We’re really enjoying our vacation in Brevard, NC.  The land is so different from the eastern shore on North Carolina.  The temperature is significantly cooler here in the mountains.  Nice, but I prefer the coast over waterfalls.

A nice change of scenery

Putting it on the line – 10 months old

Puttingitontheline is primarily about archery. But, it’s also about sport, life, adventure, fitness and the people we meet during training and competition. Most of this website revolves around what we, as athletes, do as we put ourselves on the line.


Competition in sport can be done as part of a team or individually. Even in team play it’s the individual’s effort that is put on the line. In Ironman triathlon, the event is done solo. During the 2.4-mile swim, 112-time trial on a bike, and marathon there is a lot of alone time.


In track and field events, the athlete is competing solo and often they compete one at a time, as in pole vaulting, the long jump, and the high jump.


Lining up with archers on either side of you is stressful to a degree. Standing at the stake while others watch is stressful. But, we do it because we love sport, enjoy the training, and live for competition. Putting it on the line is what we athletes do and I’ll continue to write about it.


Thanks for reading.

 Ten months: 77,710 visits, 148,715 pages read, 1,118,338 hits.

Back in NC

Georgia was  again a wonderful trip. We spent time with our oldest daughter and her family. Ray, my father-in-law and I hunted. I trained on my mountain bike and ran on trails in the woods. I got to shoot everyday, either on the upper deck when it was raining or outside when the rain stopped. And we got in some nice fishing. Still, we needed to get back to our home in North Carolina and the day of our departure arrived.

The drive from Tignall, GA to Hertford, NC takes about eight hours. Much of drive is interstate; too much of it is boring. Brenda and I like to listen to audiobooks while driving and on this trip we enjoyed “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz.

Another thing we do is look for good barbecue or Indian food along the way. Often we stop in Florence, SC at the Thunderbird Inn for their buffet – a tradition. The barbecue along the route has been sub-par. We did, however, find a good Indian restaurant in Columbia, SC.

Delhi Palace

We were  surprised at how spicy they’d made their food. Most of the time we need to request additional spice to kick it up. The food at Delhi Palace was just about right for our palates.


The trip finally ended to the delectation of two truck-tired dogs and two driven down humans. More renovations, an eternal project, are proceeding at our house here. Despite the disarray and chaos, it is nice to be back.

Number 1,000,000

I am pleased to announce that has exceeded over 1,000,000 hits. What I am especially proud of is that over 70,000 people have read over 130,000 pages published on this site.

This sight was recently ranked in the top 3.1% of all active websites (Globally, Alexa ranking). When I launched the site in March 2014 I had no idea it would take off as it has. This is more surprising considering how poorly I proofread my

I am a bit behind describing to you the Buckeyes 3D Tournament in Georgia on Sunday January 4th. That was followed by an all day fishing trip on the 5th and a long drive to North Carolina on the 6th.

I look forward to sharing these past adventures with you. Thanks again for reading.



Last Race of 2014

On December 7th I competed in my final archery competition of 2014. A week later I ran in my last race of 2014. Both ended on high notes despite the low temperatures.

On Saturday December 13, 2014, race day in Stevensville, Maryland the wind was blowing and the temperature was a brisk 35°F. When I arrived at the race I was pleased to find registration was next a stadium parking lot. It would be a short walk to sign-in and to the starting line.

Runners at the pre-registered sign in window

The race officials were using the stadium ticket counter to check-in runners. They were offering hot chocolate to everyone; I declined not wanting the beverage sloshing around in my gut during the run.

There were two distance races a 5K and a 10K. I’d signed up for the 5K. After signing in, I headed back to my truck and its heater. It was too cold for me to stand around until the gun sounded.

Back in the truck, hydrating and staying warm

Sitting in my truck I noticed the past seven days had left it a mess. It was filled with sports gear. In the front sat my gear for running and in the back a bow, arrows, paper targets and other equipment used in archery. It would have to be uncluttered after the race.

Panorama of a mess

As the gun time neared runners began emerging from the warmth of their vehicles. A local IMG_2642coach offered a brief warm-up session to the contenders as they approached the start line. The event was close to Christmas and many participates wore costumes. One of my favorites was a youngster, there with his parents, dressed as an elf.

Despite the warm-up session, I was not warm. On the starting line, the 10K runners lined up in front of the 5K runners. When the gun sounded I was all too happy to get moving – it was run, freeze, or get back in the truck.

I’d under dressed so I decided to go as fast as possible my motivation the warm cab of my truck. This paid off and as I passed through some of the 10K runners. I hit the 5K turn around and headed home for a 1st place finish (my age group, 13th overall).

Chasing the faster runners

First place prize was a Christmas stocking filled with goodies. In addition to the race t-shirt, which I received when I signed in, the stocking had another t-shirt. It also held a nice pair of athletic socks, a scented candle, mint candies, a discount coaching coupon, and a very nice beer mug.

