365 Days Shooting An Olympic Recurve

Over the past 365 days I’ve shot an Olympic recurve bow and not touched a compound bow.  During that time I took 98 days off as recover breaks.  I practiced or competed 267 days.  The total number of arrows shot: 34,771.

Over the recurve course I’ve broken one riser, replaced three strings, and worn out the leather on my tab four times.  I’ve upgraded my sight three times and increased the limb poundage four times.  Three arrows rests broke and I’m on my fourth.  The original plunger broke when the riser snapped in half.  I added a clicker to the bow’s riser after 8 months of shooting without one. Eleven arrows have died a Robin Hood death,

Arrows have been changed a lot.  I’m on the third spine increase.  I have bought very inexpensive arrows all less than $100.00 per dozen for complete arrows.  My current arrows, the most expensive so far, cost $6.90 each.

The price to play, excluding tournaments, is less than $2200.00.  The big-ticket items are the latest new sight, $364.00 and PSE riser at $812.00.  The limbs are inexpensive ranging from $99.00 to my current set at $149.00.  The initial complete set-up priced out at $460.00 and that included a tab, bow stand, stringer and arm guard.

When I started I used bow stand every time I shot.  Now, I skip at step. I also took the string off my bow even between practices and a night.  That was twice a day string the bow. Now, the string is more permanent as it rarely is removed.

Overall I’ve improved.  I believe once I get proper arrows my groups will tighten.  The arrows I have now aren’t right.

I’d purchased my current arrows with a 120 grain tip to compensate for the spine having been cut to more accuracy reflect my draw length on my last upgrade – the $6.90 arrows. The specifics for the build of the arrows were completed using a computer program. Once complete arrows seemed still to be a little stiff.  When I fall below 18 arrows, I buy another 6 arrows.

When I bought the last six I learned my confirmed 120-grain pile was 100 grain.  Replacing six yesterday I discovered the tips are in fact 90 grain.  Each purchased the sales tech confirmed what I bought.  For example, when I had the 120 grain pile applied the sales tech confirmed the tips were 120. When I made the next purchase of the $6.90 arrows I learned the tips were 100 grain and there was confirmation the tips were now 100 grain.  Then, I learned the 100-grain tips are in fact 90 grain.

I’d noticed some discoloration on my riser suggestive of the vanes touching repeatedly touch the riser when an arrow is launched.  Discovering the pile was 30 grains away from what I initially wanted I didn’t purchase any more arrows from that shop.

At home I dashed some talc powder on the riser and shot the arrows.  Indeed, the arrows are not clearing the riser. I’ll try a weaker spring in my plunger and see if that corrects the issue. All in all I’ve shot pretty well even with the arrows hitting the riser on their way down range.  It is a fixable problem.  One, which could have been avoided with some honesty or knowledge.

A year into recurve shooting I can see I’ve just scratched the surface of this style of shooting.  I’ve also discovered way my scores dropped when I’d have expected to see improvement.

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

For the fourth time in this year of outdoor competition it rained.  Along with the most recent rain there was lightening.  This meant a lot of long delays during the 2021 Georgia State Outdoor Championship held in Statesboro, Georgia on the campus of Georgia Southern University.

Yep, there was plenty of lightening to go around

The crowd was the smallest of any State level tournament where I shot thus far.  There was conflict with the ASA Classic over the same weekend.  That pulled a lot of primarily 3D archers away from the target event. A bunch of compound bow archers were in Alabama.

There is also the distance that may have given some archers pause.  The senior recurve archers had to hit a target at 90 meters.  This is the reason I shot Masters.  I don’t have a 90-meter range to practice the nearly 100 yard shot.

There was, however, an abundance of kids.  There should someone to help these younger archers scoring.  Lord, it took way too long for those kids to add.  Along with the lightening the scoring delays turned the day into a marathon. Actually, it was longer than a marathon by hours – and only 72 arrows! It took longer to shoot the 72 arrows than it used to take me to do a 70.3 Ironman.  And that is excluding the wait for awards.  Add that time and we’re getting into 140.6 Ironman times. I couldn’t have finished a full Ironman in the same amount of time required to complete the Georgia Outdoor Championship.  A few triathletes could have come close.  Definitely, I’d have finished a ½ Ironman and been packed and on my way home before the completion of this archery tournament.

