I was at the archery range the other day when this fascinating girl shows up for an archery lesson, and she's shooting with the Olympic Recurve. I was done training that day, so I took some time to observe and watch the lesson.
As I watch and notice the grace she shows while shooting this completely different style of archery, she reminds me of my own (and very pricey) Olympic Recurve bow that's been sitting in storage for almost two years now.
That evening I decided to take it out along with the rest of my bows.
I decide to start shooting my Olympic and begin the process of finding the right arrows for my bow, a process that I never finished since I got the bow. I speak with my coach and let him know that besides traditional archery, I want to practice Olympic. He was hesitant, being a traditional archer himself, he wanted me to focus on traditional shooting. "Don't worry, and I'll be doing both. The two styles are different, so I won't pick up any bad habits via cross training." He agreed and also agreed to coach me via Olympic Recurve.
There is just no way I will ever stop practicing traditional, but I like archery in general, and the Olympic Recurve scene is huge right now, with tournaments popping up left and right... I could not help but gain a fresh interest. My goal is to win a State Championship and I'll get there.
As The Rain Falls
Recently I went to Gainsville to celebrate a friend's gender reveal party. She also has a friend that wanted to go but did not want to make the trip alone, so we carpooled. After the party was over, we make our way back to Miami.
Early into the drive, we get hammered with hard rain. "This place is so freaking beautiful!" I tell her. She agrees as we keep looking at our surroundings. As I drive down a road, I look to my left and notice an incredible scene! I slow down and stop the car. "What are you doing?" she asks. "I HAVE to take a look at something back there. It'll be quick!". So I turn the car around and come across a side road entrance. It looks incredible with the rain pouring down, windshield wipers singing their song and giving us view, all the while the headlights are peering in. We sit there for a moment, and I go, "You still have your dress from the party... would you mind getting wet?! Let's take a portrait of you in the rain!" "What? No, I'm going to get wet, and my makeup is going to run, and it's cold outside and..." "And I don't care come on! Trust me! It will be a great photo! Stop overthinking and let's go, I'm going to get soaked too, and so is my camera!," I interrupt. "Ok, but just for one minute and it has to be fast!" she says. "Yeah yeah, let's go!"
After what seemed like 5 minutes, we jump back into the car with our clothes completely soaked. I start backing the vehicle up unto the main road, turn on the heater and continue our way back home. With smiles on our faces.
My New Bow: Ark
I recently acquired my custom-made bow (designed for my hands, draw length, draw weight, and other custom touches), from Timberpoint Archery. My new bow wears a gorgeous piece of Woolly Mammoth ivory on its riser (something I specifically requested), it weighs more and sports a faster limb system compared to my previous bow. It's also one of Timberpoint's first bows in a new top-of-the-line series (Medusa Series). It's wild. It's silent. It's beautiful, and I have received countless compliments on this bow from fellow archers. But this bow has also been giving me a hard time to control because its limbs are just so much more potent than the previous bow I would shoot. My on-point for a target changed from 40 yards to 60 yards.
Today, however, I received an archery lesson from my coach in what could probably be the first time in around nine months or so. Before today, we would shoot, and he would share tips and pointers, but this time it was a full-blown lesson. Since I have intentions of competing in Estonia 2020, I figured he sensed my difficulties. "You're over gripping the bow, and you're shooting like shit. Bad form. This is what happens when you don't shoot enough," he mentions. He was right, I was shooting poorly, and I haven't been shooting enough as I should be, but I thought my form was ok. I felt it was the arrows not being compatible with this new faster bow. "I think my form was OK," I protest. "What? Who's teaching who here? If I say you're over gripping the bow, it's because you're over gripping the bow." was his automated response. "Hmm, crap... am I over gripping?," I ask myself. I prepared the next shot and loosened my grip. 40 yards. It strikes true. I turned to him. He smiled, and said, "Tada!". Three hours go by of more form fixing, and I began to shoot well again. "60 yards. You vs me. Best of 4 shots." I beat him the first round, and he beats me the second round.
"One tie-breaker shot to find the winner! After that, training is over for today," he indicated. We walked towards the 60-yard target. "You go first, NO PRESSURE MATE!" he told me with a laugh. I selected one particular arrow from my quiver for this final shot. I nocked the arrow on my bow, and I took aim. All the while remembering exactly why I love this sport so damn much and why I'm going to do well in Estonia 2020 with this masterpiece of a bow.
Congrats to Yuselys and Gabriel
Drove to Gainsville this past weekend to celebrate the gender reveal of this amazing woman's baby. Very happy for you Yusely and Gabriel, especially since both of you always wanted a little girl!