If you personally know me, the self-proclaimed love advocate and lover of all living things, you probably would’ve never thought to see a weapon in these hands of mine, so seeing me at an archery range would be an unusual sight. But I have been so unfocused lately, and that’s a bad thing for someone with entrepreneurial endeavors, that I felt the need to take up something that would help get it back on track.
That’s when I decided to try archery. It has long been on my bucket list, more so after finding out that it requires a lot of concentration to do. And you just never know when you’ll need to use a weapon to survive (hunting for food, defending yourself, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!!), and a bow and arrow is my weapon of choice. But before investing money on equipment and other archery essentials, I wanted to first see if it was a sport for me, and reached out to Flying Arrow Sports in East Greenbush, NY, for a quick semi-private tutorial. My friend and fellow adventurer Stephanie came along for the experience.
Walking into the shop, you can’t help but feel intimidated by all the hunting gear displayed throughout the store. But the guys manning the shop, Paul, Jeff and Nick, were quick to make us feel at home. They showed us the different types of bows that we could use–longbow, recurve or compound–as well as the accessories that can come with it for the ultimate archery experience. We opted for the recurve bow (because it’s what Link uses in all the Zelda games I’ve played–yes, I know, I’m a nerd..), and walked into the shooting range, bows in hand, feeling like (videogame) heroines.
But don’t think archery is a game, and a bow and arrow are toys. This is a real weapon that can injure and kill, so learning its safe handling is VERY important. That’s how our lesson began and was stressed from beginning to end. Then we took a couple of rounds of shots while our instructors provided feedback at each release of the bowstring, teaching us proper shooting techniques, helping adjust our stance and form, and getting in our heads to rid of all distractions of life so that we can become one with our bow in order to hit the bullseye.
I’ve never been able to completely shut out the noise in my head before–not even during yoga or while meditating–but in archery, I was present, I was in the moment, I was focused. And I got pretty close to the target.
Other benefits of archery include building upper body and core strength, improving visual-motor coordination skills, exercise (for those out-and-about hunting), helping you gain confidence in yourself, and relieving stress. After just an hour of shooting at the range, my upper body and core were sore, I realized I needed to work on coordination, but was confident that with practice I could improve (thanks to our instructors), and left the shop at my most relaxed state.
Safe to say that archery did its magic on me, and I’ve just discovered a new sport to take up and become really good at. Maybe even join a league? Only time and practice will tell, and you’ll witness it all unfold here on Girlnetic.com.
Try it out for yourself and book a lesson of the basics ($25 for 30 minutes) with our friends over at the Flying Arrow Sports East Greenbush location, although they also have shops in Carmel and Wappingers Falls, if those are closer to you. For more information about lessons, archery (and other hunting) merchandise they carry, or to book a spot at the target range, check out www.FlyingArrowSports.com.