The rain was a delaying factor. The kids however really need to be managed.  In my scoring group there was one cadet, not exactly a kid.  This cadet was totally lost when it came to addition.  I’ve made a mistake scoring, all of us have, but this math challenged cadet was simply lost.  With help he was able to record the scores.  I know the younger kids were taking a whole lot longer to score and no one was there to help.

If finally stopped raining (Glad to have brought another set of clothes.)

Aside from those complaints there was nothing amiss with program. Once again, Georgia Southern University did a fine job.




Day 365 of Recurve Bow Shooting

August 16th of 2021 marked the 365th of shooting an Olympic recurve bow for me.  That doesn’t mean I’ve shot an Olympic recurve bow 365 days. It means I started practicing with an Olympic recurve bow 365 days ago.  During those 365 days on 98 of those days I didn’t shoot.  Those days were allotted for rest and recovery. The actual number of days where I did shoot an Olympic recurve bow amounted to 267 days.

Next up is a complete review of the data collected during this Olympic recurve experiment.  Oh, and more practice.

Broken Down at a North Georgia Baptist Church

We took a short vacation.  On the evening of the first day, Thursday, our 2006 Ford F-150 died. We were stuck. Fortunately, the engine died just at the parking lot where I was able to coast in at Baptist Church or so we thought.

Throughout the Christian Bible there are teaching where Christians are encouraged to help others.  Sitting without travel power in the parking lot of a Baptist Church I initial thought was “we’ll be okay until I can get help.”

It was a huge church.  It was the tallest building in town. It has a magnificent parking lot.

Unable to find help via either of my two roadside assistance subscriptions I walked over to the police station.  The police department had closed at 4:30 PM.  I called and left a message explaining my problem.

I also called the Baptist Church and left a message.  It was a simple message, “Please don’t tow my truck.  I will have it removed as soon as possible.”  It was the same message I’d left with the police. Both messages contained my phone number.

See, in the parking lot of the church I was warned should I leave my truck where it sat it would be towed away.   What I needed was a wrecker service and a destination for a repair.

I then went online and sent the church a message.  I went to their prayer line and wrote I was praying the good Baptists wouldn’t have my truck hauled away.

My wife is a Baptist.  I’m more of a Methodist.  When I was a child we moved away from our family Methodist Church. Mama had us try the closest new Methodist Church and it didn’t take.  Mama switched us to Baptist.  My loyalty remained Methodist even though I religiously attended the Baptist Church.  In fact, I met Brenda on a Baptist Church retreat.  I was 14 and she was 15. The decades together haven’t narrowed the distance of our two affiliations.

We’d once consider a compromise and thought we might find the Episcopal Church a happy medium.  It didn’t take hold.

During the frantic protection of my F-150 we tried to rent a car, no dice.  Tried to find a taxi, Uber or Lift – no luck.  We were stuck.

Lucky for us there was a group of boys milling about nearby.  Once they heard our dilemma they helped by driving us to the property we’d rented for vacation. Before I left the truck I put out orange cones, wrote notes explaining the situation and placed them on the truck windscreen, driver’s door and added one to what looked like a popular side entrance of the church. The door preachers and church staff most likely used when not opening the main front doors.

When the boys took us to the property we’d rented I checked to see if the good folks at the First Baptist Church had answered my prayer line request or email.  No response.

The next morning no response from the Baptists.  I hoped they hadn’t towed my truck.  I sent another message to inform the Christians I was working on a solution.

Finally, I got a response letting me know they’d gotten my prior email and prayer request.  I wished they’d have let me know sooner.  The response someone (no name was signed to the reply) said they’d give me a little longer to get the truck out of the massive lot. The note was short and sounded serious in the matter of truck removal.

