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Twang, Thump, Good

Well, I've just returned from my first archery class. Pretty fun, I must say. They normally shoot outside, but when November rolls around, they make use of a indoor range set up by an, er, archery sympathizer. It's in a large warehouse kind of place, with the range on one side and the other being used by a welding operation. Makes for an interesting contrast, what with the large tanks of flammable gas standing right next to the people shooting metal-tipped sticks.

There were about fifteen people, two-thirds kids. A couple father-son pairs, and a mother-daughter as well. One of the kids told me in between rounds that he got interested in archery after seeing ol' Legolas do his thing. Can't say I'm surprised. I wondered how many of the others would say the same thing, but didn't ask. Probably a bit early for a census.

For beginning classes you shoot up close: ten yards. I gotta say, ten yards looks ridiculously close until you start shooting. But I'm pleased to report that, once my sight was properly adjusted, my form is decent. There are three aiming points you use: 1) bowstring index finger comes under the chin, 2) bowstring touching the nose, 3) bowstring also a fuzzy blur aligned with the bow. If I pay attention to all three, then I hit the gold. If I don't pay attention, I tend to forget #3 and end up hitting the red band. I'm also missing a bit to the right, but my grouping is good.

The other people in the class vary in ability, as you expect. One person only hit the target occasionally, but she had the handicap of being left-handed but right-eye dominant, which can screw with your aim. One of the fathers mentioned afterwards that his son is a better shot than he is. He seemed a bit chagrined by this. The son (who comes up to my chest in height) is also hitting the gold two out of three. The dad, not so much.

If I go again next week, we'll be shooting from about eighteen meters (twenty yards). One of the coaches said the world champion can hit a bullseye from 98 meters. 98 meters. Outside. In the wind. And then do it again four more times. I should be so lucky.

In short, twang, thump, good. Think I'll try it again.

And then I came home and baked chocolate chip cookies. Because it's all about balance, you see. Plus, cookies, mmm.