Stuck at Home

Only a few holes and free

I have to wonder how many tournaments we’ll get to enjoy during 2020.  I see four, thus far, on my calendar that did not happen.  This break from competition gives time for me to figure the best combinations of bows with gear for when tournaments re-start.

Even though I replaced this target it still had a little life remaining. Yes there are holes everywhere including some in the blue. The ranges were from 10 yards to 15 yards. (No these holes come from a bit further out)
Working from 50 meters
Sitting at 65 yard with plenty of room to increase the distance. I expect some limbs will need to be trimmed as I get out to 75 + yards. At 70 yards no limbs to intersect with the arch of an arrow.

Currently, I am working at longer distances. I am also shooting lots of holes in paper.  Here’s a really lucky thing – last year I picked up several used targets after an outdoor event.  These targets were going to be thrown away! I wish I’d grabbed more but felt a little embarrassed digging from the pile of trash on the ground.  I was assured I could take as many used targets as I wanted.  I didn’t want to seem selfish so I grabbed a few.  I took a limited share leaving an abundance for other people – unlike the toilet paper grab that seems for the moment to be universal.

This happens every once and a while (50 meters)

I know this shelter at home is harder for people living in cities.  If you are an archer and live in Chicago or Atlanta I am sorry for you.  Hang in there!

Playing and Learning

The restrictions on travel haven’t been as imposing on activities out here in the sticks.  Certainly, there’s no heading into Athens for dinner.  That’s not a huge sacrifice since we don’t go out for a meal all that often.  We had tickets to a several events that have been canceled or postponed and that’s a shame. But, I can still trail run, practice archery, and go cycling.  The trail running is just out my back door as is my archery range.  Cycling is done on back roads where traffic has been nearly absent.

Aside from the physical play I’ve been completing continuing education (CEU) courses to reinstate my respiratory care practitioner (RCP) license.  While I have licenses in other medical areas those aren’t as pertinent as the RCP.  There are lots of sleep disorders and people that suffer with them but another sleep specialist is low on the priority list of needed help.  The need for medical forensics is even less useful for the moment.

Each day I start with the physical activities.  When those are done I sit down for continuing education brought to me via the Internet.  Country life is nice however there is a limit to the available Internet.  Going through programs takes some patience.  There will be at least one lost connection per session.

For the some of the lectures I’ve been bored, angered, or left considering whether or not the presenter really understood what they were presenting. Today, I was lucky to have found a real gem.  I listened to a respiratory therapist give one of the most relevant lectures I’ve heard in a long time!

Anytime I hear a lecture that gets me thinking I am happy.  This presenter got me thinking and seeing the applications of the subject matter.  In fact, 9 years ago, two years before I retired a friend of mine and I presented a plan to do exactly what she was describing.  We were looking for $3 million dollars to fund our project.  We’d offered to build a system to do what the lecture danced around then sale it back to the larger organization after we got it established for $7 million dollars.

You might wonder way would any company pay out essentially $10 million dollars for this deal?  Because the deal is worth billions and we are experts in the area.  Plus, we had two patents unique to the process. It was looking good until a bigger fish purchased the company we’d approached.

After todays lecture it is apparent that our plan remains viable.  In fact, we’d won a year to test out ideas and the outcomes were positive.  We were in the next phase of funding when the big fish took the smaller company.  By small I mean a $12 billion dollar company acquired by an even bigger company.

Pockets of our initial plan have grown.  One major hospital, where my friend was an administrator, incorporates much of our process today and is extremely successful for their patients.

Sport is fun and a way of life.  Admittedly, sport is second when it comes to the science of health care.  I can’t wait to have this CEU and reinstatement documentation process complete.

 

The Kids Are Home

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in our Georgia schools being closed. We live in an area that has an ample supply of kids.  The surrounding kids continue to increase in number as many of the adults near us are breeders.  There are quite a few farms and ranches in our rural mix and I suppose the adults are planning ahead regarding labor.

