I’ve not picked up a bow in weeks. It has been a good time to accept an unplanned recovery. It has also been time to repair targets and clean the range.
I did a 3D tournament in June. The Covid-19 social distancing wasn’t strictly followed. I planned to continue competing but put that plan aside until the dust has settled a bit.
Over the Memorial Day weekend we didn’t head out into crowds of carefree people. I predicted we’d see a spike post-Memorial Day and we did. I expect the increases we continue to see are associated with Memorial Day and protests.
I’m 65 and in good health. I expect if I get Covid-19 my symptoms would be mild. In fact, I’d not be surprised to find I have the antibodies found among people that have been exposed to Covid-19 and not had more severe symptoms. I don’t know because I’m not paying $300.00 to find out.
While I wait for less contagious times I continue to prepare. There is a State Championship in August but that one might be a skip. Still, I’ll restart practice in a few days in the event the August date appears safe – which I don’t expect.
I will mention this – running and cycling have been going really well. And you can bet my range looks nice.
“Well, that was expensive,” my wife said to me as I walked in from archery practice.
She’d made the comment based on what I’d held up for her to see from a window while I was still outside. What she saw were broken arrows.
Robin Hood shots, where one arrow lands in the center of another arrow already in a target, are pricey. I hope, when shooting multiple arrows into the same target not to shoot Robin Hoods. It happens and arrows break.
I was already running low on the arrows I use for 3D. I had eight when one busted on a good shot from 27 yards last week. The angle was the problem putting the arrow through the center and downward toward the metal post that holds up the target. Naturally, the arrow intersected with the metal. Down to seven arrows.
Today was a nightmare. At 38 yards the turkey seemed safe enough. Two shots later and two more arrows gone. When I heard it I couldn’t believe it. Down to five arrows.
I moved on from the turkey to a mountain lion target and shot it at 41 yards then 38 yards. Each time five arrows shot. No problem with any arrows.
A deer was the next setup. This is a fairly difficult downhill target so I wanted to start safely then increase the distance. Staring at 35 yards the first shot was a high ten. The next shot, learning from the first error, was a 12.
This deer isn’t a tiny target. Since I’d hit the 12 ring I figured to put one more arrow in that ring. I made the shot pretty much exactly like the prior shot even though I was aiming for the arrow to land a bit to the left of the first.
The crack of two arrows become one tubular mess is a nasty noise. It sounds like money being wasted. Two Robin Hoods within minutes. I was shooting with pins and a sight that does not have magnification. I thought, what are the odds?
Only one arrow ended up broken in the deer; unlike the two busted in the turkey. But, it left me with only four arrows for 3D. At the rate they’re getting broken I’ll be empty by the end of the week.
You might think to yourself “That’s what he gets for shooting more than one arrow at the same target.” That is true – it is impossible to Robin Hood a single arrow, it always takes two arrows.
However, if you shoot often you, too have shot more than once at the same target with more than one arrow. So, hold off on tossing stones.
My wife was right, this practice was expensive. It also puts me in a jam when it comes to arrows for 3D practice and competition.
One solution is to switch to Super Senior in the ASA classes. I’d change bows and use the skinny arrows I shoot in field archery. I’ve got 18 of them.
Of course, I could buy a dozen new arrows. It isn’t so much the money, well it is the money. I hate spending money of arrows. Another consideration isn’t qualifying, I can qualify in a week. The worry is this Covid-19.
At the last 3D competition social distancing was more a philosophy rather than a practice. At that event archers from those counties that enclose Atlanta came to play. My instincts are telling me to skip 3D for 2020. My compulsion to compete is telling me something else. This is a tight spot.
On Facebook at local group posted that in a few weeks they will be offering an ASA State 3D Championship Qualifier. I’d nearly tossed in the towel on 3D for 2020 before I read the post.
After learning there would be no easy access qualifier for my area I canned 3D other than shooting on my range for fun. Instead, I grabbed my target bow and began practice shooting dots at longer yardages.
The recent addition of the nearby qualifier had me pulling out my 3D hunting style rig for practice.
I’d shot well last weekend in a local 3D event and expected to pick up where I’d left off. That didn’t exactly pan out.
