Friday, March 20, 2009

Straight On

The last day of the archery class I've been taking was last Thursday. And I couldn't announce this randomly in lab because I'd look like a jerk, but here on the internets -

I kicked butt!

We had two competitions during class. For the first competition, you shoot seven rounds, with each round further back from the target. The last round was the distance of a full basketball court away from the targets. The winner is the one with the highest score for the seventh round.

The first few targets were easy - we were close enough I could see the target clearly, and I could correct if I was off.

On the fourth round, the targets started getting a little fuzzy and I couldn't see where my arrows landed on the target.

So imagine my surprise when I walked to the target to retrieve my arrows, only to find I had made a bulls-eye! And, sticking out of the back of that arrow was my next arrow, which split the first one for a second bulls-eye!

W00t! The teacher said that was the first time she had seen an arrow split on the bulls-eye in fourteen years of teaching. Technically, you are supposed to use the same arrows for all rounds, but she made an exception for this case so I could get a new arrow...

By the seventh round of that competition, all I could see was the yellow spot in the middle of the red target, and the only way I could tell I hit the target was by the "thwack" sound. It was rather entertaining, actually, holding my breath as I walked toward the target, watching the little feathers come into focus...

And I won! I had the best score on the last round. My best arrow was a nine - only one ring off the bulls-eye. Actually, when I shot that particular arrow, I heard somebody mumble with a laugh from down the line: "she must cheat..." so I knew it had to have been a good one! :)

The second competition we ran was a one-arrow, winner-take all round. Standing from a close distance, whoever shot the best with one arrow won.

Well that's just too easy. I could see both the target AND my arrows.

I was the only one to make a bulls-eye.

The teacher dismissed us with a speech congratulating us, and noted that the last winner-take all round was shot from the same distance we started at on the very first day of class. That was pretty neat - we all remembered how difficult it was just to hit the target on the first day, and now I considered it easy to make a ten.

My arms and back have become so much stronger; I notice it in my posture (and in the sore muscles the next day, ahem). I have calluses on the insides of my fingers, and my fingers on the hand that holds the string have become stronger. My ring finger especially is now fatter on the left hand than on the right - a bit strange. I never thought about the fact that the poor little ring finger never got much exercise before this class!

So yay for learning new things! There is an archery club on campus, so I hope to go over and continue to improve. As the teacher said during her closing speech, you readers can all say "you knew me when..."

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