Never in a million years did I ever see myself getting up in front of a crowd, or on the end of a podcast microphone to tell my story. Part of the reason I like to write, is because I feel incredibly awkward talking. But I truly believe that my story could inspire others, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I was a victim of domestic violence for just over ten years. I walked away from that situation with no self-confidence, very little self-worth, and no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
Fast forward 18 months, to when I met Chance and was introduced to hunting. My experience as a new hunter was very tough, I learned by going out by myself with no idea of what I was doing, which essentially meant I learned by failing, repeatedly. There were a lot of tears, a lot of frustration and even some heated discussions about whether I was even cut out for it. It seems like a brutal way for Chance to mentor me, and just another way for me to feel defeated, but it was how he learned, and little did we both know, it was exactly what I needed.
In time, I started figuring things out, I learned something new each time I went to the woods, and with that I was building confidence. The time spent in the woods that first season allowed me to start the healing process. Eight years later, I have come out on the other side stronger, and feeling more capable than I ever thought possible. Telling my story to organizations in, and out of the hunting community, has been powerful, not just for my own healing process, but for the audience as well. I will always be nervous, but I will also always be willing to share my journey with hopes it will inspire others, from the podium or the microphone, if invited.
https://www.podbean.com/site/EpisodeDownload/PBD4C504GDEW3 (National Wildlife Federation)
https://www.huntforreal.com/podcast/episode57-cindy-stites (Hunt For Real Podcast #57)
https://www.stitcher.com/show/cast-and-blast-florida-podcast/episode/conversations-24-cindy-stites-68523802 (Cast & Blast Florida Podcast)
https://podbay.fm/p/the-average-conservationist-sportsmens-nation/e/1596099603 (Average Conservationist Podcast)
https://www.huntforreal.com/podcast/episode88-cindy-stites (Hunt For Real Podcast #88)
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