In the morning I refreshed my memory with the 3D bow and shot paper focusing on yardage from 40 to 50 yards. In the afternoon I went out to shoot faux animals at 40 yards then 35 yards.
The average yardage was 38.2. If the 40-yard practices and the 35 yards practice shots had been equal the yardage would have been 37.5 for those of you wondering about the 38.2 yardage. The actual yardage for the long shots was 40.3 and the short shots were 35.
Longer distances with pins are tough. Using a scope 40 yards isn’t a bother. Using a scope I’ve had to make 100-yard shots. In 3D using a hunter division rig 40 yards is the maximum distance in that class.
That’s probably a good thing considering how I performed at 40 yards today. My average arrow score was 6.2 at 40 yards. At five yards closer the average was 10 with one 12 and one 8.
Last week’s tournament had an average distance of 33.2 yards. I ended up with four 8s and seven 12s. The rest were 10s. I do remember a couple of shots being long. The last target, a wolf, was at 40 yards. I also recall a turkey at 35 yards. Overall, it was a fair course.
The problem is when I shoot 8s and 5s. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that is every archer’s problem. Shooting 12s and 10s isn’t a problem. Today was a mess with 5s (all at 40 or 41 yards). The single 8 at 35 yards landed in a javelina.
Hitting a 3D target well on close shots isn’t hard. Still, you have to make the shot. Getting comfortable at longer yardages is mandatory to finish well.
Streaking, the first time I heard of it was associated with a form of running fad that occurred in the 1970s. In this instance, it was a fad where runners would strip then run naked. Freely, I admit this was a form of running where I did not participate.
Several of my less modest friends did partake in the fad on one occasion. The group stripped, held their clothes in their arms and ran across Abercorn Street in Savannah, Georgia near the intersection with DeRenne Ave. It was 1972 and traffic in Savannah wasn’t comparable to the mess they have there today.
There is a median on Abercorn with two lines of traffic running in opposing directions. The free form runners weren’t all that immodest and had selected a time for their streak near 11 PM when traffic, in those days, would be light. It seemed a fairly inoffensive plan.
The plan was to wait until there was no traffic, make the dash across Abercorn, and hop into a get-away car and escape. That would have been fine except for the mishap.
One of the runners, in his birthday suit, dropped his clothes as he crossed the median. He had to stop turn back and retrieve them all while butt naked. This is the point where traffic returned to the intersection. There he was stranded until the traffic paused and he could return to running.
Streaking today, in running, means running daily for long stretches without a missed day. Runner’s World’s covered highlights on page 30 in an article, Run Every Day – Streaking is more important than ever. (Issue 3, 2020)
Runner’s World also has a section in this issue on injuries. Is that coincidence or consideration?
If you run every day without a recovery plan you’ll end up with an injury. Obviously, you are probably an archer and you’re thinking you’ll not get a run injury. You are probably correct – we know most of you are not runners. Simple observation during any archery tournament is all the verification one needs to confirm the bulk of archers are at best intermittent walkers. The walking primarily an activity associated with pulling arrows.
Surely, some of you do run. Some of you probably get Runner’s World magazine. Take my advice – schedule recovery days from your running. If you’re an archer you should do the same with your archery training.
It is fun to set goals. A goal of non-stop daily running (or shooting) could land you in rehab. Rather than setting a run a day goal set other goals. Once, I set a goal to do at least one race per month until something happened outside of my control to prevent a monthly race. I went 84 months (7 years) before an accident happened that prevented me from racing.
I’d jumped off my boat to align the boat with the boatlift. I’d done it many times before. That time, however, I found a metal spike in the water – something new. I found it in my leg. That streak was done. It was a good long streak and I enjoyed it. Aside from the metal spike in my leg I remained injury free throughout the plan. I did have weekly recovery days in my training plan.
Goals are nice to set. But, there’s no reason to set goals that might lead to an overuse injury. Make time in your training plan for recovery.
Even though Georgia’s Covid-19 restrictions have been eased I’m a bit hesitant to jump into the middle of a crowd. In my mid-60s I fit into a high-risk category. Still, solo archery practice and training moves forward.
Today, I was thankful for being socially distance. In this way, no one other than the archer could view the 3D practice. It was ugly.
