I’ve got my bow and arrow

My arms are tired. So are the fronts of my ankles. So strange, to have the fronts of one’s ankles ache. I suppose runners get this.

I went arching… um, did archery… um. I shot an arrow with a bow and it went vroom through the air. Vroom. Funny word, but it fits, seeing the sliver of wood and brilliantly colored feathers slice fleeting through the air to the target.

Or the haybale the target is attached to.

Or the slope of the hillside behind the haybale, covered in mulch, against which my feathers look like some downed bird.

I wear an arm guard to protect my jutting elbow from hyperextending and therefore being sliced to bruised bits by thwanging bowstring. Finger guards protect the tips of my right index, middle, and ring fingers.

Shoulders straight. Hips straight. Left shoulder back and locked, elbow tucked under, string pulled baaaaaack to my ear, arrow on target. Sproing. Vroom.

There is something about that sound, of the arrow slicing through the air (you’ve heard it, in movies, the thwack thwack sound when nothing is hitting anything but there are arrows flying through the air), sliding more than striking anything. Imagining the metal tip entering any part of flesh is one of the more horrible things I’ve thought about this last week. So I try not to, and when the line master says “The line is closed!” I put my arrow down.

I called “Hold!” today for the first time that I’ve heard it in the, er, nine days I’ve been trying this out (that’s three times so far). I crept out from behind my haybale where I had been trying to coerce out a recalcitrant arrow and saw five bows relaxing from a position which had, for a moment, been trained on me. It was disconcerting.

I have been using a 25-pound York Cadet bow (can’t find a link, sorry!), about 58 or 60 inches long. I tried a 28-pound the other night and found an immediate difficulty in pulling the string, though I’m hoping it will only be a couple of weeks. Today the only bow left that was any kind of potential bow for me was a 15-pound bow. It was like a child’s bow, and I had to make several adjustments for it. It took almost 2 hours and advice from several people to get me to hit the haybale at all. And then, just before leaving, I tried to shoot with another archer’s 45-pound Magyar bow. It felt alive in my hand. I managed to hit the haybale, and even that was luck. Hitting haybales with it made me feel near invincible.

So why this archery business? Well, there’s no time to try something that is better than right now. Right? I had the opportunity. I wanted to see if I still like it. And I do. So far, anyway. I’m not quite ready for any full-scale pirate wars. Yet.

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