Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Great Recurve Experiment

Well, it's officially been a month since I started this recurve experiment. And I have to report that I am totally hooked on this. Sorry Cricket. I do miss you. Trying to shoot every day and ink down a new sequence in my brain. Learned enough to know that I don't know enough yet. My right elbow and shoulder continue to be stuck in their old ways, but when I remember to drop them, the shot goes in the middle (or at least closer to). I have two groups on the bag, the shoulder-down group, and the shoulder-up group. My overall group has dropped about a foot and a half in the past week which is comforting. At least I'm getting somewhere now. Learning to hear the difference between an ok release and a not-so-great one (it's louder).

My bow arm is beat to crap with lovely purpleness where my guard doesn't cover. Helllooo elbow, move it or lose it. Literally. My shoulders and back are constantly stiff, but starting to work like they are supposed to. But I finally have my very own tab which needs to be ground down a bit at the top and broken in around the string. Feeling all very official and very 10 years old about it.

Will be less enthusiastic when I start shooting spots again and everything is not in the middle where it used to be. But, for now it's pretty fun.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Be here. Now.

I owe ya'll a post by now, been a bit busy with life, etc...
Was having a chill session on the deck earlier enjoying the view, the birds, the breeze  - as in not canned air - and remembered a tagline from an swanky Arizona spa  - "Be here. Now." Dealing with the crisis du jour, it is so easy to forget and stop for five minutes to look around.

Having to "be here, now" is one of the appealing things about archery. It sucks you in and before you know it, an hour has gone by, your fingers hurt, your back and shoulder are tired and it's getting dark out. Maybe you have hit that zone where each shot feels so effortless, and you just don't want to stop.

One of the guys at work likes to ask, "Lovin' life?" He's moving on shortly to bigger and better things and I'll miss the reality checks. So the laundry and the work I brought home can wait for a bit while I finish this and wait for Matt to get home so we can fling some arrows before it starts to rain. ( just as I typed this, it started to pour, no kidding)

Will post soon on the new system, as it's only been a few weeks in. The real test will be when I get to pick up my own bow again and see what happens.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

...and now for something completely different

I finally got to do something I've been thinking about since the Beijing Olympics two years ago. It's part of what started me down this path. Driving home afterward I was thinking it could be one of those important moments that change where you are heading, but you don't realize it until later. Neat stuff, but anyway...

Since I've met all my main goals for this season and had a nice break from the action, it was time to do some experimentation with new equipment (see the last post), new schools of thought and do some homework. About a month ago, I called our local JOAD program folks to see if I could do an intro to recurve with them. After arriving and being greeted by the free-range hen club (Rhode Island Reds, I think), and the smallest dog I have ever seen, I was introduced to my coach, fresh off the plane from training camp and full of enthusiasm.  After sizing up my abilities (yes, it was intimidating) and pointing out a few things like I shoot far to the left when my eyes are closed (compensating for something), he basically started over from the beginning from the toes up. No bow. No arrows. Just a mirror, a stretchy band and a cool biomechanical system (BEST). If you went to learn ride in Germany, they would take away your reins and stirrups and put you on a lunge horse for a few months. That's the way I felt last night. Baby green beginner. Wowser.

Was sent home with a cool, blue practice bow, some great resource material and a full brain that keeps running the start sequence over and over during meetings when I should be paying better attention.

Not dismissing what I've been doing until now, or the great folks that got me to this point, but there is definately more to this than meets the eye and for sure this is one of those "the journey is the main thing" things. Even if I stick with the compound direction, this system - a well documented Korean system - will fix the holes, even out the rough spots and give me a better foundation and hopefully lots of 300's next season.

If any of you reading this has tried more than one style of shooting - I would love to know where you started and what you ended up doing. And why. The post a comment section has been reset to allow anyone to post without the annoying members only stuff.

(photo of Holly Stover, Junior Olympic "Dream Team" - This girl's groups are the size of a quarter. With a recurve!)