Our neighbors aren’t on top of us, but close enough to hear school-free children playing.  Those nearby neighbors and the pile of kids that are grandchildren provide all sorts of insight into parenting.  These whirling dirvishes, the children not the parents (although the applicability is situation dependent in association with the parents), range in age from 4 to 9. Here are a few of the vocalizations from adults trying to ride herd:

Stop it you’re going to get hurt

Stop running in the house

Put that down, it might bite you

Go get that dog

Stop hitting your brother

Leave your sister alone

Get down out of that tree before you fall

Yes, you look like a princess

Stop that or you can go outside and play

That cat is going to scratch the fire out of you

Stop that or get back inside this house

Where’s your brother

Give that back to your sister

Quit poking her in the eye

Get your fingers out of his face

Stop playing in that fire

Yes, that’s a tick – go get me the tweezers

Get that thing out of this house (your guess is as good as mine)

No hitting

No biting

Don’t pick your nose

Don’t wipe boogers on your brother

Did you cut your hair?

Where are your clothes?

Don’t stand in that chair

Take that out of your mouth

Give him back his ball

Put that stick down

Don’t throw that at him anymore

Why are you crying?

No shooting in the face (Nerf gun)

Leave those chickens alone

Don’t pick at your food –eat it

Stop bothering the dog

Granddaddy, Mom is making me do school work

Who said you could do that?

That’s not a toy

What happened to your shirt?

Where are your shoes?

Well, clean that up

Move back from the swing before it hits you (disregarding the warning, a baby tooth lost during the following mishap)

Go wash your hands

Granddaddy, do you want to race?

Lets put a band aid on that

Honey, I think your arm is broken (it was)

And so it goes.

 

The Sun is Out

Like most Americans (Spaniards, Italians, Germans, French, etc.) we’ve been confined to home, the result of Earth’s Covid-19 pandemic.  It isn’t such an ordeal for me as perhaps others.  I can still get outside and play.

Each morning I can run, then practice archery, and then ride a bike, then more archery.  It isn’t too bad even if I can’t get over to Social Circle and practice archery with the folks over there.  There has been one small other inconvenience – rain.

Momentary break in the rain

It has been raining and raining.  I’m glad to have the rain.  We’ve got blueberries trees (more like large bushes), peach trees, pomegranate trees, grape vines, plum trees, a lemon tree, a lime tree, (those last two spend the winter indoors under a growing light) and a fig tree that all appreciate the rain.  But, when you can’t get to the indoor range or gym while it is raining in the middle of a Covid-19 lock down it can be oppressive. It must be really rough it you live in a city.

Running in the rain isn’t too bad.  Currently, I am rotating three pairs of running shoes trying to keep my feet relatively dry.  If it isn’t too bad, the rain that is, I’ll practice archery.  There was a time I’d ride a bike in the rain.  I’m over that.

Yesterday I got to shoot a little between down pours.  Today, the sun is out and I’ve been outside since breakfast.  Between running and archery I got a solid three hours outdoors before taking a break.

Brenda, my wife, isn’t as lucky.  She can go outside and has been doing fun outdoor chores until the rain chased her inside.  Her primary social and physical activity revolves around yoga.  The yoga studio where she teaches is understandably closed during the Covid-19 problem.

Aside from whatever outdoor fun I can muster I have been doing what I can to support respiratory care practitioners.  I am a respiratory therapist, among other things, and had a license in Georgia as a respiratory care practitioners (RCP).  In fact my RCP number is Georgia is 229.  I was one of the earlier therapists licensed here.

So, far I’ve fielded some emails about old gear applications and been asked an epidemiologic question. I’m good at statistics and did spend a quarter working in the virology department at the CDC as a student under Dr. Glenn Caldwell, the former head of that section.  However, my work was on virus, specifically herpes simplex 1 and 2, looked at the link to cancer causation.  Still, someone forwarded me a series of questions of the spread of Covid-19 and I enjoyed playing with the numbers.

But, my primary non-athletic focus has been of getting my respiratory care license in Georgia reinstated.  I felt I could be most helpful at the bedside.

