The NFAA Indoor Nationals

As I approached the site for my shot at the NFAA Quarantine Edition of the Indoor Nationals all I could think was “shit”.  There wasn’t a mask in sight.

The tournament venue for me was in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  That county has the second most Covid-19 cases in the state, around 50,000.

I’ll be 66 in a few months.  My age group is one of the harder hit clusters.

I had a mask with me.  My mask protects others by reducing my expiratory ‘plum.’

The others in this case, other archers, seemed not to care they might be asymptomatic.  Their ‘plums’ are harmful to me.

I left. I was and remain disappointed.

So, do you train 3 to 4 times per week?

I was an innocent question, “So, do you train 3 to 4 times per week?”

I honestly didn’t want to answer the question and tried to side step it. However, our friend, a yoga student of my wife’s, was persistent.  I provided the short version:

I train everyday.  If there is a day off it is part of a plan for recovery.  Generally, this is how it works:

When I wake up in the morning I spend 26 minutes stretching. I eat breakfast then run for 30 to 40 minutes. When I finish the run of skip rope using a speed rope for 5 minutes.  Then, I shoot my bow for an hour to an hour and a half.  Next I eat lunch followed by a short nap taken on the floor so I don’t get too comfortable.

From there I get up and have a snack.  After the snack I ride a bike for 30 minutes to an hour.  This is also the time when I’ll write something for this webpage or one of the books I am writing. Then, I shoot my bow for another hour to an hour and a half. The last part of my training is to play my trumpet for 30 minute to an hour (brain training). Playing music, I believe, helps with concentrations and seeing ahead.  By seeing ahead, I mean having the notes written on sheets of music in my head before I play them. For me, this is like seeing (and feeling) where an arrow is going to land before it is released.

After dinner I watch something on the television, usually something on Netflix, Amazon or the BBC. Sometimes it is YouTube where I watch archery videos. That lasts between and hour and forty-minutes and two hours.  I am never in front of a screen until 7 to 7:30 pm aside from this computer. Then I go to bed and read for a short time before I fall asleep.

Essentially, that’s it.  It doesn’t explain the training plan, shooting reviews, practice objectives, etc.  That detail would have certainly put an inquiring mind into a deep sleep. It is a six days a week occupation.

Turf Toe versus String Finger

Turf toe, a football injury, is a pain.  It isn’t horrible like a broken bone.  It is just a pain in the toe that prevents elite performance.

The skin on the middle finger of my drawing hand has a small split.  It bleeds and hurts a little when I shoot.  My wife calls it string finger and compares it to turf toe.

It isn’t a blood blister.  Practicing in the cold, I believe is the root cause. This is just a small split in the skin.

I use a Fairweather tab.

All I know to do is put the bow down while it heals – completely – then use a Band-Aid to help prevent this from happening again until the weather warms up.

Any suggestions?

Dang that was too rough

It happens every winter – the outside temperatures drop. Today was rough.  The temperature was in the upper 30s so not horrible.  The wind on the other hand just cut through me.

Even the cold and the wind aren’t awful shooting a compound bow.  But, the string on my fingers in the cold is another story.

The cold makes the calluses on the middle finger of my drawing hand crack. Then, it bleeds.  It is tender but I can shoot through it.  Every once and a while the release is a hair off and the cut gets stung.  It wakes me up.

I shortened the morning practice since the cold wasn’t abated using the outdoor heater.  The little propane heater couldn’t keep up with the wind.  It will warm up into the 40’s my mid-day and I’ll lengthen the afternoon practice.

Georgia 25-Meter State Championship

Everyone had to wear a mask inside the Georgia Southern Shooting Sport Education Center in Statesboro, Georgia for the 25-meter State Championship. Masks were required even while shooting.  Most athletes followed the rules despite it being a bit weird shooting while wearing a mask.

I noticed a few archers sliding their masks off while shooting giving them an unfair advantage.  The cheat also created a pocket of their expired gases in the area where they stood on the line.  It was unfair to their competitors.

I didn’t report it to the judges.  If I could see the malfeasance they too should have been aware.

Aside from that, in my opinion unfair advantage of breaking the mask removal rule, everyone else was careful in relationship to potentially spreading the Covid-19 virus. I did notice one of the intermittent mask removers had an ample supply of religious icons on his person and equipment.  He likely supposed that was all the protection necessary for himself and those around him.

