Thanks to movies like The Hunger Games, The Avengers and Brave, bow sales have increased by 35% in recent years. I first heard about this increased interest in archery through an article on NPR called “More Girls Target Archery, Inspired by The Hunger Games.” The story mentioned how archery ranges and stores used to be dominated by camo-clad hunters, and now it is common to see young girls practicing. I realized that originally I too was inspired by a series of movies (and books). In my case it was Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games.
Last year I joined OC’s Archery After Program. I had fun learning about things like shooting volleys, waxing bowstrings, arrow repair, target types, general bow care and safety. I am the proud owner of my great-grandfather's handmade self bow (a bow made from a single piece of wood) and a MUCH newer recurve bow! The facilitator of OC’s Archery After Program is Chris McNichol, who is incredibly helpful and supportive of young archers. He happily shares his expertise with humor and I couldn't imagine a better facilitator for that program.
I now look back and realize that I practice archery because I love it, and not because I want to be like characters in movies. Archery has increased my focus: archers learn to tune out any distractions and concentrate on what they are doing. It has increased my coordination—placing one's feet, nocking arrows, finding one's anchor point all happen in a matter of seconds—and it takes a lot of practice. I was surprised how stress-relieving archery is too; releasing the arrow, watching the arrow fly, hearing the sound of it hitting the target feels like a form of meditation. So go out and give archery a try! Whether it's connecting with your inner Katniss or Hawkeye, relieving stress or just having some fun— trust me it'll be enjoyable!