A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

Adding a String to My Bow

I have been presented with a certificate! It’s been a long time since I received one of those. Ok, it was awarded to everyone who completed the beginner’s archery course course that I’ve been attending for the last month (see here) but, still, it was an achievement to go and try something completely new and out of my comfort zone. Since being gently coaxed to try out a tandem, there’s been no stopping me!IMG_0927 - Copy

It’s been fun, learning to shoot. It’s been important to be able to laugh – some of my arrows really went haywire! It really was like starting afresh in the second week. In the first week we shot “bare bow”, without any sights or finger guards. In the second, these were added. It felt like you were wearing thick gloves, and remembering to use the sight was strangely difficult! Watching one of my arrows hit the target belonging to the group next to us, and my next arrow sail over the target altogether, helped concentrate the mind! We agreed that it was like learning to drive – so many things to remember all at once, then they all click into place (I’m still working on the latter part!)

Unfortunately, I missed the third week (as I was on the Bakewell tart hunt), so for the final week, again, it felt like starting afresh. There was also an added, rather unwelcome (!), challenge, in that we were in competition with each other all morning. I think we’ll draw a veil over my score!

the longbow

the longbow

We were also treated to a demonstration of the long bow (thank you, Ian!) It was a deceptively simple bow, with none of the additions of the recurve bow that we were using. Nevertheless, it packed a punch as the arrow thunked into the target – a wooden arrow, with goose feather flethchings. The bow was light to hold, and the wood, which was a mix of hickory and yew, felt satisfyingly smooth. It was much closer to the image of Agincourt or Robin Hood than the modern bows, and a few of us were rather coveting it!

I have decided to become a member of the club so that I can try and improve. More importantly, though, it’s sociable and it also gives me something else to try when we can’t get out together on the tandem (I’m constantly nervous of a recurrence of Pete’s Knee!)


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