The tournament went well as they all do at GSU.  I was able to win again with an Olympic recurve in the Men’s Senior Division.

Pandemic Archery

I’ve shot 4 tournaments in 2020.  That is pitiful. I know many archers have competed in a lot more events. No me.  I know too well how healthcare in America functions.  I don’t want to end up at the mercy of our healthcare system.

Wait, you might think we have the best healthcare in the world.  You’d be wrong.  When it comes to healthcare we’ve dropped from 6th in 1990 to 27th.  (1) I know firsthand how our healthcare system works and how other countries manage their healthcare. I spent 42 years in the medical field and 21 of those were international medical experience.

Last week I was visiting a hospital.  Honestly, I’ve never seen worse. So, I am cautious when it comes to my health. This has meant only four tournaments in 2020.

I won 3 out of 4 of them.  I also used this time away from competition to switch to Olympic recurve.

Olympic recurve is a different game all together.  Comparing compound bow shooting to Olympic recurve is like comparing checkers to chess. Recurve shooting is an entirely different world.  It is a nice switch so far.

I am looking forward to competing using this recurve.  I have completed one event with the recurve.  It ended well.

1) https://www.businessinsider.com/us-ranks-27th-for-healthcare-and-education-2018-9

 

 

It’s Cold Outside

A fellow I’ve shot with posted a picture of his practice on Facebook.  He’s got a nice indoor range at his home.  I was envious.  My range is outside and it is cold.

Nice to have this in your basement

My old range for indoor distances began in a shed where I stood next to a heater.  It was cold but not in the wind and it was warmer than outside standing in the shed.  My new range at my home in Georgia is entirely outside.

It is a nice range.  I can practice out to 90 meters and have a 3D range with 18 animals on it.  I’ve also put an outdoor propane heater on the target range.  I stand next to it when I shoot.  It isn’t all that bad.  It isn’t as nice as this friend’s indoor range.

He’s an elite archer and built his house to accommodate a range in the basement.  That is pretty awesome.  He doesn’t shoot 3D so he doesn’t need a large area for foam animals.  He does have a nice outdoor 70-meter range.

The temperature here when I practiced today was 37°F.  The average for this day is 60°F.  I know this cold won’t last and the mild winters we have here will return.  Even so, I got out and shot.

I’d put up new targets so I had to shot them

Yesterday, there was a misty light rain and it wasn’t much warmer.  I ended up with 180 arrows shot before I was frozen.  I didn’t try to ignite the propane heater in the rain.

Despite the cold and damp weather going outside to practice archery beats staying indoors.

Dang! That’s a lot of money. Oh, he’s blessed!

I don’t often look at Facebook.  The propaganda spewing unchecked is too awful.  I tried to delete my page and failed.  So, once in a while I look.  It is like looking at some circus sideshow freakishness.  Yesterday, I looked.  I was rewarded.

My reward was a post written by Mr. Archer.  You may know him.  He’s the fellow that is blessed with the latest gear provided by the most pious supplier and whose archery performance remains superior because of his unparalleled support from God.

God has provided Mr. Archer has some extremely expensive gear.  Excluding his stabilizers I looked up the price of his bow, sight, scope and arrows.  The package price: $2588.98.  The bow, a compound, is the 2021 edition.  Along with the bow he’s “blessed” to now have a new sight, scope and arrows.

Mr. Archer posted one if his practice session’s results.  No doubt it was excellent! Not perfect but pretty close using Vegas scoring and relating it to USA Archery scoring on a 3-spot.  Nevertheless, pretty impressive.

Mr. Archery is, also, a “Pro” archer with a number of sponsors! Perhaps, this guy is really good.  So, I checked.  You know finding results of archery performances are not difficult.  What turned out to be amazing is that he was a rare find and a winless one at that!  It seems his “Pro” sponsorships are based on his potential and perhaps God’s recommendation.

Mr. Archery is indeed blessed not with one $1549.99 bow but two.  He has one for target archery and one for 3D.  Obviously, I attend the wrong church.  Clearly, neither God nor Jesus has been so inclined to provide me with cash or sponsorships to subsidize $3099.98 in brand new 2021 bows.  Heck, it was all I could do to get permission from my wife to purchase a $249.99 Olympic recurve bow.

