I Tried Archery!

At first glance, me spending my day off trying archery isn’t related to my IRONMAN.  But in truth it really, really is.  Part of motivating myself to finish the IM is having something to be excited about after it’s done. One of the things that I’ve been thinking would be cool is archery.  I have a friend who is an archery coach and he and his equally fabulous partner, who is also into archery (it’s how they met!) offered to teach Julianne and I. So today we decided to give it a shot (see what I did there…)

We started with equipment – recurve bow and three arrows, arm guard, finger sling, and finger tab (not gonna lie, some of these names made me giggle – I’m not proud of it, but there it is,) shooting from 18 meters.

My dreams of being a prodigy who hits a bullseye on her first try were quickly dashed when my first arrow hit the concrete wall what seemed like 12 feet above the target and then came crashing down to the floor.  Spectacular.


This arrow took the nope train to Nopeville.


Second arrow way above the target but in the foam stuff so at least I got to hear the much more satisfying “thunk” sound. Third arrow directly to the floor because I’m nothing if not an over-corrector. Not exactly the Mozart of archery here.

Fourth arrow hit paper and I did the Larry and Balki dance of joy.

Thirty minutes later I shot all three arrows in the colored part of the target. Woot!


That’s a bit better…


Shot for another hour, and started to get a better feel for it.  At this point I can tell where the arrow is going to land when it leaves the bow, but I’m not yet sure exactly why, so I can’t leverage that knowledge to improve the outcome. No bullseyes yet, but I remain hopeful.

Super cool thing: Almost everything that you learn for ballroom dance applies to archery – keeping tone in your arm against the pressure of the bow but being relaxed through the fingers (I often kept too much tension in my fingers as a dancer – BEWARE THE CLAW HAND –  so I’m excited to get to work on this some more,) working from your core and lats instead of pushing and pulling with your arms and shoulders, keeping your body (especially upper body) stable through movement or application of force all apply here – so thanks to my dance coach Rowdy for helping prepare me for this!

Julianne did awesome! She sometimes uses a scooter and we learned that she can shoot from it, so now we know that during the zombie apocalypse we can get her a bow and a quiver of arrows and she can scoot around and kick some ass.


For those interested in scooter archery, we learned later in the session that it worked better for her to put her scooter parallel to the target wall (and not perpendicular as it is here) so that she didn’t have to lean out and she could shoot from the most stable position.

It was a blast, it’s something that I think I can be good at and enjoy doing, and I can’t wait to shoot again! It makes me even more motivated to finish off this IM and have all this time to do fun new stuff.

Huge thanks to Tracy for the coaching, his partner Terry for shooting so that I could see it done by a woman – including showing me how to make it work without somehow removing a breast, and for all of her photography!

Speaking of photography, here are more pictures of our archery day:


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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2 Responses to I Tried Archery!

  1. lsstrout says:

    What fun! I love archery, but never do it. I will have to work on that. 🙂

    So cool to see Julianne shooting from her scooter! I’m glad you both enjoyed yourselves.


  2. Angela says:

    Looks like you guys had an amazing time! Archery is a blast, and it’s surprising how quickly it tires out the arms!


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