What a miserable day I thought to myself as I reflected on the azure wonder that was yesterday. The birds in the garden seemed particularly frantic as they emptied the feeders in preparation for winter. I decided to spend some time in the workshop and catch up on things as I have been unwilling to put my back to the test. I was regretting the decision even as I was turning the power on, the leaky roof was being very leaky and the damp air wasn’t doing much for my elbow either. Having now means of heating the workshop I found a BBQ bucket and started a fire. After the smoke died down I brought the bucket in and when the fumes got too much I took it out, then when it cleared I brought it back in again. This went on for a couple of hours until I thought sod it and packed in for the day. I did manage to make a finger joint jig that is required for to make the drawers for the storage spaces I need. The workshop is so small it is so easy to get a clutter overload and soon becomes impossible to work in.
Anyway after a hearty lunch I popped over to Bowsports to practise in the warmth and dry conditions offered by the indoor range. I decided to shoot a PAA round which is 60 arrows at 20yds with 5,4,3,2,1 scoring. The scoring zones are pretty friendly and with a compound I would usually expect a 295 plus result out of 300. It wasn’t my intention to beat myself up over a poor score but scoring does give a focus to the practise session and also allows comparisons as fatigue sets in. It also sets a baseline for my performance as I continue to get used to the bow, swapping hands and build strength up. The session started reasonably well for the first 4 ends but then the groups started moving around. This indicated I was changing something but changing consistently. I managed 106 for the first half and was beginning to feel very tired and started throwing shots about and losing the groups altogether. I was on the point of packing in but took a rest and then continued. I did salvage the last 10 arrows but still managed 30 points lower in the second half. I did expect this and a number of issues affected the score as I tried to address them.
After returning home I spent a few hours watching archery competitions on youtube from the Olympics and FITA vegas shoots to try and identify my faults. This left me with a few ideas for Wednesday when I intend to practise next. My eye dominance continues to cause a problem as I like to shoot both eyes open and trying to close my dominant eye is distracting, this isn’t helped by the way my glasses sit on my face. Having watched the videos, I have a couple of ideas to deal with this. The second issue is also caused by swapping hands as I am gripping the string too firmly and deeply into the finger joint grooves. That is purely about confidence to not have the string slip out of my grasp and I guess I will just have to man up.
All in all I am pretty happy with the progress and that things feel like they are happening in a controlled manner but the secret is to have them happen automatically so that the only thing I do is aim. When I get back to that point I will be properly happy.