Archery Lessons From An Olympic hopeful (Jake Kaminski)? Why yes, I did!NEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | May 12, 2012 at 5:27 am
Seriously I did!
There is so much to talk about my trip to Chula Vista that I have done what most overwhelmed and excited people do: Nothing! Not knowing where to start and where to end and wondering whether these posts could even begin to capture my emotions and even being a blogger, I fear my words may fail me and not do proper justice to what was an amazing experience. But I have always told myself that I will never give up so here I sit the day before Mother’s Day, in Starbucks, sipping on chai (a 5am wakeup calls for it) trying to make my flingers fly across the keyboard in this attempt.
Firstly I should put things in perspective as to why I was in Chula Vista. Kelloggs, whom I love dearly, took their ambassadors for a trip to Chula Vista in CA as part of their involvement with the Olympics. Truthfully I had never heard of Chula Vista before this and felt guilty for my ignorance since I hail from South Africa until I learned many Americans did not know either. I had zero doubt the trip would be fabulous because I have to say Kelloggs (and not because they pay) has insightful and respectful with how they deal with me. I expected fabulous but even then I was blown away. This post, to ensure it does not become a novel, will focus on just one aspect, as will the others I will be writing. Yeah, I get short attention spans, I happen to own one.
Chula Vista is home to the Olympic training grounds in USA and Kelloggs is the proud sponsor of a few Olympic hopefuls (more on that later) and it was the day I was going to interview a mom to an Olympic hopeful (well more on that later too – can you see why I was bursting at the seams?). It was straight after hair and makeup and shooting my interview video I headed to my archery lesson. Yeah, I kind of look crazy (in a cool way) donning dress and makeup on the field. Now I am a person who is a huge may-the-peace-be-with-you kinda girl so I don’t even allow toy guns in my home (yes I played with them as a kid and no this topic is not open for discussion) so I while I was wildly excited about a new experience, I was unsure about “enjoying” it. Besides how many people get a lesson from an Olympic hopeful? Precisely. So with all thoughts of coolness of doing archery in a dress with the hype of the movie Hunger Games fueling the excitement, I was ready for another experience that I will be sharing with my grand kids one day.
On my visits to Chula Vista I watched athletes train and was in full awe and admiration at their dedication and focus to their sport. I learned the general focus and emphasis on safety that all these Olympic hopefuls but more especially in archery. I watched how they held up the bow, that their box was 30-50lbs (sheesh, seriously). I saw how their fingers needed protection and why and in spite of of protection how the sport takes a toll on the fingers. I learned about how to place my fingers and how to pull back the arrow on the box to fire. I was happier to learn I would be working a lighter version of the bow but still with sharp arrows so safety was still highlighted. I expected to hit nothing. I did. I can barely cut paper straight so I had realistic expectations. I just wanted to shoot an arrow and be done.
Lo and behold I did hit nothing as my arrow missed the target completely and hit the ground. But heck, I had a whole lot of arrows and I was sure going to make sure I shoot all even if they all missed. The next one hit the target, not a bulls-eye or anything but actually hit the target. A fluke maybe? I chalked it up to that and felt it was time to dispel any notion that was half-good at this. The 2rd arrow not only hit the target board but in one of those rings that have points on it. That was it, I was now on a roll and arrow after arrow I consistently hit in a ring closer and closer to the center. Next thing I knew my arrows were done and I looked at my friend Ana who was also on a high like me. We thought hey let’s keep going with getting more arrows because us face-stuck-in-laptop girls found this fun.
Yes, I said “fun” and it would not be a stretch if I admitted it felt therapeutic. Of course I understood the archer’s claim that it was good for the eyesight since we often look at things near (hello computer people) that our eyes don’t get enough training for seeing things in a distance. I get that. But when I speak of it being therapeutic I mean relaxing. How and why I will leave to someone else to figure out. Maybe it has something to do with clearing my mind or something but all I know is back home I spied a Groupon kind deal for local archery lessons and I was tempted. Seriously. So while my views on guns stays totally in tact, do not be surprised if you see me toting a bow an arrow soon.
The only thing that was a bullseye, was the trip! Perfection!
Pssst, here is a video of the USA Olympics hopeful in Archery in action:
>Disclosure: I am a Kelloggs brand ambassador!