that's the sound of my arrow, as it's released from the tension of my bow, flying through the air and hitting the wall.
i've found a new addiction. archery. and it's making my power yoga 2-3 times per week seem a tad on the ordinary side.
why archery? actually, i dig on any sporting activity that involves precision, aim and hitting an intended target. but it has to be narrowly focused. several summers ago, i would frequent driving ranges with friends. i don't give a hoot about golf, lacking the patience needed for 18 holes. but the thought of schwacking a couple buckets of balls would make my eyes light up. i would also love to try a batting cage and a shooting gallery.
since i was young, i've always been enthralled with archery. when i was a little girl, i'd watch those shaw bros. martial art movies at the drive-in with my family and i'd marvel at those warriors whose weapon of choice was the bow and arrow. hand to hand combat kung fu was fun to watch, but whoever held the bow and arrow would always get the close up shot. the lightning quick reflexes needed to assess the situation, grabbing an arrow from the quiver, pulling back and letting it fly - all with such concentration and accuracy. that was more exciting to watch than the broad strokes of swordplay. and i couldn't stomach the reckless movements of machete/knife fights. (which i always thought looked kinda savage and uncouth)
there's something very sexy about shooting arrows. maybe it's the feeling of elegance and nobility that archers seemed to have with these powerful weapons. (i'm speaking recreationally, of course) any archers featured on celluloid or the small screen always has me rapt. hollywood always portrays archers as stand-alones; so mysterious, so cool, so skilled and so very self-possessed.
yes, i'm a fan of cw channel - yes, i watch smallville, especially for the green arrow; yes, i watch supernatural and yes, i was a big fan of buffy the vampire slayer and angel. i'm not ashamed to admit it...
always been a fan of keira knightley and i love the king arthur legends. the movie portrayed a different take on guinevere; certainly not a damsel in distress. not sure if i buy it from the literature i grew up reading, but girl kicked ass in the movie.
anxiously waiting as the trilogy was released over a period of 2 years, i happily sat through the total 10 hours of lord of the rings to watch orlando bloom don elfin ears to play legolas. the character always reminded me of the heroes from chinese mythologies.
my favourite archer of them all - takeshi kaneshiro in house of the flying daggers. one part warrior, one part romantic. one of my favourite movies ever.
but it's not just the big screen glamour that attracted me. throughout the years, i'd be fascinated by little tidbits i'd come across about archery:
i remember being glued to an epic 4-part series many years ago called mongols hordes: storm from the east. it was about genghis khan's armies engaging invaders in battle with bows and arrows. as both sides fought on mounted horses, the death toll would rise on the side of the europeans. whereas the europeans would wear heavy, back-breaking chain-mail which arrows could pierce easily and fatally, the mongols were unarmoured, wearing silk under-shirts to minimize arrow injuries. the loose silk shirt would wrap around the arrow head and this would allow the arrow to be removed cleanly by slowly pulling on the shirt, stopping cuts from barbed arrows and reducing the risk of infection. pretty clever.
there is such a thing as the shooting of an arrow end to end and it's referred to as a "robin hooding." this is when one arrow is shot, and then you shoot another arrow and that hits the first arrow on the noc end and sticks into or splits the shaft.
archery was reintroduced as an olympic sport in 1972, after it was discontinued in 1924.
at the 1992 barcelona olympic games, the 2 times paralympic medallist, antonio rebollo, shoots an arrow to ignite the olympic torch at the opening ceremony.
how 'effin rad was that?!?
we were lucky in high school to have a couple of archery classes in gym class. and since then, it has been on my list of classes to take. and now i've found a bi-weekly meeting up of kindred spirits who feel as strongly as i do about archery.
i was one of the newbies of tonight's group. before i got outfitted with a bow and arrow, the instructor gave me a dominant eye test. i held out both hands, making a shape of a triangle and looked through the hole. just as i thought and no surprise, my right eye is the dominant one.
i feel like a bit of a left handed anomaly. i was born left-handed, but other than writing, i do everything right-handed. it's near impossible for me to use left-handed scissors. i wouldn't know what to do with left-handed specialty store products. when i write, my hand doesn't slant far right, like most left-handers do. and as a lefty, you'd think i'd be goofy footed in sports. nope. i snowboard, skateboard, swing a bat, drive a golf club and i imagine surfing, all regular. this means my left foot is forward for balance and control. and the baseball mitt would be worn on my left hand, as i throw right. as well, i play guitar right handed (no re-stringing needed)
and now archery is no different. i hold the bow with my left hand and i launch the arrow with my right.
after being strapped with an arm guard and given a finger tab for my arrow hand, i was ready. after some quick instruction on learning how to position myself, i tried it. my first arrow out, i hit in the red, which is the circle next to the epicentre yellow. mind you, this was a total fluke but what an encouraging way to start out! the class went on for 2 hours, some of my arrows went wayward, some went where i had hoped it would and luckily all of them hit the wall. there were a few arrows that didn't make it across the room, as we started from the 10m line, then 12m, then 15m and lastly, to the indoor standard of 18m away. overall, i had a blast and it was definitely the best $20 i spent in a long time.
top left: that's me in the corner, waiting my turn
bottom right: i hit the target and got a prize, a tim horton's donut!
(photos courtesy of dave)
these were meet-up classes i went to tonight, where anyone can attend (to try it out) but i'm going to sign up for the 5 week professional lessons, so i can properly learn how to aim, how to use a scope and how to shoot from far distances. and i am beyond psyched!
oh. and my moon sign is that of sagittarius, the archer. how apt.
"it concerns us to know the purposes we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want." aristotle