Following in the footsteps of Merida, Katniss, Oliver Queen and Hawkeye–or at least trying to

My three day weekends are often filled with a lot of TV, napping, ‘net surfing, and generally sitting around. And yes, while this weekend wasn’t too different, it did have a few bright points, particularly Friday, ’cause this time, Friday was all about the FLYING FATALITY CLASS! (aka archery lesson) Jane and I had a Living Social coupon for Field Time Sports and Guns–kind of a creepy place, to be honest, if you’re anti-hunting like me. But the class was a million kinds of awesome.

Our instructor, Christopher, was exactly what you want when you’re being taught how to use a deadly weapon–friendly, funny, and patient, but most of all, skilled and enthusiastic about his sport. Plus he had great stories of previous students of the Katniss-fanatics variety. It was a small class of four–me, Jane, and a youngish couple (Kim and her bf/hubby/so whose name I never caught)–which meant plenty of personal attention. Plus there were two archery enthusiasts already on the range who frequently offered encouragement and the occasional joke.

We learned how to use a compound bow–lots of moving parts, but easier to control and to aim than a recurve bow. We shot at standard targets for awhile, practicing keeping our arrows in close groupings, then moved on to paper cups balanced on balloons. And yes, I totally nailed that cup with my first shot. And my third and fourth shots. (Second shot was to kill the balloon.) (My fifth shot went way wide for some reason, which is still bothering me.) We shot at a swinging plastic ball, which sadly I was only able to nick a few times before it inevitably got silenced by Kim’s partner. And we got to shoot zombies (which was one of the main reasons for taking this class in the first place–zombie apocalypse, anyone?), or at least, big portrait drawings of zombies. With ten seconds to make a kill shot, I totally got one of those bastards right in the eye. Woo!

I really loved this class. It took only a few shots for it to start to feel natural and right. Maintaining the proper stance, breathing into the shot, taking aim and holding it–it required a lot of focus, and I found the experience very calming and centering. I can’t wait to do it again, which is why we’ve already bought a voucher for another half-price class. (I even checked out compound bows on Amazon, but wow, those suckers are NOT cheap.)

Oh, and possibly one of the best parts? One hour of archery equaled SIX Weight Watchers activity points–score!

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