My father retired in November of 2007. Men that are used to working a lot need to be active. They need jobs, projects, yard work, things to fix, and people to worry about. My dad is very much one of these men. He went from working 50+ hours a week to sitting in a recliner watching Bloomberg and the Military Channel all day. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. The man grew up in the projects of East LA and has been working since he was 13– he deserves a break, but he was driving us all CRAZY. He was irritable from lack of motivation and all he did was wander around the house talking politics and religion at us. Summer of 2008, I suggested we start a father-daughter activity together. I did archery as a child, and he practiced in college, so we decided to pick it up again. Thus our new hobby was born.
It’s 2010 and I’m still shooting. My bow riser is a Hoyt and I have KAP limbs; both from this crazy German guy that owns an archery dealer in Orange County. It’s actually used but I’ve really attuned my form to the way it pulls. And my dad fletches our arrows. :) He’s gotten way more into this than I have just based on the amount of free time compared to me, but it has become kind of convenient as far as cost for parts goes. He has befriended a bunch of veteran archers: old Olympic champs, university champs, instructors, store owners, etc. This is a very poor quality picture of my bow, unstringed (ignore the clothing on my floor… I know I need to clean).
I now go about once a week if I’m lucky. I lead a pretty busy life these days as a student and volunteer pre-health intern at a hospital (that is for another post). But my bow is beautiful and fits me perfectly and I absolutely love archery. I’ve been a yogi for about 4 years now and am still incredibly passionate about that mind-body connection it brings, but archery makes me use completely different parts of my body and mind and I am a stronger person every time I shoot. The awareness and concentration a clean shot requires demands so much discipline. Your strength, agility, and breathing must all be synced to your form and focus on the target. The tiniest variation in form can send your arrow off by many inches.
I don’t have any target pictures to show because I shoot very inconsistently. Especially now since I don’t go to the range as often. I delete my pictures soon after I take them because I am embarrassed of all the outlying arrow holes!
If you haven’t tried archery, Bass Pro Shops usually have indoor ranges where you can try out bows. It’s not the same as being outside in the elements, but it’s still enjoyable.
People ask me a lot if I go hunting with my bow. I will say right now: never. I was vegetarian and am converting back for good reason. And if you DO hunt with a bow, or gun for that matter, you better eat and use every last part of that animal. Killing an animal for sport doesn’t have to be a waste, but it will be if you don’t thoroughly think through the ethics of hunting.
For now, that is one skill I’ve acquired. I have an interesting post to come on my new I-wanted-to-help-renovate-my-boyfriend’s-house-so-we-figured-everything-out-on-YouTube skills story. Until then.