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Ego Trip

March 15, 2023
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

The journey of excellence must go through our ego first. It’s a difficult lesson I’ve battled my entire life. This week is no different. I’m taking my first Range Ready course, and I’m nervous as hell.

As a youngster, I was taught to endure pain and strive for excellence above all else. I found success early in athletics so that’s what I gravitated toward. I believe that is natural for most folks who find a niche and reside in the comfortable spaces that dot their lives. The result is a disastrous channeling of our capabilities. We could do so much more if we simply shucked our pesky ego.  

I learned a valuable lesson stepping foot into a jiu jitsu gym. I learned quickly that there is no room for egos in a gym where testosterone is high. It’s a humbling feeling when you’re getting tied up in knots by a guy half your size who is probably someone’s accountant. Certainly, not a dig against the tough accountants out there because I’ve been beaten by plenty of them.

Set jiu jitsu aside and fill in the space with some other activity that puts us outside the comfy confines where we rest our ego. If you are a crack shot with a pistol, shoot a rifle course or a shotgun course with world-class shooters. I know, it’s frightening.

Ego threat is something we all battle. The easiest thing to do is keep our ego safe and resist the urge to put ourselves out there. I’ve taken some long-range courses and spent some time behind the gun, but I’ve never dedicated myself to become a true professional. A two-day course won’t make me a professional, but it will allow me to realize the potential that’s there, especially with good instruction.

Chris Cerino mans the training side of Range Ready. Chris is one of the most talented instructors I’ve seen teach a course. He’s got a way with words and a better way with showing students how to teach others. He understands how to push his students to excel in only a couple days. It’s fascinating to see how Chris transforms students into professionals. That is, if the student is willing to let their ego take a trip.

When I signed up and let him know I was taking the course, he chuckled. I believe the words uttered from his lips were, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” He is correct. Words are easy and actions are sometimes impossible due to an inflated ego.

This time it is different. I’ve pushed the ego on my left shoulder aside and planted my feet on the firing line. Come hell or high water, I won’t allow my ego to stand in the way of bettering myself for the safety of those around me. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a different venture often. His early career had him working with one of the finest PR agencies in the outdoor industry – Blue Heron Communications. Before that, KJ molded the minds of business school students at the University of Oklahoma. Quickly learning the University life wasn’t for him, KJ dedicated himself to the outdoors no matter what it took.

Sporting his flat-brimmed cap, KJ traverses the country in pursuit of the greatest game and best adventures. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind. KJ is a skilled communicator and connector in an industry that he has loved since a child.


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