There isn’t anyway the First Baptists could have known of my Methodist alliance – could they?  Perhaps, I should have asked my Baptist wife to initiate the attempts to contact her fellow Baptists.

From the rental property I found a Ford dealership 22 miles away and a wrecker service.  The owner of the wrecker service was unfamiliar with the address where we were staying and suggested I walk back to the truck – 4.7 miles away.  He said he’d look for me on the road and pick me up if he saw me. I started running.

A little over 2.5 miles into my run I saw a wrecker heading in my direction.  I waved it down and indeed it was the wrecker service I’d called. The owner operator of the wrecker is 82 years old!  Not only does he operate the wrecker service he is a paramedic. Our backgrounds in emergency medicine gave us a lot to talk about during the operation to recover the vehicle.

The entire drive the 82 year old talked to me or was on his phone.  The drove at two speeds – full throttle or stop.  His seat belt was never applied.  You can believe my seat belt was fastened.

Approaching the behemoth church I saw dozens of people doing church activities. It was Friday however it was busy.  Where my truck was parked the massive lot held just one other car.  Naturally, it was parked directly in front of my truck a few yards away from the front orange cone,  at an angle to ensure removal of my vehicle would be more difficult.

The older fellow and I managed to position the wrecker and my truck so we could remove it.  During those wrangling a church member drove her car perpendicular to the intersection of my truck and the wrecker then paused providing us an angry look.  After a few minute he drove to hir left and departed.  There wasn’t even one car on that side of the open lot. (Aside from my truck, the wrecker and the one other care parked in front of my truck and to the right of the angry Baptist.  The crowd of other Baptist were using another parking section altogether. But, this driver appeared pissed off I was there and seemed to want me to know it.)

There is no shortage of verses in the old and new testaments on the subject of helping others.  I wasn’t asking for physical help by contacting the Baptists.  I only wanted an acknowledgement of my predicament and some statement of leniency. When, after eight attempts, I received the short and serious reply implying that my truck needed to be hauled away soon or they would manage it for me I thought about a better response.  One that a Christian might have sent without obligation to provide physical assistance.

When I was off the property of the First Baptist Church I felt relief no member of the church had done more than offer an angry prolong stare.

Sadly, the F-150 repair estimate is $8000.00.  The price for a new engine.  The old engine provided 238,000 miles.  There won’t be a new engine.  There will be a new vehicle, soon. I considered asking the good folks at First Baptist to pray that I make a good decision on the choice of my next vehicle, then thought better of it.

New Target, More Poundage, and a Bonus of Heat

Putting up a new target is nice.  There aren’t holes everywhere.  It is clean.  Clean targets are nice.  Shooting a clean target with new limbs that are 2 pounds heavier takes a little bit of the fun away.  New limbs, even a 2-pound difference can be tough. Especially when the temperatures are peaking.

Beginning with an Olympic recurve I chose 32 pounds as the initial limb weight.  Moving up, as I got comfortable with the prior weight, I increased at 4-pound intervals.  Thirty-six pounds wasn’t a stretch.  At 40 pounds I felt the increase more so than moving from 32 to 36 pounds.

New 122 cm target for those long shots

At 40 I thought I might stop adding weight. Then, 40 began to feel too light.  Rather than make another 4 pound jump I moved to 42 pounds.  Today is the 4th day of practice at 42 lbs.

It started well.  I didn’t overload my work.  I started with a low arrow count, just 320 arrows over three days.  Today’s count isn’t included since I’ve held off shooting for a bit having done a longer than usual training ride on my bike.  I’ll get to the range soon.

Putting holes in a new target face

Next week is a long break.  A long break means four days off.  Honestly, I know I need the rest but it is hard not to practice.  Practice lately has been hot.  I’d rather train in the heat than the cold.  But, when it is approaching 100° F the heat takes it out of you (and me).

A new target and new limbs are fun.  I think I’m going to like 42-pounds. The heat near 100° leads to a good nights sleep.