My interview with Lucy Morris, accomplished archer and the highest-level instructor of the sport in the area, was moving along rather pleasantly last Friday when she asked me, innocuously enough, if I'd like to journey outside and shoot a few arrows.
The first image that raced through my mind was me, casually taking aim at the bulls-eye, a gentle breeze rustling the leaves as I pulled back the string and let one fly - and pegged whatever wildlife happened to be roaming on either side of the target.
I also considered the following: Since I began working at The Insider, I've taken lessons in yoga, square dancing, billiards and archery. I'm trying to find a way to somehow combine them into an Olympic sport, thereby making me the clear gold-medal favorite.
Anyway, Morris and I did, indeed, go the range, and I did, indeed, let a few fly.
And the results? Let's just say all the living things in place when I got there are still living.
In all honesty, the results were quite good. Morris relies on a very calming teaching style, which makes the act of firing your first arrow much less nerve-wracking than it otherwise could be. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't standing that far from the target.
But the technique Morris taught was easy enough to grasp. My first shot nestled into the target, and so did the second. The third and fourth followed suit. In fact, while I never necessarily homed in on the bulls-eye, I also never whiffed entirely.
Morris approaches archery from something of a meditative place, and I can see why. It is indeed easy to get lost in focusing on the target and forgetting everything else around you. And with some well-explained pointers - back elbow placement, how far to pull the string back, how to comfortably release - success can be had.
Thanks in large part to Morris and her patient and encouraging approach, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For me and all the living critters in her yard.