September 2012

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live on the move Approaching the Art of Archery By Ann Imig On my way out to Waunakee Gun Club for my archery lesson—wait, stop. If that sen- tence sounds completely foreign to you, then you understand my nerves as I headed 25 minutes west of Madison to shoot a bow and arrows. With little knowledge of archery in my arsenal—except assuming it requires more hand-eye coordination than a person who misses every golf ball possesses (should that person exist)—I welcomed the oppor- tunity to venture outside my comfort zone and try this family-friendly sport with my husband and kids. Upon arrival, Steve, our affable Where to instructor, introduced us to the equipment and explained safety precautions—most of which served to protect us from our- selves. Aside from trying not to hit oneself with the string in myriad ways (and donning an inner arm pad for protection), the primary safety concern is being sure to stand behind the archer, for obvious reasons. Th ough archery is popular for hunting, go: You may have to do some hunting (no pun intended) for a range near you, but archery can be found at Waunakee Gun Club, Blackhawk Bowhunters, Deerfi eld Pistol and Archery Center. it's both a recreational and competitive sport as well. It may not offer the cardio workout and endorphins of a run, but it has its own physical benefi ts. It requires arm strength and core and back strength. If you don't possess those beforehand, rest assured you'll feel the burn after your fi rst archery experience! Th e fi rst time I pulled back on the "easy" bow, I struggled. But after a few tips on proper form, I fell into a rhythm, focusing The Dish on Archery What to wear: A fi tted top—loose clothing can interfere with the bow. Don't forget supportive shoes for traversing the terrain of your shooting location. Who can do it: Archery is a safe sport for children old enough to listen closely and follow directions. It can be frustrating, so employ an instruc- tor used to working with children. The equipment: A bow, which comes in two types with a wide range of price tags. For your fi rst time, ask your archery range or club if they pro- vide bows to borrow before you buy. How much? Prices vary by age. At Wanaukee Gun Club, the fee is $1 for non-members on the outside practice range. Kids under 14 shoot and can borrow youth bows free of charge. on taking a wide stance and engaging my core. Next, drawing the bow back—a task that involves both arms and the upper- back muscles—I pulled until the string reached the tip of my nose. With the target in the sight, I let it fl y, watching the ar- row soar to a satisfying thwack of making contact...which I did (for the most part). my complete focus. I quickly gained con- fi dence and impressed my family by not missing the target (entirely). I felt pow- erful and connected to my body—even a little mighty. While my expert instructors cheered on my progress, they made no promises about my golf swing. Th e goal of hitting the target required 14 BRAVA Magazine September 2012 Photo by Bobbi Petersen

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