Looking back on high school, it’s easy for me to generalize students into two opposing categories. The haves and the have-nots. The rule-minders and the bathroom-smokers. The kids who played an instrument and the ones who wouldn’t be caught dead near the band lockers. The PE lovers and the bookworms. Can you guess which one I was? (As my son says, “Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.”)
But there was one semester of PE I really enjoyed, and that was the tennis, golf, and archery class. That was years ago, but our Christmas household addition of a PS3 Move reminded me that archery is a lot of fun. So I asked the family to accompany me to Rocky Mountain Archery for some real target shooting. Unlike some of the activities I’ve suggested, my sons didn’t need much convincing for this one. Hmm…bows and arrows…go figure.
When we arrived, owner Stewart King was happy to help get us started. He tested us for hand/eye dominance and selected the proper recurve bow for each of us. After a quick tutorial on safety and form (I didn’t know that ‘dry shooting’—shooting without an arrow—was bad for a bow) it was time to nock our arrows. After a few practice shots, we put up our paper targets and got down to business.
First thing in the morning, the range was not busy—which was good, as we were a little wild to begin with. But it didn’t take long for us to settle in. My aim has always been suspect, no matter what I’m doing (darts, bowling, mini golf—I’m more of an ‘in the ballpark’ kind of a gal) so I had my share of shots that missed the target. But I also had some good ones and even hit the yellow a few times.
The other shooters at the range were using compound bows, which look to me like a cross between a torture device and a small piece of Pilates equipment. I preferred the more traditional recurve. Feeling the tension of the pulled bowstring, holding steady and finding my aim (such as it was), the thrum of the vibrating string and the thwock of the arrow…I tell you, I had all kinds of fun channeling my inner Artemis. (I have no desire to actually skewer any living creatures, but I do love the word ‘huntress.’)
At $5 for equipment rental and $7 for a day of unlimited shooting, Rocky Mountain Archery is not pricey. They also offer a pro shop and lounge, competitive leagues, and birthday parties. And you don’t even need special shoes. Take that, bowling.