Opening the door to Mouldy's Archery and Tackle (www.mouldysarchery.com), I tightened my grasp on my camo carrying case containing a small compound bow and a few arrows. I nervously entered the masculine world of hunting and fishing. I hadn't been hunting since I was 16 years old and hadn't shot a compound bow since my sons were in Boy Scouts.
Thank you, Lord, for the generosity and gentle spirit of the friendly saleman. He adjusted the tension on my bow and briefly shared some tips on loading the arrows and shooting. The whole time I am feeling like a duck out of water and wondering, "Am I crazy to plan on using archery as a teaching tool in my upcoming Incredible Life Makeover Workshop?" Yes, I think outside the box... and sometimes outside the lines of common sense. But I plunged ahead into the land of exploration and danger.
Lifting the bow, I awkwardly pulled back the string and looked through the site. With my arm wavering, I attempted to line up the center of the target on the green line (for targets close by). I closed my eyes (not the best idea) as I let the first arrow fly. Down and to the right. I reloaded and hoped the arrow didn't fall off as I brought the bow up again. Second arrow away. Down and to the right. While I wasn't hitting my blue paper target, I was relieved that at least it was hitting the nearby parameter and sticking into the target base.
I paused to get feedback and advice from my patient trainer. He quietly suggested using the center target line instead since the arrows were landing low. We also made some position corrections with my finger release. He explained that it helped to hold the arrow in place if I pushed the end of the arrow against the string until it fully lodged into the arrow's nock. The third arrow hit the outer edge of the circular target. SUCCESS!! Standing a little straighter, I held the bow with more confidence as I became familiar with the tension of the strings and the weight of the bow in my hands. On my final round, four arrows hit the blue paint. My work was done for the day.
After making my purchase, I left the store with a sense of
accomplishment of having pushed past my fear and thankful that
Mouldy's Archery and Tackle (www.mouldysarchery.com) has such great customer service.
God uses everything we do for His purposes. I think life is a lot like a day at the shooting range. As we push into new territory, we conquer our insecurities and are more prepared to aim at our target. If we give ourselves time and grace, we improve with practice and zeroing in on our goal.
Joy blossoms as we learn and form relationships as we link arms with one another to share our time, resources and knowledge. Eventually we might be a "patient trainer" for someone else.
I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading. Pick your target and happy hunting!