It's been awhile since high school. Quite awhile. As in, my 20 year reunion is this summer. And, high school was the last time I picked up a bow & arrow. Back then, I thought I did pretty OK.
From time to time over the last few years I've thought again about archery, but it's not really the kind of thing I wanted to put a bunch of money into to buy all the equipment and then find out I really didn't love doing it. So, I was thrilled this past spring to see that Dakota County parks had a beginnig archery class for women scheduled for this summer.
It was a one night class that took place last night at the Archery Trail at Spring Lake Park Reserve. Best of all, the cost was only $12, which included the use of the equipment and the instruction. Considering a movie ticket costs almost that much these days, I think it's a great deal, a great way to try something new, and a great way to meet people in the community and learn more about our parks resources.
The instruction was detailed and safety oriented. They did a test with us to determine our dominant eye. Turns out I am left eye dominant (though I am right-handed). Which means, I should be using a left handed bow (holding bow with right hand, pulling with left). This was the opposite of what I'd done in high school, when we pretty much just picked up the bows and tried to shoot the arrows. It felt very foreign but I was commited to doing it the "right" way!
My elbow hyper-extends naturally, so holding the bow properly was challenging, and I kept hitting the inside of my forearm when I released. I've got one huge bruise now! I did have some good shots, but you won't be calling me William Tell anytime soon!
After a while we left our practice range (shooting from 12 yars) and went out on the archery trail. I hit the buck target from 50 yards!! That was my highlight.
I'm not sure if I'm ready to invest in the equipment...but I will definitely take the class again next summer if it is offered.
Park programs offer a great and inexpensive way to try new things and take advantage of one of the great things about Minnesota- our parks and the beauty of nature. With only a $12 and 2 hour investment, I was able to try something new and meet new people. It's a bargain any way you look at it!
Until next time...