They say that practice makes perfect but what you don’t hear very often is that practice makes zen. I find that this is true in a lot of things although with a lot of physical exercise the zen comes after the workout. Archery is a little more like yoga, the longer I shoot the more tired my muscles get but it just forces me to dig deeper and settle into the rhythm. It also doesn’t hurt that Ridgway is absolutely gorgeous and, more often than not, practice involves hanging out in view of Mt. Sneffles.
The first few times I went shooting, it was all about simply going through the process of putting on the release, notching an arrow, pulling it back, and looking through the peep sight. My accuracy improved in this period but I really just focused on having fun with it. (Also with not looking angry while aiming. 😉 ) I was happy with how light the Instigator is and I had fun shooting until Sprocket got restless about waiting for me. (PS tends to sit and watche me from the tailgate of the Jeep…)
The last few times I’ve been out, I’ve started to pay more attention to doing things the same each and every time. I’ve gotten stronger and am going to bump up my draw weight before I go out next time. I vary which point on the target I try to hit and my sessions are getting longer.
This comparison might sound a little weird but after playing softball for years, I’m finding archery practice to be a little like doing tee work. It’s all about quieting yourself, focusing on a specific piece of your practice that you want to improve and going through the repetitions to cement the muscle memory. That parallel continues right on down to needing to retrieve the arrows after each round. (Now if only I’d have thought to take my tee and net to such pretty places to practice).
My bow and accessories were provided by Cabela’s to 3Up Adventures for review as part of an ongoing series about learning to bow hunt. All opinions are mine and subject to change as I become more experienced at the sport.