It wasn’t like I hadn’t prepared. On yesterday, using my bow hunter rig, I worked on precise shooting. The practice used tape measured distances moving from 20 yards to 45 yards in slow progression over and over and over.
The idea was that on today I’d work longer yardage aiming at foam animals. The average distance was 36 yards with the minimum at 35 yards and the maximum at 45 yards. Turns out that the 45-yard target was my best of the day, my only 12. Aside from that I averaged a miserable 8.75 points per arrow for a score of 175. Like I said – ugly.
Heck, 45 yards is a chip shot with a scope and long stabilizers. At 50 meters (55 yards) I hold a state record using target style equipment. In 3D I prefer using a hunting rig and competing in the hunter class. This does mean I compete against archers that aren’t much older than my children. But, I don’t mind if they don’t. I do find that the younger guys here in Georgia are more inclined to pull the arrows, giving the old fellow a break. And, without exception good manners and “Sir” prevails in conversation. I do appreciate that even if it does, at times, remind my of he age difference.
If I’m going to shoot using a target bow then, for me, that is field and target archery. In 3D, it is like playing using a hunter rig and in my opinion meets the spirit of its origin.
I know long distances using pins is killing me. Long distances in 3D with low poundage and a short draw means my arrows float toward fake critters. My calculated FPS is 243, so I need to be precise when I place the pin. This is why on yesterday I worked specifically at aiming.
I’ll repeat it all tomorrow and the next day. Because, I expect that in the near future I’ll be able to get back into a tournament. In the meantime, all anyone can do is stay focused and keep practicing.
If you live in a city and need to keep a safe distance from other potential Covid-19 carriers, or keeping your Covid to yourself, it might be more difficult than usual to run. When we lived in Easton, Maryland I knew a few people that trained exclusively for 5K runs indoors on treadmills. The only time they ran outside was during a race.
One good friend and triathlon teammate preferred to run on a treadmill. At the gym he used treadmills that would time out after an hour of running. He’s run for an hour then reset the treadmill for another hour. He is a great runner and friend. This treadmill monster, Jimmy, looks fast standing still. Jimmy looks even faster running for the few minutes I can keep up with him running.
Treadmill-loving folks may currently be facing Covid run withdrawal or they’ve invested those “on the way” $1200.00 economic booster checks the government has promised on treadmill purchases delivered via Amazon. Treadmills are a last resort for me.
I’ve used treadmills. They are ideal to help set and the feel of a pace. When there was too much ice and snow on the ground I saddled up a treadmill and hit giddy-up on the keypad. I’d ramp up the speed as I warmed up to the mile per hour pace I needed to hold for some predetermine distance or time. Aside from that I’ve avoided them the way I am currently avoiding people.
Outside is where I am happiest while running. I run nearly every morning and have for decades. There was a time I ran very little, that was a time when I was exclusively a competitive cyclist. I still ran some in the off season. Serious running, beyond high school sports requirements didn’t take hold until a couple of decades back when I moved to duathlons and next to triathlons.
Before then I ran when I traveled. Not necessarily to train but to sightsee. Running in the morning before work on the road gave me an opportunity to see the State or country I was in at the time. Over the course of 40 years I’ve run in 49 US States, 21 countries and 1 territory.
Where I run now is just behind my house. I’ve got miles of trails to run. Those trails need to be maintained and it is a fair amount of hard work but worth it. The poison ivy needs to be knocked back as does high snake hiding grass. It is easy to maintain social distance on these trails since I am the only person that runs them.
If you read this and are a runner stuck indoors I do feel bad for you. Running through cities is fun as well. You get to see so much of the city and get a flavor for the place.
I have gotten lost a few times running in cities I didn’t know. I got lost in Toronto Canada when I left my hotel for a 10 mile out and back. Canadians are very helpful and I was pointed in the right direction a number of time adding just a couple of miles to the planned 20-mile run. Once I got lost running in Versailles, France. Despite the language barrier the French eventually had me heading in the right direction.
Running around Jerusalem was special. There too I was once or twice misplaced. In those events there was no help and back tracking became the solution. After years of running in Jerusalem I got to know the city. Tel Aviv was easy, I just ran along the coast.
