Putting It On The Line

When I began this website it was a chronicle of what I’d go through when I began shooting a bow in November 2013.  I remember the date, November 1st, because my father died the same day. It was a bit if a surprise he died.  But, dad was 86 and he was no longer a young man.  Dad never did see me shoot a bow.

When I made the decision to take up archery and retire from a prior career it wasn’t one of those moments. You know, one of those: your father dies and you decide to make a life altering change.  Nope, I was ready to retire.

I could have continued in my profession.  I could still be working in the medical or legal fields.  But, I’d had enough and saved enough.  I was 57 years old.  I’d been working since I was 14, not including earning money cutting lawns around my neighborhood before I turned 14.

I started a real job using a child labor work permit at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. I worked in the lab.  Memorial has since changed it name, but it will always be Memorial to me.  I essentially grew up at MMC.

I’d go to school, junior high school, now called middle school, go to whatever sport practice I had after school, my mom would pick me up and take me to work at Memorial.  Over time that part time job became a full time job.

The school, academic sports, and work routine stayed pretty constant until I finished high school. Then, in college the routine of work took priority over school since I needed the money to pay for school.  I dropped a lot of classes to accommodate work. Sport continued to be a major part of my life.

There was a brief time when it appeared I could have a job as a professional cyclist.  I was invited to Europe by a team in 1973 and offered a small salary and place to live.  I turned it down – a good choice in hindsight.  I turned it down because I feared the move would be too much.  Basically, I chickened out.   Eventually putting more focus into education and less on sport was a way to compensate for being to afraid to move to Europe at 18 years old.

Education became my competitive driver.  Each degree I completed meant it was a point to extend the education.  I thought I was done when I earned a doctorate.  That lasted six years then I went after a law degree. Law school fried my brain for a while.

Instead of seeking other degrees after the Juris Doctor, I enrolled in graduate programs and professional development courses.  Those where very satisfying.  Then, I felt I needed more and took a fellowship in sleep medicine.  After that point, I decided that each year I’d pick a new academic project to immerse myself for the next 12 months. In 2019 it will be Georgia History.

Throughout it all sport remained a passion. I raced bikes, ran races, and did duathlons and triathlons. Just competing wasn’t enough.  I went to Nationals in Cycling, Track and Field, and World Championships in cycling, duathlon and triathlon.  I did sports science research publishing papers based on that research.  But, I’d never hit the big time in sport as an athlete.  I was good, just never the best. Then, came archery.

Never would I have thought I’d be an archer.  I stumbled onto the sport by reading that archery and shooting are the two sports where someone over 50 can become an elite.  I am not an elite. But, I am trying to become one.

I figured I’d be near the top of the sport between 5 – 8 years.  I decided archery was an area where I could transfer talent to shorten the learning curve.  Sadly, this sport is so different from the others I’d done that I see very little advantage from decades of training and competition.

The website, Puttingitontheline.com, is where I keep my form of an archery training journal minus all the data. There is a lot of other stuff, not always here, from coaching to science that collectively amount to what has come to pass to reach this point in this archery adventure.

I have no idea what my father would have thought about all of this.  It’s more likely he’d have never read any of it. What does surprise me is that over 26,000 of you are now reading about this adventure every month and the number is climbing.  Perhaps, there is a pearl or two of archery wisdom you find every so often that helps you in some fashion.  I hope so.

Thank y’all for reading and landing this website in the top 1.6% of all active websites.

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