Loot from my win

Rolling into winter, from November, I’d competed in three races taking a 3rd, a 2nd and finally a 1st place finish, respectively. These races matched my archery tournament finishes, the last three aligned exactly with the races. A great way to finish the final six weeks of the sports season.

Cold Friday

Friday was a day to practice 3D. My next tournament, on January 4th, is a 3D shoot followed by three indoor matches, one of which is an indoor 3D competition. Practicing outside on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, during the winter,  is undoubtedly nicer that shooting outside in Buffalo, NY. Still, 40 degrees and windy is cold to me.

December afternoon on the range in Maryland

When I am in Maryland, I am always checking the weather in North Carolina and Georgia. On this day, at our home in NC it was 14 degrees warmer and in Georgia it was 22 degrees warmer. I’ll bet someone is reading this thinking, 40 degrees, that’s not cold, what a wimp!

I know some folks think this because they’ve poked fun at me for not embracing the cold. I don’t relish the cold, but neither do the lower temperatures keep me inside. On the other hand during July and August when the mercury rises to 98 degree, the relative humidity is 95% and I am appreciating summer my winter loving friends are often melting or walled in near an air conditioner.

A few years back I raced in the Tokyo Marathon, in February, in freezing cold rain. The winner of the race said, “I was hoping for a personal best, by mile 18 I was hoping to get through it.”

Tokyo Marathon was cold, wet and fun.

More than once I’ve ended up running the marathon portion of an Ironman in 90 degrees or hotter. Cold temperatures hurt me more than does the heat. But, if you’re going to play outside, you must deal with the weather. Once a good friend of mine was with me in Savannah, GA in August. Walking outside and soaked with sweat he the turned to me and said, “This is Africa hot!” It felt great to me.

With a major 3D tournament on the horizon there was nothing to do but suck it up and be cold.  My practice plan was to shoot each target twice (30 targets), once at the bow hunter stake (35 yard max) and once at the open class stake (50 yards max).

The deer in the distance is 45 yards away.

Fifteen yards doesn’t seem like a lot until you see the difference from the stakes. At the 35 yard maximum distance stakes I shot pretty good for 30 targets: 310. At the 50-yard max stake my score dropped to 268. (IBO scoring rules – center shot equals 11 points not 12).

Difference between 35 and 45 yards (on this target) 11 vs 10 points.

This doesn’t worry me. Less than a year ago, my 35-yard shots were between 241 and 281 for the most part. I could shoot another year at the 35 max yardages but I won’t. Even though I began placing higher and scoring better in tournaments after August of 2014 my goal for 2015 means putting it on the line at the longer distance. I imagine this may lead to a few embarrassing moments, but I’ll do my best and not let that bother me.

Despite the cold, it is nice to be outside

I do look forward to the warmer weather even if that brings out the ticks and chiggers.

Weather Prediction Way Off

Yesterday the weather forecast called for warming temperature and sunny. I was eager to get outside 296and practice on a 3D range. Brenda and I were meeting friends for lunch so my plan was to head out shortly afterwards.

Following lunch at “T at the General Store” in Oxford, MD we headed home. The sky looked nothing like the weather report had predicted. Sometimes, the weather people just get is way wrong. It snowed.


Putting together concepts for success

Becoming a sponsored athlete (archery) requires a lot of time training and competing. In 2014 I shot in 14 tournaments covering seven states. These competitions yielded four 1st place, two 2nd place, and three 3rd place finishes.

Lain Photo

Reaching a high level of athlete competition requires managing 4 factors: mental focus, self-control, confidence and commitment to work toward a goal. I have written about the process of managing these factors in the past. 1-3 Further, I live and train by these concepts. Part of my successful application of the process includes competing at 5 World Championship events over 4 sports disciplines (Cycling, duathlon, triathlon and archery).


The concepts are applicable to activities of daily living, sports, education, and business. Much of the success I’ve had in business and athletics is due to adopting these pillars of success at an early age.


My adaption of this process has been presented, in lecture form, to professional business organizations as well as to athletes and coaches.4-7 I can be contacted via LinkedIn, my website,, or email at for more information or engagements.




  1. MacKenzie, B (1997) Psychology [WWW] available from:
  2. Lain, D. The Four “Cs” in Sports and Archery: Tips for Achieving Your Goals.
  3. Lain, D: The athlete respiratory therapist. Adv for Resp Care and Sleep Medicine. Online March 4, 2013
  4. Career Planning, University of Texas Medical Branch Pulmonary Symposium, Galveston, TX, March 1997
  5. History and How We Did It, Keynote address, Savannah Wheelmen Annual Sports Dinner, Savannah, GA. April, 1999
  6. Mental Preparation in Training and Racing. Keynote address, Columbia Triathlon Association, Athletes and Coaches Program. Cambridge, MD May 2102
  7. Management FYI: For Your Improvement. Alabama Society for Respiratory Care. Birmingham, AL. March 5, 2012