It Ain’t for Sissies

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) workshops hosted by Florida FWC. It was a really great experience, and you can read about my thoughts on it here.

But while there I got to live daringly by trying a bunch of new things, or by trying old things more fully. My favorite class was archery. When I was in high school, we got to do a week or two of archery  my freshman year. I remember really enjoying it, but our class moved on to the next sport and I never picked it up as a hobby.

Fast forward through the years, and any time there was an archery game at a carnival or festival I would want to play it. The past few years I’ve “killed” bears, pigs, and deer at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival while shooting the targets with my friends. Nothing like shooting archery in a corset!

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Me shooting at the 2013 Bay Area Renaissance Festival.

At B.O.W. I got to further explore my intermittent infatuations with archery more fully. I also learned that it’s not incredibly expensive to get into, which is a plus!

So in a bit of an impulse buy, I bought a recurve bow kit that comes with pretty much everything you need to get started. I bought some extra arrows too, since I knew I’d probably need them as a beginner. I got them yesterday, and I took them out shooting today since we had off for the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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My bow and quiver. She’s a beauty!

Lake Park in Lutz has an archery range and has the added bonus of only costing the $2 park fee: much cheaper than the indoor ranges in the area. When I arrived an older gentleman was shooting. He was friendly, but he was also handing out unsolicited advice like it was candy. Another man ended up joining us, and he had some unsolicited advice for me too. I know they meant well, but I wished that no one had been there when I arrived. I also wondered how my experience would be different if I were a man…

But it was still damn fun to shoot. The targets were hay bales set 20 yards out, which is far for me. I kept hitting the barns targets were housed in, and I broke four arrows.

I also didn’t use an arm guard. That’s a mistake I won’t make again. That bruise is going to be damn ugly over the course of the next week. But the bruise on my face from shotgun shooting during B.O.W. has finally healed, so at least I have a suitable replacement!

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Yowch! Lesson learned: use an arm guard.

Which brings us to the title of this post: Living daringly ain’t for sissies. When you try new things you have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to get bumped and bruised a bit. Did I hit the bulls-eye every time? I didn’t even hit it once, and I broke four arrows completely! But I did hit the target, and I hit near the target often. Am I going to quit because I wasn’t perfect this time? Nope. I’m going to go and get better.

And maybe next time I’ll have the energy to let those gentlemen know that I really just want to shoot…

So I’m looking forward to my new outdoors-y activity. It’s quiet and peaceful in that park. I’m planning on going Saturday mornings. I’ll shoot for awhile, then go for a run on their trails… Lovely.

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