Lately I've been shooting my bow for fun. I've never really focused on it before, but when the lockdown hit I realized I needed a hobby, and I'm not allowed to shoot guns for sport in my neighborhood, so archery was the next best thing. The goal is that when deer bow season hits this fall, I'll be able to shoot well enough to get a deer.
Archery is HARD. Not only are you doing all of the work, but you have to sight the bow in, and the smallest motion off target could be the difference between a hit and a miss. If anything isn't exactly right, it messes the entire shot up. When you're shooting a rifle, you have three points of contact for stabilization (both hands and your shoulder). You have a scope with crosshairs, or a barrel you can look down in order to aim. When you're shooting a bow, you only have two points of contact (your hands), and a pin that you look at through a hole on the string and put on the target to aim. It's less steady, less precise, and requires more patience than any gun I've ever shot.
That said, I LOVE it.
I love that it challenges my brain on top of being a relatively physical sport. I love the instant gratification that comes with knowing how you did a moment after hitting the release. I love the delayed gratification that is working to get the bow sighted in, and having to work at it until you can hit the target consistently. That duality of instant and delayed is my favorite thing about it.
It combines all of my favorite things. I get to be outside, by myself, in the middle of God's Creation, inflicting my will onto a bow, then the arrow, then the target. If it's in God's Plan, I will take a deer this fall.
It's a hobby for thinking men. Not only can I think about the bow and what I'm doing and how to get the sights right, but I also get to think about my life, business, and future. I get a lot of praying done out there too.
One of the things that I've thought about is the application of archery to the rest of life. As if this post hasn't been enough of a commercial to get you to go buy a bow, allow me to continue:
Archery has a high barrier to entry.
The bow is expensive, the arrows are expensive, the sight and whisker biscuit is expensive. If you want new equipment, you need to be prepared to spend at least $500, and that isn't even accounting for the time it takes to get to be a decent shot.
But doesn't life have a high barrier to entry? Anyone who has ever been successful at anything has put blood, sweat, and tears into their craft. Anyone who has ever truly LIVED has had to pay something to get to earn the right to enjoy life.
Arrows are expensive, and you're going to lose them.
You will lose arrows. You will break arrows. They cost around $4 each, and that's on the very low end. It's one of the risks you have to take. You can't shoot without the arrows, but every shot you take, you run the risk of missing the target and bouncing it off a tree, or burying it in the ground, or sending it 100 yards past where you meant to hit.
In life, there are risks every single day. Every time you put the car in drive, buy a product, or start a new venture, there are risks that that thing you are doing will crash and burn. You can take calculated risks, you can aim at the target, but there's always that chance that something goes horribly wrong. Get comfortable with the chance that you're going to lose arrows in your life, or waste your existence away on the sidelines.
If you take a month off from shooting, when you come back, you're going to have to get back into the swing of things. Now imagine if you take a year, or 5 years, off and then come back.
Similarly, if you take time away from anything, you're going to have to get back into it. Any skill that is worth having requires practice (I briefly discuss this in my prepping guide). Also, if you think you're going to pick one of those skills up and be an instant success, you're probably mistaken.
Patience is a virtue.
Self explanatory. If you aren't willing to be patient and disciplined, whether you're shooting a bow or doing anything at all, you aren't going to get anywhere.
In this modern world, where everything moves a hundred miles an hour, it's important to slow down and do something enjoyable that challenges you. Archery is my thing, but there are many other things you could be doing. Find that thing, and enjoy it. Most importantly, don't be afraid to go out and learn something new.