I bought a bow!
Maybe it was inevitable, given how much time I’ve spent in the archery community over the last couple of months. Whenever I was around anyone with a bow in their hands, they’d ask, “Where’s your bow?” or “When you gonna get a real bow?” [I’ve been shooting with a specimen which I lovingly call my “training wheels” bow, but which no self-respecting archer would use on a long-term basis. It would be like running a 5k in Keds].
Anyway, the questions kept coming, but I wanted to make an informed, well-considered decision. I wanted to be sure of my desire to do this archery thing, since bows deliver a pretty little wallop to the wallet. On top of that, I had to decide what kind of bow I wanted: Compound? Traditional? Long bow? Recurve? Would I need a right-handed bow, or left-handed? The answer to that one isn’t as simple as you might think. Did I care about brand names? And then, after all that, where did I want to make my purchase? At a local shop, or a website, or from one of the multiple people in the archery community with bows for sale?
I’ll spare you the details of my thought process, not to mention my emotional process, in sorting it all out, and just tell you the result: I bought a right-handed traditional bow. It’s beautiful. It’s a recurve, which, to use the very most technical terminology, means that its tips are swirlier than those of long bows. The brand is Groves. To my understanding, it isn’t the most famous brand, but highly regarded nonetheless. Maybe it’s the Brooks of bows. Plus, it’s a New Mexican company; I like that. I bought it from a local guy named Darryl, who seemed confident that his bow landed in good hands. Here’s hoping!
The night I decided to buy that particular bow (it had come down to two) also happened to be my first quasi-competitive archery shoot. I say “quasi-competitive” because it was a Thursday night shoot – much more low-key than a weekend one. I was excited about it, but definitely felt a butterfly or two in my belly. This was the first time I would be shooting for an actual score!
The evening got off to an auspicious start: it was wonderfully cool and cloudy there on the East side of the Sandia Mountains, and a general Thursday-night relaxation permeated the air. I let myself feel confident. I could do this! I would have a stellar archery debut and knock the bow socks off of everyone!
Or, er, not. I didn’t do terribly, but I sure didn’t earn a Rookie of the Year title. With 14 targets and two shots per target, the highest possible score per target was 20, and the highest possible score for the course was 280.
I shot an 80.
I figure it’s similar to scoring 80 in a bowling game, which…Hey, I probably bowled less than that in my first bowling game ever, so I didn’t do all that badly with archery, right? Right??!!
Well, there’s always the next shoot. And now I have my own bow that I love very much.
Life is good.