Posted in Casual Dabbling, Leisure Sports

Bows and Arrows

“It concerns us to know the purposes we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want.”

-Aristotle

I am no athlete but I have tried my hand at a few sports like dance, volleyball, badminton, and tennis. While I greatly enjoyed those sports, I have been longing to try archery because of the books I’ve read and the movies I watched (I had a huge crush on Orlando Bloom’s character, Legolas Greenleaf).

While browsing through vouchers for leisure activities at MetroDeal, I finally found one for an introductory lesson to archery. I immediately bought two vouchers and reserved a slot at 2:00 PM on a Sunday.

The lesson was given by The Archery Academy in Greenhills, San Juan. It was founded by a group of archers who are very passionate about the sport. They want to get more people exposed to archery and so they offer lessons for beginners and returning archers.

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I arrived 30 minutes early and since I was the only one  who was booked for the slot, I got to start early too. Coach Che Che first helped me wear the arm guard before giving me the quiver with three arrows initially. She then proceeded to teach me about the waiting and shooting lines, the parts of the bow, how to place my arrow and finally, how to shoot.

I admit I initially thought I was going to see through some device, kind of like where you look when shooting a sniper. I also thought I had to keep one eye closed to estimate if I was on target already. I was so wrong. This was traditional archery where you use your instincts to hit your target.

IMG_0004There were black and white targets that they give you for free. If you want the colored target, it was available for Php 50 only. For my first attempt, I opted to select a smiley face with an apple on its head. Predictable, I know. There were seven other free designs available.

My initial reaction was to be worried I might embarrass myself by not hitting anything and failing to shoot the arrow properly. Coupled with the fact that I had no “sight” to guide me where I’ll hit, I was skeptical about my first shot. Thankfully, Coach Che Che was there to guide me and from time to time, tell me when to release my arrow.

In my line of work as an auditor, I have to be very keen to details. However, I have never used my focus as much as I have used it today. Every little move I made, every single shake of my hand, and every second I took before shooting greatly affected the result of my shots. Coach Gio, who was around during my lesson, also gave me tips on how to shoot better.

Also, I can be an impulsive person (especially when shopping) and have difficulty distinguishing instinct for impulse. This activity was a good exercise for trusting my instincts and being patient.

Soon, I was shooting arrows and having a good time.

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Missed the apple by a couple of centimeters. Gave the smiley a “thermometer” though.

I realized I tended to hit either too high or mostly to the left. Whether that meant anything about my vision, I do not know. I was just so happy that at least, I was hitting within the backstop.

Half-way through my lesson there were others who arrived. I think they were scheduled for 3PM but arrived early. Coached Gio attended to them and so a few minutes later, there were others with me on the shooting line.

Coach Gio and Coach Che Che made sure to attend to everyone taking the lesson. I highly appreciated that they did not pressure you into hitting a bull’s eye. Still, they gave encouragement when they know you did well on a shot.

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I did manage to hit a little close to the middle point of my target. I noticed that when I relax and waited longer before shooting, the nearer to my main target I hit.

Fifteen minutes before my time was up, Coach Che Che placed a balloon in the middle of my target. The balloon was bigger than the smallest circle on my target but it was still very challenging to hit.

My first attempts were close but not enough to pop the balloon.

A few more shots later…

Yay!!! I popped it! Here, watch:

I greatly enjoyed the one-hour lesson I had and hope to attend more sessions in the future.

I got to bring home my targets. Maybe I’ll do a comparison of all the targets I will have as I learn more about archery to see if I am improving at all. Ha-ha!

Have you tried archery before? Any tips for beginners like me?

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