Archery is not what I expected. For one thing, it involves a lot less muscle than I thought it would. I didn’t need mighty man arms. For another thing, it is very calm and precise. Some cultures regard it as a meditation, and I can see why.
Tonight was our very first archery class ever, and this is a big fat love letter to World Sport Chicago Archery. We walked in knowing not one thing about the sport outside of glittery Hollywood misinformation. After an hour, we were surprised to see we had learned quite a few basics and, even better, we had managed to beat up the target pretty darn good.
Archery was created to kill. One of the great things about World Sport ‘s range is the quiet, firm emphasis on safety. Everyone, even the highly skilled guys who bring their own compound bows, follows the same rules.
The whole environment is encouraging, patient, and positive. I was prepared to feel like a hopeless mess, but the instructors are so quietly confident, and so encouraging, and lead you ahead so gently and smartly, and after not that long, you realize you’ve learned enough, and acquired enough muscle memory, to sort of know what you are doing, and to definitely want to come back for more. And, because the range is in a Chicago Park District facility (the handsome, popular Pulaski Fieldhouse), the classes and range are open to all at a modest cost. For utter beginners like us, all the equipment is provided. I hardly ever say this, but I can’t wait for next time.
You know? You should try it.
P.S. I’m a big idiot with a giant bruise on my arm – didn’t do the elbow placement thing correctly for the first half of the proceedings and am suffering the consequences. If anyone asks about this big giant bruise, I will squint a little and look away and say archery accident, without smiling.