Dragonslayer for a day … Archery!

Archery 1 (header)

Tangado haid! Leithio i philinn!

The sun descended towards the West. It’s piercing rays of light protruded through the swaying trees on my left. I winced as it shone in my eyes.

Sweat formed on my forehead. The heat was stifling. Before me lay the red creature, swaying mockingly in the refreshing breeze. The tension in my arms was beginning to take its toll. My left hand gripped the black bow firmly, while I drew back the last arrow from my set. The feathers touched my right cheek. My eyes were set on the target …

In an instant, the sun dipped behind a large patch of trees and the wind had calmed down. The target lay motionless in front of me. My eyesight was direct; my head clear. I bent my knees and let the arrow loose …

Ripping through the air with quivering deadliness. the projectile found its mark right through the red creature.

I had passed my basic archery course examination.

Excuse my indulgence in a bit of dramatic storytelling.

It may sound like an extended scene from the opening scene of The Battle of the Five Armies; and although I’m no Bard, and my target was simply a wavering piece of red paper, it really felt like I was there in that moment.

Archery 1

Serious mode enabled …

Well before appreciating the art of archery from the glorious shots of Bard the Bowman, Legolas or countless Elves in the Middle-earth films, I was always fascinating by Medieval history and the English longbow.

Although the desire was great, I had never attempted to try my hand at practicing this art. So it just came to me to go ahead and take on the basic course at a local Archery Centre.

Sure enough, I was already pretty psyched at the idea of holding a real bow, let alone shooting real arrows and (sometimes) hitting my mark.

The thrill of letting loose an arrow, watching it traverse the air and dive into the target is beyond description. The visuals, the sensations, the sounds … it’s all part of a unique experience.

Archery 2

Hat and sunglasses became too cumbersome, so I had to ditch them for better aim!

Now I know how difficult it must have been for the actors to train. Although the mantra is to point and shoot – using your body rather than your mind to hit the mark – it’s not as easy as you’d think.

Training and practice helps to get you into the mindset of an archer; and now that I’ve started this little adventure in my life I don’t think I want to stop!

As Bilbo says:

“You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Till next time folks!

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5 thoughts on “Dragonslayer for a day … Archery!

  1. Archery is quite addictive! I recently took up the hobby myself with a traditional longbow and it certainly takes a lot of practice but is really a lot of fun. It’s a nice stress reliever as well since you really have to clear your mind and focus on your shooting.

    It also doesn’t hurt to imagine yourself as a Ranger or Elven archer 😉

  2. I hope you wouldn’t mind having a get over of Bard or Legolas and making the same pose what you had in this picture…and posting it in your blog. WE would love to see it.

  3. Long before I stumbled into Middle Earth, I’ve loved archery, though I’ve never gotten a chance to take a course in it — yet! But between Robin Hood and American Indians, I had an early fascination with bows and arrows, and used to make them from sticks and string all the time. Good for you for actually going and taking lessons! Maybe when my kids are older, we can do that together.

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