As many of you know, I am doing my best to raise my Little Gal with a great respect and appreciation of the outdoors, shooting, hunting and the like. Part of this includes me including her in outdoor activities. It also includes pointing her in the direction of great mentors.
I have met a number of outstanding women in the industry, and I share the stories and experiences of these women with her. She always is excited to hear about everyone, but also bummed that she misses out when we are gone on the business trips. So she decided to subscribe to some of the ladies’ blogs and newsletters. The Little Gal follows lots of amazing ladies who hunt, fish and shoot.
Back in March the Little Gal was excited to meet Kirstie Pike, CEO of Prois Hunting Apparel for women. I’ve sold and represented Prois for a couple of years, so she is always proud to sport the “P.” Now she was excited to meet the “creator.” Kirstie and her husband came to our neck of the woods for a Safari Club International banquet and the Little Gal was happy to have them over at the house for a visit. She showed off for Kirstie, shooting her bow at a target, and Kirstie showed off for her — by bringing her a “P” of her very own. Hank and I were proud to finally introduce her to our friends and have her meet not only an outstanding woman, but also a successful female entrepreneur.
Just before Easter, Hank and I ran into one of the ladies she follows while we were grocery shopping. The Little Gal happened to be across the store getting something on her list, but I just knew she would be excited about an opportunity to meet this lady. I called her on the cell phone and she came running at a full sprint to meet the famous Olympic biathlete, Tracy Barnes. The Little Gal said hello. She shook hands and then just stood there and blushed and smiled as Hank and I chatted. I did snap a quick picture of the shy little girl with a HUGE smile standing next to the Olympian (over on the tuna aisle), but alas, I only took one picture and it was too blurry to share. Needless to say, the Little Gal talked about meeting one of the Barnes’ sisters the whole way home.
I am happy that she looks up to a pair as great as the Twin Biathletes, Tracy and Lanny Barnes. They are such outstanding, successful women. What mother could ask for better role models, right? It makes me smile when she shares something from one of their posts, newsletters or races.
When we chatted with Tracy that day at the store, we talked about getting together. After all, the twins are neighbors, living just 30 minutes away. We messaged back and forth and finally I asked them to come to the lake with us. Lanny responded that Tracy was going to be out of town, but she was excited and would come bow fishing with us. I let the Little Gal know and again, that giant smile crossed her face. It made me feel good to see her excited once again.
As we waited for Lanny that morning I joked with her, “Now you are going to think you’ve already met her, but Lanny is coming today, and you met Tracy.” The Little Gal giggled and said “Mo-om! I know! They’re Twin Biathletes!” Of course she knew! She is a 13-year old after all.
That fun, sunny day the Little Gal stood up there on the bow of the boat as proud as can be. She never squawked or complained. She drew and shot and drew and shot at carp after carp as Lanny stood beside her and shot as well. There was not a lot of conversation among the quiet girls, but more happened that day than could be heard. Hank and I were proud at how polite our Little Gal was and how she was so determined. We were also appreciative to have such a fine lady standing at the bow with our Little Gal. It was a wonderful day with an amazing mentor, and Olympic biathlete, who at the end of the day carefully brought the biggest fish of the season aboard and our Little Gal was elated for her!
Keep up with Mia & the Little Gal at Mia’s blog, My Many Outdoor Adventures.