By Sports Editor Cindy Yuan & Staff Writers Jessica Jen, Helen Wang & Maggie Zhao
Having devoted a large portion of my childhood time to reading about archery, my theoretical knowledge can finally be put to practical use! I will not be deterred by my appalling lack of upper-body strength, and my reliance on luck caused by my poor hand-eye coordination may just result in a bullseye. My prior experience with archery consists of one shaky memory of me shooting at a wall with a foam arrow and a plastic Nerf bow. This time, I may not be aiming for the stars, but my performance will (hopefully) not disappoint.
Even though I have had experiences with basic archery before, it has only ended in arrows shooting wildly in seemingly impossible angles. However, I will not let my previous drawbacks faze me; I am determined to hit my goal of number one by maintaining focus and stability throughout the competition. Having gone through a period of YouTube archery fervor, I finally understand the art of staying on target under high pressure. My goal for this archery contest is to utilize my past experiences, good and bad, to make the other competitors quiver.
I’m no stranger to athletic competition, but archery is a long shot off from the fast-paced action I’m used to. It takes a lot of upper body strength to pull a bow, and I am sorely lacking in that department. To calm my nerves, I called upon the all-knowing Google, and a quick “how to archery” yielded several videos and a nifty step-by-step guide. Being the sloth that I am, I was bewildered by the mountains of information and settled for winging the competition based on ever-reliable TV knowledge. My shooting won’t be on point, but I’m determined not to fall flat, at the very least.
As someone who decidedly lacks both coordination and strength, archery may prove to be a challenge unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. However, in honor of third-grade Percy Jackson-obsessed Maggie, whose favorite Greek goddess was the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, I am determined to take a shot at trying something new. Who knows? My opponents just might end up bowing down to my newfound talent. Ultimately, my target for this challenge is to pick up a few tricks that would potentially help me survive the 76th Hunger Games.
I started off shooting with great precision and less than great accuracy, but after some helpful tips and practice my target looked less like a pointillist piece of art gone wrong. I went from shooting into the outskirts of the target to consistently landing closer to the center, eventually painting quite nice misshapen circles. However, my accuracy remained inconsistent, with some rounds resembling constellations. I think the results were satisfying, though. I created my own rendition of “Starry Night” with a few well-placed arrows.
During practice, I was thoroughly prepared to refine my rusty skills and to hit bulls-eye every single shot. However, my arrows seemed to go everywhere except where I wanted them to. Frustrated, I altered my form slightly to compensate for the weight of the bow, but it just caused a bruise on my arm from the string. When the competition began, I was more annoyed than motivated. As my bow aimed toward the target, I could not recall my mantra of peace under pressure, and shot two disappointing rounds of arrows.
Archery turned out to be easier than I expected. I watched carefully during the lesson and settled in relatively quickly. During our numerous practice rounds, I was wildly inconsistent, but when it came down to the competition rounds, I was determined not be an easy competitor. I entered a state of zen, feeling oddly unconcerned with the thought of failure. I had no idea if I subconsciously improved my technique during this time, but my arrows flew straighter than ever. Sadly, after those two rounds, my arrows promptly reverted to ignoring their intended paths, landing in the corners of the board.
While I was initially overwhelmed by all the foreign equipment, I quickly found that I enjoyed archery. Looking to my left, I noticed my competition was putting up a stiff game and so I tried to improve my aim and accuracy with every round. Despite my enthusiasm, a few of my initial arrows didn’t even land a mark on the target and many of my shots landed on the outer rims of the target, a rather abysmal performance. I quickly realized that if the Olympian Gods existed, Artemis would be sorely disappointed with my performance.
Surprisingly, my arms were not sore after my archery rounds. Then I realized it was because I had not expended enough energy to ensure my arrows were pointed down the right path. This and my poor eyesight probably made my dreadful aim inevitable. My performance, however, did not fall short of my expectations, unlike my arrows. I did much better than expected considering my previous experience with archery. Even though I earned second place, I am pleased with my experience and eager to challenge Cindy to a second round.
I used to do archery, but then I took an arrow to the knee. I vowed to make my opponents quiver, but I’m afraid that they were quivering with laughter after my defeat. However, this will not be my mediocre end. Even though I got third place, I will continue to hone my accuracy and strength so I can be the winning archer once more. I definitely recommend archery for anyone looking for a return to their medieval roots or some competitive fun with friends, and I look forward to future endeavors at sport!
I woke up the next day with my back muscles crying out in pain. Turns out, I severely overestimated my upper body strength, which proved to be no match for this sport. An hour of beginning archery made me, a seasoned athlete, sore beyond imagination. For the next two days, I hobbled around feeling five times my age, a sore back hindering my every move. The pain was most definitely worth it though, as I won first place and established myself as the Smoke Signal‘s very best archer. Does anyone know if the Avengers are accepting summer applications?
I was aiming to do better than this but was unfortunately shot down by my competitors, and I ended up in last place. Despite having one or two decent shots throughout the rounds, those were not enough to make up for my unpredictable and uncontrollable aim. I think it’s safe to say I wouldn’t have survived more than three minutes in the Hunger Games. However, I’ll be sure to make up for lack of accuracy with lots of practice and by working hard at improving. The next time I try my hand at archery, I’ll shoot for first place.
Photo by Feature Editor Brian Tseng