My archery life has been pretty hit and miss over the past few weeks. With travel and the wedding and then more travel, it’s been hard to put away time for practice and improvement. All of my archery pals are still really supportive, but, since I’m not getting much practice in, I’m not finding as much success as I would like to. And, with the competitive tournament season coming to a close in the near future (like, this weekend), I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to even attempt an actual field course.
Since we got back from our wine-laden honeymoon, I’ve been making a more conscious effort to shoot more regularly. I shot league night Thursday and was so discouraged with my skill (or lack thereof) that I completely stopped scoring my ins. My elevation was generally fine, but my shots were drifting far right and I couldn’t figure out why. After league, I told JD that he needed to mark a 20 yard line in our back yard so I could practice more at home. Being the wonderful husband that he is, he did exactly that on Friday while he hung out with his dad (who was in town for the weekend). Despite the nasty rain on Saturday, I got out in the yard to shoot a few arrows during a rain break.
This afternoon, JD and I drove out to the far side of Raleigh (which is almost as far as the far side of the moon but worth the drive for the wonderful company) to practice at our good friends’ archery range. They’ve just built a house and have installed both an indoor 20-yard range and a long-distance range in the yard. They’re both serious and talented archers. Obviously. 🙂 It was the first time I’ve ever shot more than 20 yards, and, despite being really nervous that I would lose all of my arrows in the woods behind the target, I did okay. JW, LW, and JD all helped me figure out my distances, and I left their house with marks for different distances. It was pretty exciting to shoot at 60 yards and have relative success. And, by “relative success,” I mean I went home with as many arrows as I left with and didn’t kill anyone or anything.
Now the scary thing is this weekend. The state championship archery shoot is in Yadkinville this weekend, and, now that I have marks, I feel like I should shoot the tournament. I’m not eligible to win or even place (not that I would given that I haven’t even broken 270 yet), but the experience would be pretty valuable. JW and LW have been really great in helping me learn the whole field archery thing (and archery in general), and it would be really great to shoot with them. But, I won’t lie. I’m nervous. REALLY nervous. No one expects me to do anything amazing, but I want to do well and not embarrass myself.
See? This is my problem. This is why I find it so hard to try new things. I always want to be the best at everything, and, unless I feel confident that I will be, it’s hard for me to take the risk. Up to this point, archery has just been a fun thing to do while hanging out with people I like. If I participate in a tournament, it adds a whole new level of stress and importance to it all. And I certainly won’t be the best at it. In fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be the worst. And that makes me a little sick to my stomach.
We’ll see what happens. I’ll probably shoot. If not just because of the peer pressure. And you’d think I’d be immune to it given that I’m a teacher. Hmmm …