Runners often get caught up in the latest shoe that is marketed to make them run faster. Personally, I like a shoe that feels good. I want shoes that have a wide toe box and won’t rub my toes wrong.
Once, after a 1/2 marathon in Delaware, I took my shoes off to learn the more narrow toe box had chewed away a toe nail during the race. Others followed after a few days of unsuccessfully trying to hang on. Since then, I’ve worn wider shoes.
The Newtons I wear seem just about perfect for my feet. Like must of us, my feet aren’t exactly the same. There not mismatched to the degree where one foot needs another size. Both feet are either 9.5 or 10.0 depending on the shoe. A little wider shoe compensates for the minor difference in my two feet.
I’ll run in a pair of shoes until they fall apart. Over time my shoes do fall apart. Those old Newtons (the red pair) had about a year of running in them before they gave up the ghost.
You and I may have never met. It is an easy assumption considering 15,000 readers come to this site every month. Chances are you are an archer. Odds are you may not be in the greatest shape of your life.
Nearly every week I see a lot of archers. A good many of them are better archers than me. (To be fair – not that many) Here’s the thing, some of you are a bit overweight.
Archery takes a lot of practice and many hours to gain the skill you have and need. Most of you have a full time job, or in school, maybe have a family to support, and must find time to practice with your bow. You’re lucky to get an hour’s worth of shooting in a few times a week. There’s no time to do cardio work that will help keep your fitness. Therein lays the problem.
Over years and years of archery practice 3 – 4 times a week, working all day, and skipping exercise adds to your health in that it takes a toll. You’ll one day end up that old geezer flinging arrows huffing and puffing while trying to walk the range. Overtime, your waist sort of ballooned, your blood pressure increased, and sleep is intermittent at best. You may already be there.
I know I’m describing some of you. I’ve shot with archers in their 20s and 30s that had to stop and rest between targets on a 3D range. More than once I have been in a group where we needed to wait while an archer sat down and caught his breath before we could continue.
It is common to see “chunky” archers. I mean archers need to not move to be good. Hence, our sport isn’t going to burn the calories the way a triathlon does. But, being fit can help you stand still when you need to and stay an archer longer.
If you are concerned that you may be headed down the road of obesity, sleep apnea, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, find help now.
There’s a pro archer I knew in Europe. Three years ago he said, “The only time you’ll see me running is if I’m being chased.” He may have tried to run, but he’d not have gotten very far. A year later, after some health issues, he rides a bike, takes walks, and has improved in diet. He has, at last count, lost 50 pounds. Has his shooting improve, no he’s still really good. However, his health has improved significantly.
He may get slightly better as an archer in that he’ll have improved stamina toward the end of those long, shoot-a-lot tournaments where he finds himself in a shoot down. The weight loss and physical conditioning is going help make those long days shooting feel a bit less taxing.
It is hard work to be fit. It is a lot easier to not worry about fitness, practice archery only, and roll on down a path that leads to health problems. Those problems, by the way, will reduce the time you have to enjoy archery.
If you aren’t taking a total fitness approach to archery consider it. Overall, it will be good for you.
It was hot, 94°F, and no complaint from me. I’d been outside all day. I’d run, shot for 2 hours, dug up 15 Lenton Rose bushes at one of my daughter’s homes, loaded them into my truck, then replanted them at our home. I’d planted Ivy, had a nice lunch, took a 30-minute break and was heading out for a bike ride before afternoon archery practice.
Because it was hot (and I was wiped) I had planted a nice easy ride. When I grabbed a kit for the ride I’d pulled out an old Vapotherm jersey. The jersey is about 12 years old. Vapotherm is a medical device company that makes a product to help people breathe. It was a total random thing grabbing the jersey. It could have been any number of other jerseys. At any rate I wore it.
On the ride I thought it might be cool to send a picture of the old jersey to friends that had also ridden wearing a similar jersey a decade or so ago. I slowed down, coasted, and tried to take a selfie of the jersey. The result of that is shown here.
While doing so a “hot shot” on his bike zoomed past me. I was maybe coasting at 7 mph. He was cruising at around 20 mph. He said a cocky, “Hello” and didn’t slow down. No problem except for the cocky tone in his voice.
I could have let is pass. I knew what was going through my head was going to hurt – me. I decided it was going to be worth the pain.
Putting my phone back into my jersey pocket I put some power on and chased the hotshot down. Now, I didn’t exactly catch him. I didn’t want to be any closer than about 5 to 10 yards. Just close enough that he would know I was back there.
