Julie G On How She Manages to Keep it Classy while Bringing the Awesome
(www.gunnoob.com) By Rebeccaguns-When The Noob suggested I interview Julie Golob for GN a little while back, I practically spit my coffee out all over the keyboard in my enthusiastic effort to respond in the affirmative. Julie is a world-class athlete with some 120 championship titles in seven different action shooting disciplines, as well as an author, veteran, social media consultant and hunter. She also happens to be one of the most gracious and kindest people I’ve come across in the gun world. Her passion for the shooting sports, and introducing new folks to firearms, is virtually boundless. On the heels of her big announcement that there will soon be another little Golob gunner running around, I had the privilege to speak with the pretty powerhouse about writing, shooting, family and how she keeps that signature smile on her face.
RebeccaGuns: From what I’ve learned by creeping on your social media accounts, you seem to be tremendously busy. What have you been up to lately?
JulieG: It seems I stay so busy that I have a hard time keeping up with everything these days! I have had a hectic travel schedule this season between filming projects with Shooting USA and Impossible Shots and of course, competitions. I also work as a consultant for Smith & Wesson's marketing department and it is one of the reasons I am so active in social media.
RG: I really enjoy following you on Twitter. I’m always struck by how positive and optimistic you are, even on the Interwebz. It’s very inspiring. How do you maintain such a good attitude?
JulieG: I didn't always have a positive attitude. When I was in shooting for the Army I developed a rough edge. I was so focused on my match performances that I stopped having fun and put my heart and soul into winning instead. When I reached my goal of winning my first USPSA National Title, I thought I would hear the proverbial choirs sing and that Action Shooting would finally find its place on the map so-to-speak at the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU). At the time, the Action Team was the newest shooting team at the AMU. Action shooting isn't an Olympic sport and so when budget cuts or talks about losing personnel slots came up our team spent hours justifying and fighting for our existence as a valid part of the unit and marksmanship training for the Army. I lost the fire to compete when the team became a demo and traveling road show and I faced some personal challenges in dealing with difficult leaders. With less time to train, I stopped performing well at matches. It was time to leave.
After I became a civilian, it wasn't long before I had the itch to shoot. I started competing in club matches in Georgia. I fell in love with the sport all over again for the same reasons I started shooting with my dad as a kid in upstate New York. Those last couple of years in the Army I lost the passion, but shooting with the grass roots of the sport, the people who compete in local matches because they love it, reignited all that joy. I realized that in the Army, some things happened that shouldn't have and I had to work with people I had no choice but to follow. But that was then. I felt free and I was determined to enjoy every minute.
That rediscovered joy has stuck with me. You win matches, you lose some. At the end of the day I am honored to be a part of this incredible industry chock full of passionate people. I am so grateful for that and am a better person for it.RG: I’ve read that your family, specifically your dad Pete Goloski, was really instrumental in fostering your love of shooting. Do you think new shooters who don’t have the support of family and friends are at a distinct disadvantage?JulieG:
My parents are amazing. As a mom, I realize it more and more every day so I think I did have an advantage in some ways. That said, the shooting community is simply awesome. I have witnessed it myself, how shooters reach out to newcomers and do what they can to help them. Those who struggle with getting the support they yearn for from family and friends soon find it at the range and develop long lasting friendships from people of all walks of life.RG: I agree that the gun world is generally a very welcoming place. Unfortunately, there are the occasional Debbie Downers. How have you dealt with negativity from those around you in your career?JulieG
: I have learned a bit about dealing with negativity. When I was in the Army I felt harassed and singled out because some felt that I didn't have the physical appearance of the "model soldier" or look the part of the shooting athlete despite having the titles that backed it up. This happened when I was a teenager and into my twenties and it had a negative affect on my self esteem and confidence. Over the years I have learned that your personality and how you treat people is far more important than what you look like. To deal with it, I tried to surround myself with friends and positive people who appreciated me, and all I had to offer. Even now I try to avoid negative people and getting sucked into their vortex. Sometimes there's no escaping it and I find in those situations the best thing to do is set the example - be as courteous as possible and strive for professionalism.RG: What’s your favorite part of your job?JulieG:
I think what I love most is being able to share what I have learned over the years. Competition still gets my heart pumping but I also take pride in having the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and share the shooting sports. It is so rewarding to be able to answer a question or provide a tip that might help a shooter take their skills to the next level.RG: It’s so exciting to see someone who was unsure or a little timid about guns get those first few hits and break out that big, giddy smile. Happily, more and more people seem interested in learning. As someone who has been involved in the shooting community for a number of years, do you think guns and shooting are becoming less of a taboo and more mainstream?JulieG
: I do think guns and shooting are becoming more accepted. When you read about philanthropist celebrities like Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt in the news in a pro-gun sort of way it's a real eye opener. Between economic conditions and terrorist attacks I think people have become more aware that there are those out there who may try to hurt them or steal from them. It is completely right and natural to want to preserve and protect what you love.RG: I agree. It's really encouraging to see so many people taking an interest in their second amendment rights. Yet, it seems there is more work to be done. If you could change anything about the firearms industry, what would it be?JulieG:
Ooh. That's a good one. I would love to see more women involved. There has been huge growth over the past couple of decades and we have seen it in both product development and how companies market to women. More and more women are taking positions within the industry and sharing their experiences by talking about guns on blogs like this one. It's exciting and I want more! One particular area I would love to see build up is women's concealed carry fashion. Instead of scrounging the stores for options that may or may not work, I would love to see more clothing designed and developed with concealed carry specifically in mind.
RG: Seriously! Figuring out how to carry is such a challenge. It’s great to see women look for concealed carry solutions at events like the Concealed Carry Fashion Show that was held in New York over the summer. I actually happened to win a copy of your book, SHOOT; Your Guide to Shooting and Competition while I was there and I’ve been devouring it these past few months. You have a really approachable writing style that I think is accessible to new shooters, and experienced ones as well. Any plans for a sequel?
JulieG: Thank you so much. Alas, no plans for a sequel at the moment! Writing SHOOT was an unbelievable amount of work between the research and squeezing in the time to write. I am beyond pleased and proud of the finished product. For now though, I am content with blogging when I can. But who knows? I might get the itch to take on a bigger project in the future.
RG: Learning to shoot is often likened to learning to swim, in that they’re both very practical skills to have. Do you think competitive shooting is the best way to build those skills?
JulieG: I am a huge fan of shooting sports as a way to keep people motivated and coming to the range. I think those who actively compete handle their guns and work to improve their skills more than the average gun owner. The constant emphasis placed on safety in competitions helps people become more aware of safely handling their firearms and practicing gun safety. That said I also know plenty of great shooters who don't compete. They spend plenty of time reading about firearms and working on their gun handling and shooting skills. They aren't interested in competing but are still just as dedicated. That's all good too!
RG: What advice would you give someone looking to start their journey into the wide, wonderful world of firearms ownership?
JulieG: My advice would be to do as much research as you can. Learn about the different types of firearms and what their best uses are. Decide which type is right for you and then explore the options. Ask questions! Get a wide perspective by asking those who have experience, from friends and family to firearms dealers to shooting experts. Look at participating in a program like the NSSF's First Shots as a way to get started under professional guidance. Most importantly, learn the basic rules of firearm safety. Even if you decide that owning a firearm might not be for you, learning firearm safety is important for everyone.
You can check out what Julie is up to on her website. Also follow her on Twitter @JulieG1 and on Facebook