Sunday, March 28, 2010

Looieville, Looville, Louisville

It's good to have goals. It's even better when you reach them.

Last fall, I read Lanny Bassham's book, "With Winning in Mind", and wrote down a few things I wanted to fix or do this season. One of those was to have a good time when competing. I tend to get a little wound up and then it stops being fun. Last year I really needed a better attitude and finally decided that no matter what happened, I would consider each time I went out to shoot a success if I had a good time. Well, guess what. I started having fun and my scores got better. Shocker, I know.

Another big, huge scary-type goal was to compete at the NFAA Indoor Nationals this year. And enjoy it. So, took a deep breath, sent in the registration and made the non-refundable flight reservations for Matt and I. Decided if I made it through and shot my average without making any big mistakes, I would consider that a success.

May have mentioned that I am not a morning person. Shooting line the first morning was at 7:30 am and 7:00 am on Sunday. Overthinking is not a problem when the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet and you went to bed late. Learned that nerves don't really kick in when you are not really with the program yet either. Was so quiet and unsociable that Julene Hakl called me "Sunshine".  Amazed that people can be that chatty and awake at that ungodly hour, Julene one of them.  By 9:30 or so I started to come around, but by then we were pretty much finished. No major goofs, only a minor panic attack when I thought I had put two arrows in the same spot.

Later, watching the pros shoot, I chatted with the guy sitting next to me who told me about his buddy who came to shoot that year, too. After the practice rounds, the announcer in this massive room said something to the effect of ," This is the first scoring round of the NFAA Indoor Nationals." The friend walked over to the wall and tried not to puke on his shoes. My palms got sweaty and my heart rate went up for a couple ends, but I managed to avoid the usual shakes and goosebumps that I used to get.

However you say it, the Louisville trip was a total success on all counts.

Added later: If you want to see some great travel photos of the area and some of us in random stages of bourbon abuse, check out Paul's photo gallery.  He and his wife Julie are super fun folks to eat and drink and shoot with. They also race cars in the summer, so have lots of good stories.

If you are interested, here are a couple more books on sports psychology. Both are written about horse showing, but the concepts apply to any sport.
Jane Savoie - "It's Not Just About the Ribbons" and "That Winning Feeling"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Introducing Cricket

My bow's name is Cricket and it was love at first sight.  Cricket is a white Hoyt and my second bow.

It's not terribly common for girls to pick up this sport as an adult, or to pick it up at all. After spending last weekend shooting the line with all ladies, and what great ladies they were, I keep thinking about why more girls aren't either exposed or encouraged to try this. It doesn't take a great amount of upper body strength, but you do need  a bit of patience and a good sense of humor while you get the hang of it.

You don't see too many white bows, but you do see lots of pink, pink camo and pink accessories. Bow companies sell mainly to guys. Lots of manly blue, red, flame orange and lots and lots of camo. They slap a little pink paint on and think that's all they have to do. They are starting to clue in, but being manly men, they aren't completely convinced they want some cute, bubbly chick to bounce in and make it look easy. Especially if they are having an off day.

This is my third year of shooting and the second with Cricket. We (hubby and I) started at our local club in the Friday night couple's league that ends the season with a candlight dinner. Fancy. Somehow after the first season, I just never stopped. Would go out after work in the backyard and shoot arrows until it got too dark to see where they went. Takes your total concentration, makes you relax and when you are in the zone, you aren't really thinking about anything but aiming.

This is mainly the story of my journey with something new and unexpected. More to come.