Discovering life beyond the barbell / by Dana McMahan

No peeking

Archery gets harder every week instead of easier. It’s because each time my instructor gives me something new to work on in addition to what I learned the week before.

Yesterday we addressed my urge to peek. As soon as I release the arrow, completely without my knowledge my head pops out to the side to see if my arrow made it. And that motion sends the arrow askew. Yep, my desire to see how well I did actually makes me do worse.

Archery is a sport of focus and concentration. It does not reward impatience or hurry. It rewards careful attention and precision. And as frustrating as it is to miss the golden ring of the bullseye time after time, when I hear that satisfying thunk of the arrow burying its head in the inner ring, I could shoot all day. (Unfortunately I don’t send the arrow sailing true and straight very often.)

The downfall to this learn-a-new-sport-every-month project is that I’m continually a beginner. I won’t excel at any of my trial sports. After rocking powerlifting off the charts, this is humbling indeed. I have to keep my overall goal in mind — to find my next sports passion. I can’t peek ahead to the end of the year to see which one I loved best. All I can do is throw myself into each one, and give myself a break on my expectations.

And enjoy my little victories where I can. Like this couple of beautiful shots:

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