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Vicki’s California Adventure!

I took a long ten-day trip to California, and what I learned is fabulous. I was solo on this trip going to two places I’d never been before.

My first stop was in Sonoma at the Wing and Barrel Ranch. This was the first time OSP had been there. We were so well-received, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time we will be there. I had great classes with five people each day, and each of them came with a desire to learn.

Probably the biggest difference for everyone was that they didn’t have to look down the barrel, forget about the lead, and let the brain do the work. What a relief for everyone to put the gun ahead of the target. Match the speed of the target and the target breaks. The mantra became K.I.S.S: Keep it Simple, Stupid.

This is not rocket science. It’s not easy, but it makes sense. Hopefully, we can find another date to do more clinics in the fall. Keep watching our schedule and see when we are coming back.

It’s a beautiful place with wonderful people and the cutest puppies… but aren’t all puppies the cutest in the world? Thanks to Mike Sr., Mike Jr., and Melissa for a great experience.

On to my second new experience, driving to San Francisco to visit with Dr. Sergio Azzolino, a chiropractor who deals in functional neurology and rehabilitation.

We had met him two years ago and he did some tests on all of us and at the end, he asked if my balance was a little off and unsteady. I hadn’t really thought about it but then said that yes it was a little. He told me to come to San Francisco so he could work on me.

Well, as our schedule has been a little less than crazy for two years, I didn’t take the time to call and make an appointment. But as the years have gone by, so has my ability to stay in balance, so the timing was perfect.

I went into the office not sure what was going to happen and met with Dr. Azzolino and his staff. He tried to get me to put my feet close, even touching, and see if I could not fall. I couldn’t even count to two before I lost my balance. Then I did some other things, and of course, had to catch on to the wall or door to not fall down. After x-rays and another eye test, we began our three-day journey.

He also noticed a slight tremor in my left hand, so off to the gyro we went. He had sent us a video of this contraption, and I have to say I was a bit concerned. But after some reassurance that this was the best way to kickstart my two sides of the brain to start working together, I agreed and it wasn’t that bad.

He started slowly and just rotating in circles while I was sitting. I had a laser in my hand that I had to hit different targets with as I was spinning. Okay, no problem. This would help my reaction time as well. So I made it through that and then spent most of the afternoon doing therapy for reaction time and balance.

After hours of that I got back into the gyro for more therapy, but this time I was going to be going around faster and they were going to flip me back and forth. Oh, dear. And did I mention I still had the laser in my hand and had to laser the targets as I was spinning and flipping?

After that, Dr. Azzolino checked me out and gave me an adjustment. I have never heard my body make so many cracking noises, but it never hurt and even the next day I was fine.

The second day was very much the same as the first day, but my reaction time to the red dots was so much faster. And yes, the gyro was on my list of fun things to do with more spinning and flipping back and forth. But I was getting those targets with the laser — more and more each time.

We started at 8, so at 3 they let me go to see some of the sights of San Francisco, like the Ghirardelli Square and the wharf, and even Alcatraz. I didn’t realize how hilly it was until I started walking back up the street at a 45-degree angle and had to stop once to catch my breath.

On day three, we started at 9 AM, and it was a repeat of day two, with more spinning and flipping faster and faster each time. Now I know what the astronauts felt like, but this was not nearly as fast as they go.

My reaction time to the flashing dots had increased by a large amount to the point that the doctors were excited that so much progress had been made in a short amount of time. I can now stand with feet together for minutes and am even able to close my eyes for a short time before falling over.

They left me with homework to do each day as often as I can so I won’t lose what stability I have now. I will need to go back in a few months, but this is a wonderful thing.

Everything we do is a brain thing, and due to the elasticity of the brain, we can change how the brain is working. Very cool!

Then I was off to Sacramento to pick up Gil at the airport, then to Camanche Hills to do two days of clinics with some new folks and some repeat offenders.

It is so hard to get people to stop looking at the gun in the setup and then in the shot. The hardest thing for us to do is to get students’ eyes away from the gun and look somewhere else for the target. I know many of you think you can shoot that way, but you can’t do it and get the higher scores everyone wants.

Looking down the barrel puts you behind the target. So, I used the term to please insert the gun “stupid” in front of the target and let the brain figure the lead. Wow, that took all day. Students’ eyes were so close to the gun when they called “pull,” they didn’t have a chance to get the gun in front.

Please, please! Before you come to a clinic, practice the three-bullet drill and the flashlight drill so you know where the gun is without looking at it.

Nothing good happens when you check the lead and look at the gun!