My long time love affair with all things fantasy and historical has resulted in me having a strange fascination with archery. From Robin Hood to the elves in Lord of the Rings to battles fought in ancient times, archery has become romanticized in my mind. It was natural, then, for it to play a significant role in my own writing. Armed with the excuse that it was research for my novel I began to learn everything I could about archery. I researched the different types of bows, the parts of arrows, which peoples in history utilized each kind, how far each bow could shoot, the proper technique for shooting – I learned it all. And my fingers began to itch for my very own bow.
Somehow I was blessed with an amazing husband who pays attention to the strange things that his nerdy wife wants and, even more impressive, encourages the pursuit of those strange desires. So what does he do? He gets me my very own recurve bow for Christmas!
After I opened it he told me that all of our friends thought he was crazy when he told them what he had gotten me. No one believed that I really wanted it – they thought it was really a gift he wanted for himself. It hasn’t taken long for everyone to realize how wrong their assumptions were. Of course, when everyone finds out why I wanted a bow they laugh and look at me as though I have grown a second head. I guess people still don’t realize what a true and utter nerd I am.
I have now been out a few times to shoot and I love it even more than I could have imagined. My husband set up a shooting range for us (he has since gotten a compound bow) in a fenced off wooded area on his parent’s property. It’s incredible. I feel like I am in Sherwood forest or Lothlorien when I am out there.
I haven’t gotten to shoot nearly as often as I would like, but enough that I have learned the importance of proper technique, such as keeping the arm holding the bow slightly bent.
After about an hour of shooting I was already getting a blister on one of my fingers and had popped myself on the arm with the bow string, so we went to buy me some protection. I got a nice arm guard and a special glove that would protect the three fingers I use to shoot. With my new protection I was ready to go. Apparently I was also tired. I started locking my arm with the result of popping myself on the inner edge of my elbow – an area not protected – four times. It hurt. Badly.
The next time I went out I made sure to always keep my arm slightly bent and I made it through nearly two hours of shooting without once popping myself. Yay me! And, even better, I was already improving. I still can’t hit the specific spot I’m aiming for, but at least I am starting to hit the target nearly every time – even if it is only from ten yards. Hey, I’ll take it. I gotta start somewhere, right?
Needless to say, I have a new
obsession hobby. I can not wait until the next time I can get out there and pretend that I am Maid Marian or Arwen. Now all I need is a sword and shield.
Have you ever tried archery? Do you have any strange things that you are interested in (or normal things for strange reasons)? Let me know in the comments.
There was a bee. I swear!
I’m getting better