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April 06, 2012

Taking Aim with Archery

The neighborhood that I live in is called Park Santiago Neighrobhood because it's a neighborhood that is right next to the most beautiful park in the world, in my opnion: Park Santiago, in Santa Ana. 

One of the most interesting things about this park is that it has an archery range (one of the few in southern California). For quite some time, I've been wanting to take up archery. Not only because of the range but I've always been fascinated with the sport that is so much about refining one's aim. 

So yesterday, I took my very first class in Park Santiago with instructor Janet Dykman, who is one of America's most accomplished archers.

Jenny Doh
When I first met Janet, she asked me to put my hands up to form a small hole and to look directly at her through that hole. 

After that was done, she asked me if I had shot arrows before and I said I had not. She said "Good, that means you have no bad habits that we'll need to break."

And as were getting started, I told her that I'd like to shoot left-handed because I'm left-handed. Well ... actually, my left-handedness is a complicated situation as you may recall here but I was explaining how I felt that a left-handed hold of the bow and arrow felt more natural to me.

Jenny Doh
But Janet explained that though I may favor my left hand, my right eye is my dominent eye. Because when I looked at her through that hole, she says I used my right eye. I had no idea! It's a simple test that you can do with a partner to see which eye you focus with.

She was explaining how when folks start archery favoring their dominent hand, which sometimes is counter to their dominent eye, it becomes a very frustrating process, with arrows flying everywhere.

Turns out that it's all about the eye, which allows you to proparly aim. She told me that I would be able to train my arm muscles to shoot as a right-handed person but that it's eaiser to train those muscles rather than the eye.

I learned so much more. And I had such a wonderful time because archery felt and came so naturally to me. I will tell you more as I continue on this journey ... a sport that I feel will be with me for a long time as I learn to refine my aim.

By the way, I haven't seen The Hunger Games. But my kids have started to call me Katniss, which they say is a good thing. :)


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Such a cool post - Not only do you look like a natural at archery but I learned something too! I am left-handed for writing and eating but right handed for everything else but I am left eye dominant - go figure!

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