If I had a current license from another State I could get a 90 license for Georgia. I’ve had licenses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.  Those to are inactive. What might you expect?  I never expected I’d be needed to work again as a therapist.

To get reinstated in Georgia, among a pile of documentation, I’ve got to have 30 hours of continuing education units.  So, I pause each day, to find a class I can take to earn the hours.  It is mind numbing.

I thought I’d simply hunker down and knock out the hours.  That’s was until I began knocking out the hours.  Some folks might enjoy online learning and it is okay to me in small doses.

Yesterday, I listened to a lecture that held within it mistakes and significant elements that were over looked.  Of course, I couldn’t respond to the speaker, the lecture wasn’t live and I’m sure he is busy taking care of patients at his hospital. Turns out I know the hospital where he works very well even if I don’t know the physician that presented the lecture.  All I could do was take the exam at the end and download another CEU for my submission in pursuit of my reinstatement.

By the time I complete all the work to re-active my Georgia license I expect the crush of Covid-19 patients will have subsided, at least the current wave.

In the meantime, I plod along with the submission process.  Once it is completed and my license reactivated you can bet I’ll keep it current.  I’ll look for part time work as a therapist to keep my clinical skills share.

Oh, that lecture from yesterday, you might wonder whether I truly know what I’m talking about regarding the errors during the lecture and the missed important notes he overlooked in his presentation.  Turns out I help designed the methods and apparatus he was referring to, have patents on it, and published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals on the subject.

Thankfully, the sun is shining and I can get outside to do things to reduce my frustration.

Respiratory Therapist Trying to Help

One of my under graduate degrees is in respiratory therapy.  I am registered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. I was licensed as a respiratory care practitioner in the State of Georgia as well as Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Prior to retiring I notified the Georgia Composite Medical Board I would not be renewing my license.

Weeks before I retired I was still meeting with patients and their physicians to discuss clinical research, trials, or therapies.  Since I retired I have been published several times in medical periodicals, published a book about health and received three patents specific to medical devices used to monitor cardiopulmonary physiology.  But, I did let my Georgia Respiratory Care Practitioner’s license become inactive.

Before I let my status as a Respiratory Care Practitioner become ‘inactive’ in Georgia I spoke with a representative at the State regarding the decision.  She assured me that should I want to reactivate my license it would be ‘simple.’

When the coronavirus hit I recognized this was going to be a strain on respiratory therapists.  I am not alone among my retired friends who want to help.  This group of Georgian friends willing to help is all over the age 60.  People over 60 have a greater chance of developing more severe symptoms should they get the virus than people under 60 (now that age has dropped to age 50).

We, those of us retired and over 60, can still help without putting ourselves at an unreasonable risk.  The patients typically being admitted to hospitals requiring respiratory support doesn’t go away because there is a new virus to handle.  The workload does increase.  Those therapists willing to come out of retirement during this period when they can supplement today’s work staff can handle the seasonal usual load of people needing respiratory support.  This way, currently employed therapists can focus on the covid-19 patient needs. In fact, there are all sorts of activities where ex-retirees could support the current body of respiratory therapists.

I’ve contacted staff members of the Georgia Composite Medical Board for help.  I’ve asked they approach Governor Kemp and request a waiver of CEUs for six months and allow inactive licenses reinstated for those therapists, previously in good standing, to help.

I was told I needed to complete and submit a stack of forms, supply letters of recommendation from my “medical director” and proof of 30 hours of continuing education.  My suggestions to Governor Kemp seem to been lost, unread or considered then rejected.

I’ve got the reinstatement forms. The forms have been set aside – worthless without 30 hours of continuing education units (CEUs).  I’m working on CEUs.  The medical director form and signature is the Catch-22.  The medical director attests to my skills as a respiratory therapist – someone familiar with my work.  You have to be working in order for a medical director to assess your skills.  You can’t work unless you have the form signed and submitted prior to working.

I considered asking a friend, that was a medical director I’d worked with, to help me out on the medical director form.  However, all my friends who were medical directors have retired.  I’m even a retired Chief Clinical Officer, albeit useless in this endeavor.