On one run I decided to run from my hotel in Jerusalem to Bethlehem, not far only about 6 miles each way. There is a sidewalk most of the way and good cushion all the way. As I approached Bethlehem I needed a bio-break so I ran a way into the desert to avoid being seen by traffic. The further I ran over sand the more I began to worry about yet discovered land mines. There weren’t any land mines still I didn’t know that at the time. Another time I took a long run in the Golan Heights. I’d found what seemed to be an old trail and took off on it. I turned around when I saw soldiers in the distance. I didn’t know whether they were Israeli or Syrian and felt no need to learn more.
During one misadventure I got lost hours before I was suppose to give a lecture at a Medical School. On the run there was a bit of roadwork being done. There were orange cones around the parameter of the worksite. Those cones were to be my marker to ‘turn here’ on my leg to the hotel where I was booked. Amazingly, the roadwork was competed before I returned. Talk about a panic. I had no idea where I was having missed my turn. I had my cell phone and needed to call for directions. I made the lecture with minutes to spare.
Simple uncomplicated trail running is the routine these days. If you are someone stuck indoors know you’d be welcome to run my trails if you could get here and keep your distance. If you are an archer that doesn’t run or walk for your health and fitness you might consider giving it a try.
A few days ago I ran a game where I shot a solo 3D tournament. I’d tried to make it realistic for a Senior Hunter class event. I scored 202 or an average of 10.1 points per shot. The yardage was an average of 31.25. In this game I included all my small targets and shot them between 20 and 25 yards. The larger, medium sized targets, ranged out to 40 yards. Still, the resulting distance average was 31.25 yard. That seemed a bit short.
A distance of 31.25 yards seems short. There were some longer shots, seven at 35 to 40 yards, and some medium range shots, 4 at 30 to 34 yards, the rest were from 20 to 33 yards. So, 11 shots at greater than 34 yards and 9 between 20 and 33 yards.
To see what might happen at slightly longer distances, using a bow hunter rig, I repeated the exercise but made the distances longer, an average of 37.5 yards. There were two short shots at 23 yards aiming at a foam mosquito and a bobcat. Aside from those two small targets all others were between 30 yards and 45 yards.
What happened to my average per arrow? It went down by nearly a point, to 9.4 points per arrow or minus 0.7 points per arrow on an average.
In my experience, here in Georgia, the limit of 40 yards for Senior Bow Hunter is merely a suggestion. Yes, everyone needs to shoot the same targets and everyone gets a chance to enjoy the extended real estate. But, the top guys still average greater than 10 points per arrow.
This means I’ve got some work to do aiming at longer distances if I expect half way decent finishes whenever I get to compete, again.
I am fortunate that I have a 3D range on my property. When ever I want I can head out to my woods and practice. Admittedly, my urge to shoot foam diminished in 2019 because it became too expensive to make the drives to many of the tournaments. But, it is truly refreshing to take a break from shooting dots and shoot foam.
When we lived in Maryland, when I’d just started shooting a bow (6 years, 4 months, and 11 days ago as I write), I could drive to a 3D tournament every weekend in less than 45 minutes each way. Heck, I could shoot in Delaware in not time flat. (In those States every 3D was an IBO 3D)
In North Carolina the longest ‘routine’ drive for me was an hour and there were often multiple events on any weekend during 3D season. Of course, if I wanted I could drive further to attend other 3D events and I often did make the longer trek. We lived on the coast and to head to city like Asheville you can plane on 5 1/2 hours of non-stop driving. We’re actually closer to Asheville now that we live in Georgia than we were while living in North Carolina by 2 1/2 hours.
North Carolina is a large state. NC ranks 28th among US states in size. Georgia is even larger at 24th. In Georgia there are plenty of tournaments if I am willing to extend my driving time.
If I’m going to a tournament that is 2 hours one way I’d rather take the camper and spend a night or two. What I do for a Saturday tournament is leave on Friday, set up camp then hike in the campground or State Park. On Saturday shoot then back to the campsite. I might cookout or go to an interesting local restaurant. Then pack up and head home on Sunday. It is fun but it ain’t free.
I know a lot of folks consider 4 hours of driving to shoot a 3D event is easy. I’ve done it myself. But, I’d rather not spend 4 hours on the road to shoot a 4 hour event. That’s the entire day gone for 20 shots (we’re all ASA here in Georgia for those IBO 30 target readers). No, if I’m driving 2 hours one way it needs to be a destination event where I can camp and do other activities for the effort.