Now, to be fair to Mr. Archery and God, I admit I do have two compound bows.  Their combined price was $1398.00 spread over six years.  Both are similar models made by the same manufacturer.  Neither, the Shaker 5000 or the Decelerate remains on the market.

The Shaker 5000 was notorious for rattling limbs so hard they would crack and the Decelerate lost parts every few thousand arrows.  Both were introductory bows and I expect the maker never expected anyone purchasing those bows would shoot over 3000 arrows per year.

I understand, from Mr. Archer’s posts on Facebook, his new bows are very forgiving. I’ve never really understood how a bow can forgive an archer.  I expect my current $249.99 bow is simply shy and quiet around those big money bows.  If it had emotions or empathy enough to forgive it likely feels a little dejected next to all those prouder more forgiving bows.

Now, Mr. Archer does offer advice beyond how one makes the best sublimation to God via Facebook in order to get the most bang for your prayers (and as such become Blessed).  He further points out that it is currently time to get ready for the indoor archery season.  In fact, he makes this recommendation a full six days before his first announced indoor competition.

On Facebook he reveals to all that might read his post that he has spent a couple of hours practicing to get ready.  I can only suppose with God and Jesus on his side that is ample practice.  His sponsors are fortunate to have such a hard working athlete to inspire others to run out and purchase their forgiving bow.

I’ve often wondered how an individual athlete seeks heavenly support for victory.  Would a prayer be like, “Oh Lord, give me the strength and skill to vanquish my competition?”  Or, “Dear God, help the beat everyone here today.”  Or, “Sweet Jesus, help me performance my best in order to win.” Maybe it is good enough to type “Amen” and forward Mr. Archer’s prayer on Facebook. I haven’t tried that, yet.

No such prayers would ever be in my thoughts and being blessed with two new bows remains absent for me.  I remain simpler, “Lord, help me be a good example and let me help others where it is needed and help me to treat folks with kindness.”  That prayer too often fails.  I miss a lot and not just when it comes to shooting arrows.

Georgia 25-meter Indoor Championship Coming Soon

The Georgia 25-meter Indoor Championship is about three weeks away.  It is being held that the Georgia Southern Shooting Education Center in Statesboro, Georgia. Aside from poor lighting, fluorescent bulbs high above the floor, it is a nice facility.

This year is a bit different.  First only 24 archers are allowed to compete during any of the three times offered. Spectators are not allowed in the building.  Archers must wear a mask at all times and temperature checks will be taken before competitors are allowed inside the building.  All of this is understandable considering the current state of this pandemic.

While I have no issue with the conditions, I admit shooting while wearing a mask is a challenge.  I’ve been testing masks to see how it goes during practice.  It doesn’t go well. Wearing a mask my average score at 25-meters drops 26 points!

On a poor day shooting my average will fluctuate about 10 points.  Ten points is my worst drop off from my average.  That is unless I am wearing a mask. The difference from my high score at 25-meters and low score is 27 without a mask.  The difference with a mask is 49 points. The low score without a mask was shoot over a month ago and was my first attempt at 25-meters.  It was also the 69th day of shooting a recurve bow.  Even that score is higher than any score I’ve achieved wearing a mask.

Obviously, more practice is needed while wearing a mask to bring up my score when wearing a mask.

 

 

Shooting while wearing a mask

In a few weeks Georgia Southern University is hosting the Georgia State 25 meter Championship. Over the past two years, since moving home to Georgia, I competed in that event in the Masters 60 Age Group using a compound bow.  I won it once and took a second place (losing by 1 point).

This year is different.  First, I switched to Olympic Recurve, second I am shooting in the Seniors Division, and third archers must wear a mask at all times during the 2020 25-meter event even while shooting.

The first two differences, the recurve and competing as a senior (the younger group) versus the masters (the 60-69 year old division) aren’t issues.  The mask on the other hand is a problem.

I practiced while wearing a mask a few days ago.  It was awful.  I shot 54 points lower than my mask free 25-meter average.  I tried again today and landed 43 points lower than I scored while not wear a mask on the same day.

I have no concrete idea what is the problem.