By the time I pay for, complete and submit the 30 hours of CEUs this covid-19 problem may have a remedy. Still, I’ll work through the process and reactive my license.  When it comes to a medical director’s support I’ll need to look around to discover one that I’ve worked with here in Georgia. (Fortunately, two are still working.  One weeks away from retirement, the other in private practice and may not be a respiratory care medical director – I’ll need to check.)

When all that is complete there is still the $400.00 required to reinstate my license and a $5.00 fee to verify my National Board for Respiratory Care credential. As it turns out reinstating my Respiratory Care Practitioner license in Georgia is not ‘simple.’

If You Don’t Monitor You Can’t Manage: A Useful Journal

When I retired I’d planned to put all my athletic efforts into the endurance sports I’d enjoyed my entire life.  Those competitions are hard on the body and pocket book.  By chance I was given a bow that new priced at $78.00.  After a week of playing with that toy bow I wanted a better bow and I wanted to get better as an archer.

One of the focal points for me is in sport is data.  Naturally I began collecting data on my practice and performance shooting a bow.  I still collect and review my data.

The data I collect helps me monitor progress, find areas that need work, and suggests how to set goals.  It has further allowed me to create scholastic works based on talent transfer.

All top athletes monitor their work.  The data for professional athletes and the systems used to gather input have become extremely sophisticated. From chips in football shoulder pads to invisible grids on a basketball court we know more about today’s athletes than ever before.

Archery hasn’t yet been overwhelmed with gizmos promising immediate improvement.  Still, you can find plenty of ‘tech’ on which you can spend your cash hoping to gain an edge shooting arrows.

Archery has been around for a much longer time than any hot new gizmos promising improved shooting performance.  People have been shooting bows since around 20,000 BC.  Early bows weren’t used for sport, they were tools for hunting and warfare. (1) Successful archery was an easy measurement – you ate and you lived.

Archery as a sport had its first recreational competition of modern time in 1583 England. (1) It is also known that Mongols held archery competitions during gatherings before the English: 1194 – 1195. (2) Amazing, data from the Mongolian tournament exists today. The Mongolian archers were warriors, whereas in Britain in the 1500s over 3000 archers competed for pleasure.

Keeping your archery data is important should you want to be a competitive archer.  My friend Robbie Surface, also an archery coach, has designed two journals for archers to record their data.  One journal is designed for 3D the other for target archery. He gave me one, a target style, to try.

First, the journal is narrow enough to slip into my quiver.  If it didn’t fit I’d probably have it lost before too long. The journal contains 100 pages for data entry.  There are entry fields to record practice or tournament specifics.

Aside from points per arrow fields there is an area for Mental Game and Shot Execution.  For me, I use a simple numeric recording for both entries.  While my short hand means something to me it will be meaningless to others.  You can create any notation or system that works for you in these two fields. (3)

I’ve been using my journal, thanks to Robbie, since he gave me one to try.  It is a useful tool and easy to understand – surpassing expensive gizmos that remain on a shelf after the novelty dies.

You can view his journals, target and 3D, online where they are available for purchase at:

https://www.archeryjournals.com

If you don’t monitor you can’t manage.

Reference:

(1) https://worldarchery.org/History-Archery

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_bow

(3) https://www.archeryjournals.com

I Wanted to Go Shopping

My scores in archery have too often reflected the fluctuations in the stock market.  President Trump can stop blaming Obama and aim his Tweets at me.

I had a brief spike and my practice was excellent.  The stock market spiked the same day.  My wife pointed out that it was just a “dead cat bouncing.”

A few days later I am about to buy a pile of cruise line stocks.  Seriously, I was thinking bargain prices.  Sure, a lot of folks remain investing their money into toilet paper.  I was also wanted to take a swipe at Proctor and Gamble.  You bet their stock is up. Cruise lines on the other hand are a deal.

The gamble is that the travel company has enough reserve to float this temporary sinking of prices.  I was on a web page looking at financial reports and had picked a prize.  Then, I got vetoed.

