At a recent archery tournament a fellow archer asked, “Are you having fun?” Well, I was enjoying myself – but fun?
First off the temperature was approaching a record high. Secondly, the bathrooms had malfunctioned. And third, there was the pressure of the tournament.
Temperature-wise it wasn’t the hottest tournament where I’d shot. That misery belongs to an outdoor event in North Carolina where the temperature did break the state record for heat. Now, the heat isn’t something that too often makes me suffer. Still, it wasn’t a fun time to play outside.
You’d think that in the blazing heat the need to have a bio-break diminishes and it does, but I drink a lot in order to stay hydrated. So, having somewhere to seek relief is a nice benefit. That bathroom failure was less fun.
The pressure to shoot well is a hard problem. All an archer can do is shoot the best possible, remain as relaxed as possible, and not worry about anyone else. Some archers claim they only want to have fun, on the other hand some archer show up aiming to win. The added intensity of a tournament isn’t fun especially when you’re behind.
My wife and I went to a party last night. It was, without doubt, fun. The recent archery tournament doesn’t really fall into that category of fun. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the tournament. It was a bonus to have won.
Like many people, I’m not alone, I am wired to compete. If I wasn’t competing in archery it would be cycling, triathlon, duathlon, or running. There was a time when competing meant achieving academic goals. That was later moved to research goals and publication goals.
There are situations where competing is not appropriate. There’s no need to compete in friendship and marriage is certainly not a competition. Sport is, by it’s design, competition.
I admit the tournament was fun. Otherwise, I’d not compete in archery. Perhaps, it is the way I’m wired and you’re wired if you are a competitive archer. For me, I know, I must compete. I suppose that’s fun.