Recently, on Facebook, a group of archers were sharing a victory earned by a member of their clique. The celebrated archer had won an IBO State Championship. It surprised me to read that he’d never won a state championship.
Having shot with him I recognized he was talented as a 3D shooter. When we’d competed together I was newer to the sport than I am today. Today, I am less new to the sport having been at it for 5 years, 5 months and 7 days. (As if May 7th, 2019) Among those of you that have been competing in archery for 30 years of more my time in the sport is blip . Obviously, the shorter tenure as an archer means I’m still learning the parts of a bow.
The group that hailed the victor of the state championship is tight. Within their group are members that complete a normal set of athletes. Some of open and friendly offering advice, others know it all and their advice is best left behind, and a few are arrogant self-described elite performers. In that last class is one fellow that once told me, “You’ll never be as good as us.”
Mark Twain is a treasure. His literary works are some of the best American writing I’ve read. During his lifetime he’d often received manuscript, unsolicited, from people that felt they knew him. Those ‘friends’ wanted his opinion of their forwarded potential book.
Twain was polite, a Southern Gentleman, and didn’t particularity want to hurt the feelings of non-public figures. If you were in politics then you were fair game. He’d read the manuscript, sometimes, and mostly not reply to the sender. One proud individual being eager for Twain’s praise was determined to get a response.
When asked of Twain if he’d read the manuscript and what did he think, Twain responded, “Yes I have and much like it.”
The fellow that once told me, “You’ll never be as good as us,” in reference to his gang probably saw me as a weak beginner who simple didn’t have it. At that point, I’d agree with his assessment that I wasn’t very good. Today, I rarely miss targets.
Since I moved away from those closely knitted archers I’ve shot with a lot of other archers. Those fellows living hundreds of miles away still shoot together. They often post their scores. I read their scores. To those fellows I say, “I’ve shot with many that are just like you.”
The fellow that won his first state championship is a fine person. I’m glad he won a state championship. I remain surprised it is his first. Regarding the snappy ego-inflating comment, I look forward to a day when I might have a chance to see of the self-proclaimed elite was correct.