‘No, we need to save our money,” was the order.  I pleaded, “In six months our investment could nearly double.”

There have been times when Brenda, my wife, wanted to pour more money into stocks and I held.  Today, she held the purchases.  Life is a balance.  My prior veto worked out well.

What is happening at the moment, investors reeling in good buys, may be another dead cat bounce.  I suspect I’ll wish we taken this bounce for a ride.  In know because my archery practice was good today.

Keeping My Mouth Shut

In archery there is a lot of standing around waiting to shoot.  During those periods folks talk about this that and the other. Some people complain about their current performance, a few brag about past glories, and others compare gear.  At one tournament where I was shooting next to a former world champion his impassioned topic was fishing.  He knew I lived on the Little River near the Albemarle Sound and wanted to hear about what I was catching.  Occasionally the topics of religion and politics flair as do passions brought on by either subject.

Most of the time I try to keep my mouth shut if religion or politics are the subject of debate.  Success is rare.  Too often I’ll chime in with some outlandish statement, disregarding my true personal view, just to see what happens.

The topics of religion and politics aren’t limited to archery ranges.  Recently, nowhere near archery, I was in earshot of a verbal examination about religion and politics.  The venue was a gym.  A group of five iron pumping middle-aged men were in a red-faced conversation when I drifted close enough to hear.

Listening, I gathered the five some lacked real scholarship.  Their dialogue held an abundance of single syllable words peppered with profanity.  Volume rather than logic was employed to settle a point. Those combinations were a warning for me to stay quiet. Temptation was great to toss in an opinion, which hopefully would offend or puzzle the entire group.

Their deliberation had rolled to Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg, two Democratic presidential wannabees (Now down by one).  All five seemed in agreement that neither candidate would be their choice. Hearing their pronouncements regarding forthcoming bread lines I saw an entry point to enflame their passions.

Before I could insert my one liner into the banter this is what I heard, “ If God had wanted America to have a Jewish President, Jesus would have been Jewish!”

I made no additions to the colloquy. I know when I’m beaten.

Sports and Education

Television will display the grandeur of a professional athlete.  Those individuals are famous and rich.  “In 2016, the average annual income for a US household was $57,617 while the average income of a professional athlete in the major leagues was between $2.1-$6.5 million.” (1) Outside the major sports the annual for professional athletes is lower. “As of Feb 22, 2020, the average annual pay for a Professional Athlete in the United States is $46,473 a year.” (2) If you’re an athlete wanting to earn a living wage in archery the odds are low for your success even if you are competing at a high level. The income range for professional archers is: $10,000 – $75,000, for Olympic archers: $36,000 – $97,000. (3)

There is a sales representative I know.  He’s good at his job.  Before he took the sales position his job was as an offensive lineman for the New England Patriots.  The sales position was a nice transition from football.  I know another guy that pitched for a winning team in the MLB World Series.  He too is a salesman, today.  In both cases, their former celebrity has been as asset in their current roles. Plus, both are good with people and smart. There’s a former Olympian who won 5 Gold Medals who today is a physician.  The point is that money in sports can be good so long as it is good. No one lasts forever in athletics.

Last week, at the USA Indoor National Championship I shot on the same bale as college students for both days.  A number of those athletes have college scholarships as archers.  Talking with two I learned one is becoming a mechanical engineer the other a nurse practitioner. The average income for a mechanical engineer is $86,000 per years. (4) The average income for a nurse practitioner is $107,460. (5) For someone that goes the medical route and becomes a Chief Medical Officer the annual mean income is $402, 483. (6) Of course, that prize is similar to making the big leagues in sports. In all three cases the annual income is greater than the recently published average earning for professional athletes – $46,473 per year. (2)

The student archers at the indoor championships are smart.  Staying on their paths will lead them to a comfortable rewarding life so long as they don’t over extend that potential credit. (Pay as you go – you’ll get there.)