Georgia may have other nearby 3D events I’ve not yet discovered that might reduce the travel. Too many times, so far in Georgia, I’ve hooked up the camper and made a weekend of attending a tournament. Yes, it is fun. It is also expensive.
Since I retired admittedly I’ve gotten a bit tighter with my purse than I was when I had a flowing disposable income. Every purchase I make I consider the cost and benefit far more closely than during pre-retirement. Studying my family’s life expectancies statistically I’ve got 3 to 4 decades left before I kick the bucket. So, rushing off to every potential cash burning archery tournament could in the long run hurt.
Having my own 3D range helps with the fun and costs nothing more than wear and tear on targets and range maintenance. Most of my targets were purchased before I retired and a number were hand me downs. Each year I fill the old targets with spray in foam and they’re good for another year.
Every once in a while I move them around the range to change my view of the target. I also change the shooting position to keep practice interesting.
For example, during the last practice I moved so that I needed to shoot a very clean shot to send an arrow between tightly grouped trees in order to reach the target. Another time I stood at such an odd angle that arrows either hit the mark, banked off a tree or buried themselves in leaves. To be sure these tough shots have cost me more than one arrow. On this day no arrows were sacrificed.
Some of the shots I create I doubt I would ever see; some do represent interesting shots I have seen. Whether or not 2020 becomes a total Covid-19 bust remains undetermined. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy shooting alone.
Like most Americans (Spaniards, Italians, Germans, French, etc.) we’ve been confined to home, the result of Earth’s Covid-19 pandemic. It isn’t such an ordeal for me as perhaps others. I can still get outside and play.
Each morning I can run, then practice archery, and then ride a bike, then more archery. It isn’t too bad even if I can’t get over to Social Circle and practice archery with the folks over there. There has been one small other inconvenience – rain.
It has been raining and raining. I’m glad to have the rain. We’ve got blueberries trees (more like large bushes), peach trees, pomegranate trees, grape vines, plum trees, a lemon tree, a lime tree, (those last two spend the winter indoors under a growing light) and a fig tree that all appreciate the rain. But, when you can’t get to the indoor range or gym while it is raining in the middle of a Covid-19 lock down it can be oppressive. It must be really rough it you live in a city.
Running in the rain isn’t too bad. Currently, I am rotating three pairs of running shoes trying to keep my feet relatively dry. If it isn’t too bad, the rain that is, I’ll practice archery. There was a time I’d ride a bike in the rain. I’m over that.
Yesterday I got to shoot a little between down pours. Today, the sun is out and I’ve been outside since breakfast. Between running and archery I got a solid three hours outdoors before taking a break.
Brenda, my wife, isn’t as lucky. She can go outside and has been doing fun outdoor chores until the rain chased her inside. Her primary social and physical activity revolves around yoga. The yoga studio where she teaches is understandably closed during the Covid-19 problem.
Aside from whatever outdoor fun I can muster I have been doing what I can to support respiratory care practitioners. I am a respiratory therapist, among other things, and had a license in Georgia as a respiratory care practitioners (RCP). In fact my RCP number is Georgia is 229. I was one of the earlier therapists licensed here.
So, far I’ve fielded some emails about old gear applications and been asked an epidemiologic question. I’m good at statistics and did spend a quarter working in the virology department at the CDC as a student under Dr. Glenn Caldwell, the former head of that section. However, my work was on virus, specifically herpes simplex 1 and 2, looked at the link to cancer causation. Still, someone forwarded me a series of questions of the spread of Covid-19 and I enjoyed playing with the numbers.
But, my primary non-athletic focus has been of getting my respiratory care license in Georgia reinstated. I felt I could be most helpful at the bedside.
If I had a current license from another State I could get a 90 license for Georgia. I’ve had licenses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio. Those to are inactive. What might you expect? I never expected I’d be needed to work again as a therapist.
To get reinstated in Georgia, among a pile of documentation, I’ve got to have 30 hours of continuing education units. So, I pause each day, to find a class I can take to earn the hours. It is mind numbing.
