PROMPT: Write about the most recent skill you have acquired.
Recently I have begun to teach myself Archery.
It was an interest of mine starting way back as a kid when I first got into medieval fairs and Robin Hood. I loved bows. I loved the look and the style and the fact you can shoot up close or far away. All the beautiful designs and different woods they’re made out of. The gear that goes with it like the arm guards, the awesome quivers and the finger tabs (and the swirling capes of course!) Of all the weapons, I always thought bows were the flashiest and most debonair.
Never actually thought about doing it myself for real though. It was an expense I couldn’t afford. I did fool around at Scottish festivals and Renaissance Fairs whenever they boasted archery exhibits and I always took down my colorful balloon foes. Ha HA!! And whenever I played any MMORPG I was either a caster or an archer. (I liked keeping my distance from the big baddies).
Then one day I went with my husband to a gun shop. Wow…sounds like the start to a bad joke, right? LOL. He was picking up his gun and had a ton of paperwork to sign so my girls and I roamed around the shop. They pointed out the “baby guns” to me (mini revolvers that could literally fit in an infant’s hand) and the BIIIIIG guns (my beloved Rugers). I discovered I have high taste in guns. Haaa. And then I saw the bows and I made a beeline to them, like a moth to a flame.
“Now THIS is more my roll,” I told the girls and they looked on with interest.
I bypassed the compound bows (the fancy wheeled high-tech hunting bows) and went straight for the recurves, or the “Elven” bows. I sighed in envy looking at them and a friendly faced woman named Sarah came around to talk with us.
“Do you girls want to take some shots?” she asked, looking down at my wide-eyed younguns.
They looked so nervous but I’m like, “Yes. They absolutely do.”
“It’s fun, I promise.”
Moira, of course, was the first to go. She’s game for anything. Sarah found her an appropriately sized bow and taught her how to nock an arrow and aim. She had to help both of them pull the string back but they didn’t hit the floor and on the third try, they actually hit the outside of the target. I was so proud. Mah little babies just had their world widened a smidge. Yay new experiences!
“Do you want to try?”
Sarah looked at me, pulling another bow off the rack. I blinked.
“Go on mom! It’s fun!”
Well, yeah duh. It felt as natural as breathing. She didn’t need to make a single adjustment on my posture or anything. I lifted the bow and rested my thumb under my chin as an anchor point. I closed my left eye, knocked my right elbow out of the way so the string wouldn’t smack it and aimed.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t hit the target the first time. Or that I embedded the arrow in the wood the second time (oops). I wanted to keep doing it. I felt the yearning settle more deeply into my soul and I vowed, then and there, I would buy myself my own bow kit and I would get better. This could be MY thing, the thing Jessica was good at. The THING that set me apart from wife or mother. “Hi I’m Jessica and I’m an Archer.”
Oh how I craved that. Truly.
“We have a beginner’s class starting next saturday. The first one ever if you want to come and don’t mind being my guinea pig…”
The kind-hearted woman gave me a flyer and I folded it, already deciding I was going to do it but figuring out budgeting first.
“Thank you for the opportunity!” we chirped when my husband came to find us.
I did go to that class and Yes I did get three or four bulls-eyes. And yes I did go back for more range time alone, and it was the most zen thing I’ve done that was physically demanding. Dichotomous I know but archery ain’t like yoga, okay?
For Valentine’s day, I was gifted my very own bow kit from my husband. I balked at the price, preferring to have waited until taxes came in, but I can’t deny I was stoked. I felt like I was vibrating everywhere. I was able to watch her put it together and I even got to pick my own colored arrows (Pink and purple of course!! My girls’ favorite colors!) I picked out a case and was so proud I’d done research prior so I knew everything I needed to get. Warm guard, bow stringer, case, extra tips, wax, quiver, finger tips and of course, the bow. I was only a little let down that nothing really matched. Grey case, red quiver, pink arrows, purple fletchings, white bow….but hey, it’s all MINE.
I admit that this bow was a higher draw weight than I was used to and I struggled that day to get used to it. The rental bows were about #15-20 lbs and this was #25. I absolutely could not do #30. But I didn’t want #20 because it was too easy for me. I wanted to work up to a #25. Plus I had to get used to using finger tabs which protect the fingers from the string. That was an interesting experience.
Then after that I got the Death Cold from Hell and couldn’t practice anymore. I haven’t been to the range in two weeks and I’m starting to get antsy. Like, can I just set up shop here? I mean, I might hit a person or a car or a house but how bad can that be, right? Riiiiiight??
I was never really good at patience when I really wanted something. But yeah, archery ❤ Legolas skeeeeeels. YEHAH!!!!