I am a 49-year-old, African-American female, and my new hobby is archery. I started nine months ago. After God, my husband, children and family, archery is all I think about. It’s my passion. It’s my obsession.
Let me explain. I’ve always loved anything from the medieval era. I thought it both gallant and violent all at the same time, but I never pursued it. I just always secretly loved it. Then, last year, during the 2012 Summer Olympics, the media finally showed something they very rarely show — archery. Be it individual or teams, they never showed archery. When it came on, I watched it, I stared at it, I listened to the commentators and I recorded it. I remember turning to my husband and saying to him, “I’m going to take up archery." He said, “Have fun.”
I’ve always taken up different activities throughout my life. As a child, I took tap dancing lessons. As an adult, I received a first degree black belt in tae kwon do. I’ve taken bellydancing and zumba classes, but this was different. The feeling was different. So I searched the web and found a local club that was going to teach archery for a few weeks. I immediately joined. I went to every class.
When I shot my first arrow, something came over me. I was hooked. When the classes were over, I knew I was not done. I had to continue. I wanted to continue. I wanted to learn this sport. I went back to the range, became a member and listened to other archers to watch and learn from them.
Of course, I wanted my own bow. But which kind? Recurve or compound? I read, I studied and again I watched, and realized my heart kept leaning me toward the recurve bows. So a few weeks later, I purchased my first traditional recurve bow. I loved it.
My family was so happy for me. I shot my arrows over and over. I listened to seasoned archers, and I practiced over and over. My club members, who welcome me with open arms, invited me to join them in an indoor league for the fall and winter. I’m thinking, “What? A league? I’m not that good yet.” It didn’t matter to them. Come, they said, learn, practice and you will get good. So I did.
For 20 weeks, every Tuesday night, I went indoors. I told my three children, “Please give Mommy three hours, one day a week. All the other hours are yours." They were exceptional. Remarkable. My husband, my love, loved seeing me with my new hobby. I even entered a competition. I just took a deep breath and said to myself I was simply going to see what competing is all about. I amazed myself. I outscored my high score over average by 28 points.
I’m still shooting, still have that love for it that I had when I shot my first arrow. I’ve even travelled to a large archery store and purchased an Olympic-style recurve bow with all the bells and whistles. So yes, at 49 years old, I picked up a challenging new hobby. A hobby, that I love and that my family loves with me.