Steve Young, QB, JD

Steve Young, the ex-49er quarterback took his team to a 13-3 record, won the NFL MVP and graduated from law school in 1994. (7) He’s never practiced law, but he used that education to propel him in other areas after football.  Just because he was a super athlete he didn’t disregard a backup plan.  He was attending law school while playing professional football.

The point is that while those athletes on television seem to be living a magical life the wealth that comes with it can vanish in an instant. The odds of landing one of those mega-rich positions are extremely low.  Never disregard the earning potential of education.

And, don’t think a college degree is the only financially rewarding path.  An air conditioning technical, with 3 classes from a technical school on average earns $43,640 annually.  (8) The upper 10% of these technicians earns over $68,000. (8) That is an excellent return on investment (the investment being the cost for the classes.) Certainly a wiser investment than attending college and earning a degree in Greek Mythology or thinking you’ll become an athlete earning millions shooting arrows into paper.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MD
Football and medicine – a winning combination

Enjoy your sport.  When you are doing it compartmentalize your brain and bring all your focus on that sport.  When you’re done, say you put down your bow, focus on the next skill.  That next focus might be on classes or being the best at your day job. You could end up using both – being excellent as an athlete and having educational training that will provide a decent living.  Like Kanas City Chief’s offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif who is a physician. (9).

Wilde was a UPS worker and archer for 16 years.

Even Reo Wilde held a day job outside of archery before using his archery success to allow him full time employment in archery. (10)

 

References:

 

Just Because I Know Doesn’t Mine I’ll Get it Right

Weeks ago my arrows began landing all over the target.  During the State 18-meter indoor championship I shot my lowest score ‘ever’ when scoring the inner 10 ring.  In the USA Archery Indoor National Championship I earned my lowest score ever at that level of competition.

It all began at the State 25-meter championship.  Throughout the tournament my groups expanded.  From there it has been all downhill.  Sort of reminds me of the recent drop in a coronavirus stock market retreat.  Like the money that is sliding away from my retirement reserves – easy come easy go.

Unlike financial matters where all my eggs aren’t in one basket, in an archery tournament there aren’t any cushions.  With a missed shot in archery there’s no coming back – those points are gone forever.

In an archery tournament, for example a 3-spot with a maximum score of 600 for a day, everyone starts out with 600 points.  Each miss and points are lost.  If an investor has 600 bucks in the stock market and it drops 3% that 600 bucks becomes 582 bucks.  That investor might be able to wait a while and that 3% drop could become a 5% gain or up to 611 bucks.  No such luck in archery.

Or you could consider everyone begins an archery tournament with zero points (which is how it is done) and the better capitalists on the line end up with more points.  Those points are earned with a cool head and wise shot placement investments.   In any of the scenarios my maximal yields have been hurting.

On the second day of the USA Indoor Nationals my score plummeted into the abyss and a crappy performance reigned supreme.  Then, I felt a little something and thought “Oh?”  It wasn’t quite  clear what I felt hence the “Oh?’.  Not pain, good Lord at 65 I don’t want an old geezer orthopedic collapse.  The “Oh” was a general familiarization of malformed form.  I couldn’t see it or identify the problem.  But it was there.

I’d like to report that there was divine intervention and from the ‘Oh’ moment forward I landed all tens.  Alas, that is a report I can’t honestly deliver.

The other day at practice “Big John” one of the coaches at Ace declared as I dropped another shot that it was, “A lazy old man shot.”  Then Steve, another coach at ACE, a day or so later, pointed out the same error.  Being a slow learner it has taken weeks to discover what that ‘Oh’ meant.  Big John and Steve both recognized the error immediately. Now I know.  I knew before.  I did it anyway. Heck, if I’d been coaching me and not being me shooting I’d have seen it as well. What was happening in my head was not translating to my body.

I didn’t make the error as often while practicing today at Ace in Social Circle. Today the arrows landed mostly in the center of the target.  I made a effort to listen and do what both coaches had offered. The practice ended up producing my 4th highest X count on a 5-spot.  It felt good.  Now, I just need to remember to do what the coaches have coached.  Much easier said than done.