He appeared to be a competitive cyclist as evidence by his shaved legs and cocky attitude. Going through his ears was now the sound of another cyclist behind him but not on his wheel. He can do a few things: 1) keep the same pace, 2) speed up and see if the can get rid of the bothersome unknown rider, or 3) slow down and see if the rider in the back could be a new friend with whom to train. The latter is the choice of a gentleman. He chose the option number two. I’d suspected that would be his decision. This is the part I knew would hurt.
As he increased his pace I hung just behind him at a 5 – 10 yard gap. If I got closer than 5 yards I’d coast. Coasting on a nice bike makes a distinct sound and can be heard from a short distance. The sound is so distinct that unless the cyclist was deaf he knew that someone was behind him, not drafting, but coasting. This happened when we came off a downhill and began the uphill or when I inadvertently got too close.
What I wanted to do was present the image of an old fellow out for a leisurely ride that just happened to be riding the same direction as the puffed-up fellow. I also knew if the guy really was in shape I’d only be able to keep this up for a few miles.
Actually, he was really, really good. His leg spin was flawless; he was smooth and not even a tad squirrely on his bike. After five miles I thought that maybe I’d ride beside him and introduce myself. I didn’t. I was a little embarrassed. I kept my distance.
I wasn’t too sure where we were and I knew now I had a pretty long ride home. He’s made a turn off my normal route. I’m still learning the back roads here.
Eventually, I pulled off onto a road that I hoped would put me on a path home. I’d been playing this game for six miles. I wasn’t hurting as much as I thought I’d be by this point. However, I was hurting. The guy did turn out to be a good rider, held a steady pace, and would have been easy to ride with. I regret not introducing myself. I lost a potential person to train with. But, the game was fun. (At least in my head)
I received this email from a “Friend.” I dug into the program offered and sent a response. It is likely he just took a company produced marketing piece, added his name and email then sent it to his entire email list. It is this type of “Friend” marketing that pisses me off.
I hope all is well with you and your family. With the New Year fast approaching, many of us always have the intention to get healthier as the New Year approaches. I wanted to drop a note to see if you or someone you may know would be interested in learning about an Optimal Health Program that my wife and I recently discovered. This program is a “Life Style Program – NOT a DIET” which teaches us how to create “Habits of Health” which leads to Lifelong Transformation and ultimately reaching and maintaining each individuals “Optimal Health” for their age. My wife has been on the program a little over a year and has lost 85 pounds and off her medications and I recently started a few months ago and already down 30 pounds and come off my daily inhalers for my asthma. My wife and I have been so inspired on how this program has changed our lives that we are now paying it forward and helping others do the same. We both have our Certification as Health Coaches and our services are absolutely free with this program. Our program has daily support, an amazing community of like-minded people, proven nutrition, is simple and convenient and is backed by over 20,000 physicians.”
Amazingly, I remain alive and well without supplement, pharmaceutical or program enrollment. Certainly, at 62, according to important television commercials I should have high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and a flaccid penis. None of those maladies concern me. Additionally, I don’t have diabetes, memory loss, balding, skin lesions, bladder control issues, back pain, headaches, excessive stinky gas, heart burn, asthma, COPD, toe nail fungus, athletes food, foul breath, bad teeth, gum rot, need for eye glasses, point pain or trouble either taking a shit or not being able to contain my shit.
Against all convention I am healthy and as a rule get a good night’s sleep without the use of a CPAP machine, nasal strip, special doctor recommended pillow, or medically developed mouth guard.
As far as losing weight, dropping 30 pounds might put me in a coma or at least earn me a role acting as a survivor of a WWII concentration camp. Should my wife drop 85 pounds, well that would mean a loss of 77% of her entire body. She too remains a constant irritant to the dietary supplement, quasi-medical businesses and drug industry that as yet do not have a pill or program for her current state of health.
Surely, sooner or later there will be a much-needed pill for healthy individuals and another non-FDA reviewed annuity will be born. I think Big-Pharma is working on a sugar pill for healthy people. The pill will do nothing – the common impact of most supplements and programs on our general population. That pill will be entirely a social grace. As such, healthy people can socially needlessly pop a pill like the bulk of supplement/program consumers. The placebo pill once consumed can then be both safe and effectively voided in order to circumvent rumors or questions as to why the otherwise healthy person is not eating a supplement or drug.
While I congratulate you and your wife on earning a “Certification as Health Coaches” I feel confident my doctorate is more comprehensive. Good luck with your endeavor. It isn’t for me. Don’t let that discourage you. As H. L. Mencken said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”