Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's on your archery bucket list?

Where do you want archery to take you that you haven't been yet?  Alligators in the deep South?  Alaska caribou? Clout distance round?  Unmarked field archery? Or is it a particular person that you want to shoot with?

Where has it already taken you that was unexpected, but turned out to be great?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Friday, February 24, 2012

One Step Back

It sucks when you get to the point of really being frustrated with your hobby, or anything you take seriously. So the next few weeks will be spent fixing some of the stuff that has been brought to my attention and getting back to work. Here we goooo....

Pic from almost a year ago exactly. Note vertical alignment.

Pic from two weeks ago...

Leaning to the inside, bow is all kinds of crooked. Awesome. Definitely answers a few questions.

Need to start taping my shots again. Can't fix anything until you know where to start.  Will see if there is any difference in a few weeks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Losing my shit and finding it again

Miss Ball O'Sass
Competition can bring out the best or the worst in people. Needed a smack upside the head last week. Being a perfectionist is one of my weaknesses and also one of my strengths. I tend to get all caught up in the metrics of performance and the numbers, and lose sight of what is important – the “why are you doing this” part. At work, it usually keeps me from screwing up too much. But I get in my own way sometimes to the point of being really miserable across the board. I was disappointed in how I shot at Vegas, thinking I should have been much higher up and beating myself up for it. I’ve slouched back into some bad habits and they get worse under pressure. "Why is my elbow thinking we are back in compound division?!"  Have been fighting nerves for the past month and that’s not like me either.

I was completely miserable. The Ball O'Sass wazinthehouse. Nothing worked. Everything sucked.

It took my husband to point out the obvious, since I don't spend much time self-analyzing. Being a first-born sibling, I generally put waay too much pressure on myself to getting things perfect, even as a kid. Habits and hard wiring die hard. Usually a good run clears my head and things move on their merry way, but not last week. I'm also impatient as hell, which adds to the fun. Archery is a Love/Hate sport. You love it when things are going swimmingly, and want to throw your bow out the window when it's not.

Perfection is not a goal. Please go up to the board and write 100 times....

What IS important? The journey, the practice, shooting with the people that remind me WHY this is fun in the first place. And I am writing this to remind ME, not you, that this is important. If you need to be reminded, just let me know.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

All Archery...

...and no play is definitely making me feel like a dulll girl.  Past few weeks seem like mostly work and/or archery. Feeling like I need to spend some time in the studio makin' stuff for a bit and getting back to my roots. Things that make just me happy and not worrying about if it's salable or what the "messaging" is. Have a couple of quivers and from scratch arrows that need to be finished. Eventually would be nice to have a site to showcase things that I actually finish.

Like this...
I also want to redo my room and make some better makin' space. A big center table with storage underneath. New color walls. More book storage (as in not on the floor). I have too many books everywhere. Bigger wastebasket. A new chair or taller yoga ball. Taller tables so I am not bending over getting a sore back.

Storage is an issue with two sewing machines, two easels, three tables, bins of leather and every kind of marker, pencil, paint and pen you could ever need. Need a silk stretcher? Got it. There are beads, wool, and yarn making me feel guilty for not using them in something. Curled peacock feathers, check. Wax stamps, check. Horse bits, portfolio bins, antique blood pressure cuff thingy, clear plastic tubing. I never seem to toss anything as I might need it sometime. Or it will give me an idea for something new.

Tomorrow, I'm heading upstairs to spend some quality time. Maybe the entire afternoon. The house can wait another day to be cleaned.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Time for a Thursday Thought

"The question
isn't who is going
to let me; it's who
is going to stop me."

- Ayn Rand

Exactly. Usually that's me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hangover not Included

This was held in the South Point Arena for the World Cup, the
shootoff finals and for practice. My fav ad in the horse stall area.
Well, we survived Vegas. Five days unplugged was refreshing. Didn't watch tv, did watch more elite archers in one building than thought possible. Met pretty much everyone who is anyone in the elevator at one point or another. Saw some... um, let's call it interesting... shooting form. Witnessed some pretty amazing fashion choices like 3" heels on the Championship line. Learned that I shoot like absolute garbage if I have a massage first (Focus? What?!) Hung out with fun people and didn't think about work once.

BTW, Elvis was in the building. And on my elevator (I told you).

The whole experience will be posted in gory detail on March 5 for the BowAmerica issue, so stay tuned...

Happy Valentine's! <3

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cold Weather Practice - Feb Issue BowAmerica

Here is the newest article in BowAmerica!

Don’t let weather control your practice schedule! In Sweden, they say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. You can and should practice in all kinds of weather, as you never know what you might run into during a tournament, or a hunt for that matter. If you compete on outdoor ranges, you should be comfortable with wind and rain, and in some cases some wet snow. If you are prepared, it can be a lot of fun. Most of us don’t need to be out in sub-zero weather, unless you live in Alaska. Find a nice, friendly indoor range with hot coffee for those days. Preferably with some friends who tell good jokes. Or try Hawaii!

Stretch out. Unless you are Chuck Norris, cold muscles get hurt. Your old high-school coach agrees. Bonus, you will feel less old the next day.

Ouch!! That's not supposed to have a bend there.
Be nice to your equipment. Protect your bow limbs from temperature swings. If you have wood laminate limbs, as many of us do, don’t leave them in the freezing car all day and then go practice in a warm room. Give your equipment enough time to adjust before shooting. Older bows seem to have more poundage swings in the cold below freezing. Test yours if it’s been in the family for a while by leaving it in your car overnight and see what it does in the morning. You might need to adjust your sight accordingly to keep from shooting high. Check your arrow flight in the cold. Different shafts types flex differently if below freezing. Experiment ahead of time so you can anticipate and make changes when necessary.

Know how the cold temperature changes your form. Lots of people have trouble when cold coming to full draw, especially when hunting and pulling 60-70 lbs. If you hunch your shoulders because you are chilly, you will lose some of the strength and connection in your back. Also, wear enough warm layers to keep your core limber. When your core is cold, it’s hard to achieve proper alignment. If your metal grip is turning your bow hand into an icicle, you can wind a wrap or two of self-stick bandage around your grip to keep the cold directly off your hand. Your local feed store has it in the equine section in colors to match your bow, including hot pink.

Layer. Layer. Layer. Recurve people work up a sweat while shooting. Lots of info on outdoor wear has already been written. Wear high-tech fabrics and things that breathe. Cotton = wet and cold later on. Wool is great if you can find it in a close cut option. If you are like me and bolt for the outdoor range as soon as the snow melts, you will be shooting in the rain. You won’t melt, I promise. Rain pants and a well-fitting jacket that doesn’t get in the way of your bowstring are key. You might want to try a chest protector over your jacket to keep it from snagging. Some tall stomper rain boots are great for holding down tall wet grass when looking for lost arrows. It’s not a fashion show.

Finger shooters have cold fingers. I’ve tried glommets, but the feel is different, so I don’t use them much unless the temperature is around freezing. Mittens are not an option for me, as my bow needs to swing back on follow through. Make sure your pressure points (release fingers and palm of bow hand) don’t lose feeling. Try your release with your hunting gloves on. You won’t have time to take them off before that buck moves behind the tree.

Play Garage Band. If the weather is wet, you can still shoot if you have a garage or covered deck to shoot out of. I also shoot more arrows each end to limit all the trips back and forth to pull. I’ve even heard of a person that would shoot at distance from his window in the winter to a target outside to get in 70m or 90m practice. Hmmm, I wonder how far it is across the pond…