents and her husband, Carlos, and that she's instilled in her three children. It's Vera's hope that readers, new and old alike, will walk away from this collection with the same lessons - that even the worst tragedies don't have to break a person, and that through hard work and belief, anyone can achieve their dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578847092
Publisher: Sing Star
Publication date: 03/05/2021
Pages: 156
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Vera Koo is an eight-time women's division national champion at the Bianchi Cup, also known as the National Action Pistol Championship. She won two World titles. She retired from competitive shooting in 2018 at age 71. Born in China and raised in Hong Kong, she is an Asian-American who immigrated to the United States at age 12. Vera and her husband, Carlos, live in California, where they own and operate a successful real estate business. They have three children and six grandchildren. This is her second book and follows the publication of her memoir, The Most Unlikely Champion.

Blake Toppmeyer is a national award-winning sportswriter. He met Vera Koo in 2014 while on assignment at the Bianchi Cup. Blake is the Tennessee Vols football beat writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel. This is his first book.

Table of Contents


Author's Note


Part I: Becoming a champion

From dolls to guns - my journey to competitive shooting

A woman in the man's world of competitive shooting

Play to your strengths

How building a varied sports background served me well

Women deserve a chance to learn from women

We must care for our bodies - they're our vehicle through life

Sports teach us values and perspective

The power of women supporting women

Why you should surround yourself with inspiring people

What I learned from my husband's horse

Going out with no regrets

Seize the moment and don't hold back

Why I retired from shooting sports

Part II: Get knocked down? Get up stronger.

Why I pushed through the pain to return to competition

Climbing your personal Mt. Everest

We all need a little help sometimes

Don't miss your "some day"

If you believe you can do something, you usually can

You're never too old to learn

You get more than a degree from college

An old shooter can learn new tricks

How shooting saved my life

Set small goals to achieve big things

Face your fears - usually, they're not so bad

You have the power to create the life you want

Part III: A little religion. A little philosophy. A little introspection.

See the doughnut, not the hole

The importance of a random act of kindness

God teaches us lessons amid life's trials

Embrace your true self and don't hide your tail

Trusting God's plan, even in the hard times

Show love to your friends - even when they don't heed your advice

How Carlos and I strengthened our bond during a pandemic

The power of fate and Yuanfen

The mystery of my birth father

Part IV: Lessons from travel

Allow time for serenity, even during travel

Gaining inspiration through travel

Don't accept that "It is what it is"

Seize the chance for an adventure

Treat your senses when you travel

How the outdoors helped my family reconnect

Welcome the chance to expand your horizons.

Always on the lookout for an adventure


About the Authors

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