Some weeks ago I shot in the Maine State indoor Championship and did terrible. Shot one of my lowest scores in competition ever. I had all sorts of things go wrong. I couldn’t pull through the clicker consistently, I ran out of time with an arrow to shoot, I shot through the clicker, I dropped an arrow on the floor ahead of me and forgot to re-shoot it, you name it I did it.
Pro-shooter, Dave Cousins who was shooting a couple lanes from me was probably wondering “who let this guy in..”
I mean it really all went wrong, and it sounds bad but actually it was perfect. I was beaming and proud of having entered and shot the championship.
You see, I hadn’t shot a bow for nearly 6 months, because I’d hurt my shoulder, specifically my rotator cuff, I didn’t tear it but as the physical therapist put it I “impinged it”.
A few weeks prior I had picked my bow back up along with a new pair of ultra-light 14 pound limbs (16 lbs at my draw) and half a dozen skinny 2000 spine arrows (Carbon Express Medallion-XR’s).
The state championship was conveniently 3 weeks away so it gave me an ideal goal. I didn’t pre-register, I just made a deal with myself that If I felt I was up for it I’d shoot it as a walk-in, If I didn’t think I could handle it I’d go as a spectator.
I spent two weeks re-learning correct and safe form at a bale to prevent re-injuring myself. I also spent time with a physical therapist, a Formaster and a new daily routine strengthening my shoulder and back with stretch bands and 5 pound weights.
One week before the tournament I switched to practicing on target. My bow was out of tune, as I really needed to crank it up an extra pound to get my arrows flying right but I didn’t dare go up in weight, so with my setup untuned I practiced on. Practiced every chance I got, by the end of the week I was feeling confident that I might have a chance against some of the eight year olds so with that bit of confidence I entered.
As already mentioned my score was poor but my heart and pride are full. Stepping up to the line had far more to do with creating a new beginning for myself than it did my performance, because, this is just a start, I now have an opportunity for a lot more archery and a strong and secure feeling that I’m back.