My kids have started their archery program in 4-H again, and for the sixth year in a row, it reminded me I need to get my own bow out and start practicing again. But this year, I’ve vowed to actually follow through with it.
It should be easier for me to get some practice, for one thing. Now that I’m self-employed, I can get a half an hour of practice during the day, while it’s still light out. I don’t have to worry about hurrying home from work to beat the sunset.
The fact that I’m working for myself now, and that a good portion of that work relies on me getting outside once in a while, is another good reason to get back in practice with the bow. I’ll have time to go hunting for the first time in more than a decade, and I want to be able to make a good, clean shot if one presents itself.
And then there’s the main reason to get good with my bow again. My oldest son is even more competitive than I am, and for the last few years, he’s challenged me during his weekly 4-H archery shoots. In the past, I’ve been able to hold my own, but it’s been getting closer each year. I’m afraid if I don’t get out and really work at it, he’s going to outshoot me this season.
I’d be OK with him being better than I am at anything, and the bow is no different. However, I want him to be better than me at my best, not at my unpracticed current level. That may not make sense to you, but if you’re a father, you might understand.
So I plan to push the junior Robin Hood this year. If he wants to bet me, he’s going to have to work at it. I’ll be out there in the back yard at least every other day while he’s at school, I’ll be practicing. He may still beat me this year, and that’s OK. But we’ll both be better by archery season.