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!)


1 comment:

PinkFletchings said...

I started shooting traditionally, shooting a recurve like a longbow, funny enough. But it's not really about the bow, as Lance Armstrong said about the bike. I've also recently made the switch to B.E.S.T and I love it. Ironically I had spent a weekend with Sandy McCain, learning to shoot traditional better when she recommended that if I had any Olympic aspirations whatsoever that I begin RIGHT NOW so that I won't have too many habits to correct. And that's the long and short of it. I find that being a woman in archery has definitely picked up exponentially but it still has its perils inherent in entering a field still dominated by men and their peach blossom egos. I'd like to dedicate a whole blog post of my own to that but there would be a witch hunt with my name on it if I did.