I thought I’d simply hunker down and knock out the hours. That’s was until I began knocking out the hours. Some folks might enjoy online learning and it is okay to me in small doses.
Yesterday, I listened to a lecture that held within it mistakes and significant elements that were over looked. Of course, I couldn’t respond to the speaker, the lecture wasn’t live and I’m sure he is busy taking care of patients at his hospital. Turns out I know the hospital where he works very well even if I don’t know the physician that presented the lecture. All I could do was take the exam at the end and download another CEU for my submission in pursuit of my reinstatement.
By the time I complete all the work to re-active my Georgia license I expect the crush of Covid-19 patients will have subsided, at least the current wave.
In the meantime, I plod along with the submission process. Once it is completed and my license reactivated you can bet I’ll keep it current. I’ll look for part time work as a therapist to keep my clinical skills share.
Oh, that lecture from yesterday, you might wonder whether I truly know what I’m talking about regarding the errors during the lecture and the missed important notes he overlooked in his presentation. Turns out I help designed the methods and apparatus he was referring to, have patents on it, and published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals on the subject.
Thankfully, the sun is shining and I can get outside to do things to reduce my frustration.
Television will display the grandeur of a professional athlete. Those individuals are famous and rich. “In 2016, the average annual income for a US household was $57,617 while the average income of a professional athlete in the major leagues was between $2.1-$6.5 million.” (1) Outside the major sports the annual for professional athletes is lower. “As of Feb 22, 2020, the average annual pay for a Professional Athlete in the United States is $46,473 a year.” (2) If you’re an athlete wanting to earn a living wage in archery the odds are low for your success even if you are competing at a high level. The income range for professional archers is: $10,000 – $75,000, for Olympic archers: $36,000 – $97,000. (3)
There is a sales representative I know. He’s good at his job. Before he took the sales position his job was as an offensive lineman for the New England Patriots. The sales position was a nice transition from football. I know another guy that pitched for a winning team in the MLB World Series. He too is a salesman, today. In both cases, their former celebrity has been as asset in their current roles. Plus, both are good with people and smart. There’s a former Olympian who won 5 Gold Medals who today is a physician. The point is that money in sports can be good so long as it is good. No one lasts forever in athletics.
Last week, at the USA Indoor National Championship I shot on the same bale as college students for both days. A number of those athletes have college scholarships as archers. Talking with two I learned one is becoming a mechanical engineer the other a nurse practitioner. The average income for a mechanical engineer is $86,000 per years. (4) The average income for a nurse practitioner is $107,460. (5) For someone that goes the medical route and becomes a Chief Medical Officer the annual mean income is $402, 483. (6) Of course, that prize is similar to making the big leagues in sports. In all three cases the annual income is greater than the recently published average earning for professional athletes – $46,473 per year. (2)
The student archers at the indoor championships are smart. Staying on their paths will lead them to a comfortable rewarding life so long as they don’t over extend that potential credit. (Pay as you go – you’ll get there.)
Steve Young, the ex-49er quarterback took his team to a 13-3 record, won the NFL MVP and graduated from law school in 1994. (7) He’s never practiced law, but he used that education to propel him in other areas after football. Just because he was a super athlete he didn’t disregard a backup plan. He was attending law school while playing professional football.
The point is that while those athletes on television seem to be living a magical life the wealth that comes with it can vanish in an instant. The odds of landing one of those mega-rich positions are extremely low. Never disregard the earning potential of education.
And, don’t think a college degree is the only financially rewarding path. An air conditioning technical, with 3 classes from a technical school on average earns $43,640 annually. (8) The upper 10% of these technicians earns over $68,000. (8) That is an excellent return on investment (the investment being the cost for the classes.) Certainly a wiser investment than attending college and earning a degree in Greek Mythology or thinking you’ll become an athlete earning millions shooting arrows into paper.
Enjoy your sport. When you are doing it compartmentalize your brain and bring all your focus on that sport. When you’re done, say you put down your bow, focus on the next skill. That next focus might be on classes or being the best at your day job. You could end up using both – being excellent as an athlete and having educational training that will provide a decent living. Like Kanas City Chief’s offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif who is a physician. (9).
Even Reo Wilde held a day job outside of archery before using his archery success to allow him full time employment in archery. (10)