This short story is about the best $40 I have ever spent (I think).
In April, I was doing some gym research and came across a blurb about an upcoming 8 lesson archery class at the Chikusa Sports Center. I was immediately intrigued and intimidated. The participants were to be picked by lottery, and everything was (of course) in Japanese.
Well, I trundled over to the gym to figure out how to enter and managed to enter the lottery. 2 weeks later, I called the gym and found out I was in! That was a Cloud 9 afternoon!
Finally, the first class arrived. I was pretty nervous that I would misunderstand something important. I was pretty bad that first day. My first shot went in someone else's target. I was pretty sure that I wasn't built for archery and would just have to muddle my way through. But it was really fun and I loved it!
Now it's time for all the pictures because they are too hard to move around the blog. Argh.
Here's me after the first class practicing my archery 1000 yard stare
And my first injury
Here's my silly bucket hat that has been an important part of my shooting career and a large contributor to my general dorkiness #howisshesingle
My first sneaky class selfie - missed most of the bow
My humdinger of an elbow bruise. It looked worse in person, and it seriously impressed my students.
A slightly better sneaky bow selfie!
After class, glowing from happiness and too much sunshine and humidity. Also notice how my hair expanded from the morning!
Well, second lesson came and I slowly got a little better. And third...and fourth. It was amazing to see myself actually improve!
Last week we played archery bingo in teams of three. It was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Shooting with a team is scary because you might let your team down if you do something weird. But...my team came in first!
So, today came and I really wasn't looking forward to it. Yep, last class. And today was hot! It's hard to hold a bow with a sweaty hand!
First warmup round...I put 2 arrows into someone else's target! At least I was aiming at it this time! And one was in the yellow zone! Maybe I need glasses. Bahahaha. It made me nostalgic for day 1, anyway.
We shot for a while and I got a helpful tip from one of the instructors that seriously messed up my shooting. Haha! When I started archery, I thought that wherever you aimed your arrow was the place it would go. Er, nope. Feet, hips, elbows, chin, fingers, and thumbs all matter (to name a few)! Annnnnnnnd...shoulders. Apparently, I've been lifting my shoulder, which makes my arrow go down. When I learned about dropping my shoulder, my arrows went up! So I had to start readjusting life.
We broke into pairs to do some shooting with scoring. My partner was Green Guy, one of the members of last week's Bingo team. We shot 6 rounds - I had some good ones, and one wild one when I adjusted one little thing. Every little thing makes a difference in archery!!!
Green Guy and I did pretty well, I think! We stayed within a few points of each other each round. He finally won by 3 points. But I was thrilled with my score. We took down the targets and the instructors gave them to us. But I got one that wasn't ours. Oh, well.
The instructors collected our scorecards and announced the results. I came in 4th! I was super proud because I came behind two really good guys who have their own equipment and Green Guy. It was a great 4th to get. And first place among the girls! That made me really happy, because I beat my nemesis by 2 people. She's someone who is pretty good, but reeeeeeaaallllly slow. We all have to wait for her at the end of every round.
When I left class today, I was pretty much glowing, and it wasn't just from heatstroke. And even though today was the last class, it's not quite the end of my archery career. Next week, a bunch of us have entered a beginners' archery "festival" (I think they are trying not to scare us off). We prepped all of our gear at the end of class, and I'm really looking forward to it!
And who knows, maybe I'll buy my own bow someday when I save up the pennies (or yennies).
After class, I went for a shop but the target was too big to fit anywhere else...