Lana Ziday is no stranger to smashing stereotypes – she’s been doing it her whole adult life. The 5’-something mother-of-two spends most of her time studying for her high school teaching degree, raising her boys and managing the household. But that’s where mainstream living ends for this mum.
Lana has been a competitive body builder for 14 years. She loves getting the leathers on for a ride on her motorbike and she is a pistol shooter. The mother to Brayden, 13, and Damien, 10, says it can be hard to relate to the mainstream mums at school pick-up.
“People that know me know that I’m not run-of-the-mill,” she said. “I actually find the other mums a little boring. They’re not interested in a lot of the things that I love – shooting, camping, body building, motorbike riding. My kids are pretty used to me doing a lot of weird stuff, so they take it in their stride. They’re not run-of-the-mill either.”
Fourteen years ago, Lana, who had been overweight her whole life decided to make a change – a big change. That’s when she got into body building. “I’ve done 15-odd competitions now,” she said, while preparing for the Victorian Titles for the INBA (iCompete Natural Bodybuilding Alliance).
Despite her hectic schedule, Lana decided to take up pistol shooting earlier this year and joined the Sporting Shooters Pistol Club (SSPC) at Springvale. “My younger brother, Allan, is a pistol shooter and he’s been doing it for about 10 years,” she said. “I shot a shotgun when I was four but I hadn’t done any shooting as an adult.”
Lana kept her shooting passion quiet until recently, when she decided it was time to ‘out’ herself. “Most people know about my body building but I don’t often mention the shooting because of the stigma attached,” she said. “If I do bring it up they think it’s amazing that I do all of these things. It would be great if pistol shooting was just better recognised as a competitive sport.”
After several months at SSPC, Lana is already on the way to becoming a competitive IPSC shooter. She received her holster qualification in July. “I’m am having so much fun,” she said. “SSPC is the best club.
That is 90 per cent of the reason I’m still shooting. They are so welcoming, so much help and every time I do something they are more than willing to show me the right way.”
Lana usually goes pistol shooting fortnightly, when the kids are at their dad’s. But when they are old enough to stay at home alone Lana plans to increase her range attendance. She may even start taking her boys along.
“The older one has expressed an interest in pistol shooting,” she said. “They’re willing to try absolutely everything because they’ve been brought up in that environment. I’ve always taught them that as long as they were responsible and did it the right way, they could do whatever they wanted.”
Next on the agenda for Lana is the purchase of a Chiappa Rhino revolver, just like the one from recently released moved Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn – played by Australian actress Margot Robbie – carries a decorated Chiappa Rhino 60DS with a white grip, gold embellishments along the barrel and a Joker emblem on the grip.
Click here for more information about SSPC.