I recently discovered that there’s a small little range inside of Rancho Park that provides free archery lessons on the weekends. Now, technically, I have tried archery before, but I believe it was a day or two during Junior High School PE class. And really the only thing I remember of it is that I kind of liked it. Then again, pretty much anything beats public-school dodgeball, so I can’t be 100% sure whether or not I was grading my forced-participation-enjoyment on the curve. Let’s find out!
Unfortunately – supposedly because of that darn movie involving a lady, her bow, and bloodthirsty children – the free classes fill up extremely quickly. As in, for an 11am class, you have to show up around 7am to get in. Thanks, Hollywood. Here’s yet another thing I can blame you for.
The only good part of this system, though, is that you can leave and come back once you’ve secured your spot. Which is exactly what I did. Arggg… too early. Do they really want tired people handling weapons?
Once the whole class reassembled a few hours later, it was surprising to no one that it was filled with plenty of women. (Guys… I’ve found your new pickup spot!) It also appeared that half a sorority house decided to show up together, which was particularly awesome for the times that I got sandwiched in-between them. Even better was when they started chatting with each other during the safety instructions. Terrific. Today is the day I’m going to literally die at the hands of a Prom Queen. It better turn out that I have the power of telekinesis or I’m going to be a little bit peeved.
First up in the process, after listening to a plethora of equipment descriptions and safety precautions, was to determine if you’re “right eye dominant” or “left eye dominant”, which may or may not correspond to your hand dominance. In my case, it does. Right-handed, right-eyed…. always right? (Of course!)
Even if I had turned out to be left-eyed, I think I might have considered shooting on the right anyway. If you’re right-eyed, that means you hold the bow in your left hand and the arrows in your right (and vice-versa for the left). It’s a little bit like handling a musical instrument, and I think physically I’m just set up to work that way at this point.
On to the range!
Each of us got an instructor to lead us through several shots of arrows. They’d correct our technique and make sure we weren’t doing something stupid or dangerous. The entire course is very, very concerned about drilling proper safety into our newbie heads. Which is exactly what it should do.
After a couple of rounds, right exactly at the point that I was starting to get smugly pleased with my progress, we got to try shooting farther from the target. Apparently, unbeknownst to all of us, we’d been shooting at a distance that only rank beginners shoot from.
Yeah, that wiped my smug little smile right off my face. Although, I did manage to hit the target a couple of times, one of my shots actually landed in the next target over.
Yup, I’m a natural.
The good news is that I’m now officially cleared to come by the range and shoot during their open shooting times. Because it looks like I’m definitely going to need some more practice before the zombie apocalypse comes and tries to take away all of my cupcakes.
Isn’t that what they were fighting about in the Hunger Games?