A couple years ago, I had a summer schoolteacher take our class on a field trip to the Smithville Lake. While there, we saw bows, arrows, and a target. The teacher allowed us to shoot the bows and arrows at the target. It was at that point that I realized I was hooked. I loved archery. I went home that night and immediately told my mom and dad that there was an archery team in Middle School, and I wanted to join it that year.
My parents were very happy and supportive. You see, I was born with only one kidney. Due to that, I am not allowed to play contact sports like football or even baseball—basically anything that could risk injury to my one and only kidney. My parents have always tried to find other activities that I could do, but I never really liked any of them.
I also have ADHD and Dyslexia which makes it really hard for me to make friends and be very outgoing. Being on the archery team lets me do something that I love. The other archers and the coaches are all very supportive of me and I don’t feel like an outcast. Archery is not an activity that feels like someone is making me do something because I like to do it. Archery distracts me from the stress of school and lets me have a good time while hanging out with friends. I feel like the others on my team also have a passion and want to be there to do archery because they like it too. We as a team work well together.
Archery doesn’t only help me mentally it helps me physically by allowing me to stay active and healthier overall. Our family has gotten pretty involved in archery as well. We all go outside in our backyard, and I shoot arrows at a 3D target I have at home.
The number one goal for the 2022 archery season is to have fun. However, my personal goal in the 2022 season is to shoot a 270 or higher in Bullseye and to do better than I did last year. Shooting at 3D targets for the first time was a lot of fun last year, but I want to go from the 202 I shot in 2021 to at least a 230.
Another goal I have for the 2022 season is to help my team members to improve. I had a friend last year who would help motivate me and give me pointers to improve my shooting. We really did well together, and I want to pass that along to the rest of my team.
This year I am excited to meet the new archers. Since I have already been in the archery program, I feel like I have a little more experience than some of them may have. I can teach them how to score on a Bullseye or 3D target, about the 11 steps, and different exercises I do. Training and encouragement is only going to make our team more successful, solid, and better. I can be their cheerleader to help encourage them to do better and not give up.
It is one arrow at a time, and once that one is shot just focus on the next arrow.