Archery is for geeks. At least that’s what we’ve seen in many reports and videos the past few years. How did our great sport attain geek status? A blog from Slate.com provides some insight, including what they find “unflattering” in archery’s universe. They put together a short video of the recent Olympic Games, and note what they consider geeky vs. … well, “badass.”
The video clip can be viewed here.
Archery – Can Geeky and Cool Become One?
This video gives us much to view. First, we see archers at full draw. Everyone sees the bowstring against the face or nose and thinks it must be awkward. But it’s not. Pressing the string to your nose differs for everyone because no two faces are the same angle or slope. So, it’s a totally geeky move, right? But as we watch this archer’s release, we see she’s geeky no more. Her deadly aim is impressive. Plus, who doesn’t love watching that arrow leave her bow?
And then there’s the bucket hats. The video showed lots of archers wearing them, but did you notice they’re all excellent marksmen? Who cares what they wear on their head? When you’re a beast on the archery range, no one cares about your hat. You’re a force!
The term “geeky” can be defined two ways: You’re either “unfashionable” or you’re “knowledgeable with obsessive interest in something.” Archery has been popular in books, movies and on television for several years. “The Hunger Games” inspired readers of an entire book series to strive to be like Katniss, and their numbers skyrocketed when Ms. Everdeen leaped to the big screen. Meanwhile, TV shows like “Arrow” introduced millions to urban archery, proving you don’t have to live in the country to enjoy archery. That’s why finding a store, ranges and friends focused on archery makes for a “geeky” experience –marked by obsessive interest – all archers enjoy. They love swapping stories about how they got into the sport and what motivated them.
And check out the archers’ gear. Slate also highlights competitors who wear complex harness systems. But funny-looking hats and garments serve purposes, such as shielding an archer’s eyes and keeping the bowstring from slapping their arm, chest or shirt. Maybe someone will one day design a full-on shirt that protects us from the sun and our bowstring while making us look like the badass selves we envision. How about Green Arrow-inspired “all-in-one” garb that makes you look cool? We can dream, right?
Even the head of USA Archery, CEO Denise Parker, had much to say about archery becoming a geek sport when she was interviewed by NBC during the 2012 Olympic Games: “Archers are the new vampires. We like that, right!? In some weird geeky way, that’s cool nowadays.”
Yes, archery is awesome. You, too, can feel the joy of bows and arrows without being a rock star at the Olympics. And although watching archery on TV is great, wouldn’t you rather try it yourself and feel the rush firsthand?
You might ask: “But what if I’m not good enough? And what if my hand-eye coordination isn’t great?”
That’s OK. A bow can’t judge you. You control what you want to achieve. You can shoot for fun in your backyard with your buddies. You can challenge your siblings to see whose arrow hits closest to the center of the bull’s-eye. Or you can try 3-D archery and see who’s best at judging distances and making longer shots. No matter what you find to be fun, you’ll sound awesome describing it. Why? Because you’re shooting a bow.
Slate writes: “Watching an arrow slice through the air, the sport looks impossibly cool. Seen in slow motion, the shafts vibrate as they arc along their course.”
In fact, releasing an arrow for the first time is incredibly exciting. Shooting at and hitting targets is a fun, exhilarating, focus-driven, and heart-pounding roller-coaster ride. Archery also tests your capacity for growth and goal-setting as you seek a better version of yourself. And it’s been that way since ancient people discovered how to harness a bow’s energy and unleash it through an arrow.
So whether you wear a bucket hat or tap into your inner Katniss, shooting a bow will always be exciting. To find a place to shoot, click here. Tip: Specify in your search that you want a store with an archery range!
And remember: We’re all in this together. Now get out there and shoot, you badass geeks you!