Splitting Arrows

I was on my second round at the archery range. Two arrows already sticking out of the target, I picked up the third. I placed it on the arrow rest and almost immediately there was a calmness as if nothing else existed except that moment.

I had only tried my hand at archery once before and immediately fell in love with it! A few practice runs and body positioning tips, I went for the furthest target I could hit with my bow. That was two months ago.

Now I was back at the same archery range; a change of management but great people all around. I even signed up for full membership and will be getting my own bow soon. :)

A cool fellow called Zane was going to be showing me the ropes today. His laid back demeanour would occasionally be broken by his excitement for the sport and he managed to answer every one of my annoying child-like questions with the passion of a sensei.

He had already adjusted the bow a couple of times for me and suggested slight changes to my yaw or pitch each time a new arrow was at the rest.

This time, on the third arrow of the second round, I could not hear anything except for the rhythmic pounding of my chest, a slight breeze in the air and calmness of my breathing.

Pulling the bow string as far back as I could with my finger behind the trigger, I aligned the target with the sight. I began talking to myself (something I do more often than I’d like to admit), “angle to the left… slightly higher”.

And then the moment; pressing the trigger and letting the arrow fly.

When the arrow leaves the comfort of the rest, it is beautiful. A split second moment where it flies through the air and sticks into the target.

I heard the thump but didn’t look to see where/how it went. I held my posture. Whenever you try to follow the arrow, you move the bow. Moving the bow makes a slight but significant change to where the arrow will end up.

“Robin Hood!”

I was just gaining back environmental awareness as more people said it.. “Robin Hood!”. There was an electric mood in the air. The other archers had stopped and were just repeating the same thing: “Robin Hood!”.

I thought I was missing something. An inside joke, or saying, that perhaps after winning their trust I would be let in to the circle.

Zane.. Sensei.. he surely would tell me what was going on.

“You made a Robin Hood..” - The splitting of one arrow with another. A clean splice through the notch (back) of the first arrow and embedding itself there.

“Robin Hood” at the Nairobi Archery Club . David Lemayian . 19-Jul-2015