A Look Back in Time

I got out of bed around 6:30 on Sunday morning. It has been a long time since I got up early to head to an indoor target archery tournament. I was on the road by 7 o’clock.

After setting my cruise control at 73mph I let the tension out of my body and enjoyed the ride. The fresh snow was still relatively white, which was somewhat surprising since it had been on the ground for almost two days. There’s nothing better than fresh snow before it gets tainted with debris.

As I continued driving a lot of thoughts from past years moved in and out of my head. Since I was headed to the annual Guan Ho Ha Vegas Tournament I remembered the very first time I ever attended it, which was almost 20 years ago. I had never shot in an indoor tournament and didn’t know what to expect.

When shooters were called to the line for the first scoring end I can recall my heart rate accelerating. My breathing was shallow and rapid. I was in a place I’d never been. Instead of letting the emotions overwhelm me I decided to embrace the nervousness and just do what I always did………………shoot my bow to the best of my ability. If I did well I would be happy and if I didn’t I would do everything I could to improve the next time around.  Before I knew it we were adding scores. I couldn’t believe how quickly it was over.

I never got ahead of myself and I shot one arrow at a time without thinking too far into the future. I walked away that day with a first place finish and an award for the highest score of the tournament. To the day it’s still one of my best moments in competitive archery. It gave me something I would need to succeed when I started shooting in national events. In the years to come I would win that tournament a handful of times.

Eventually I ran into problems with nervousness. Although I could still shoot very well I had a hard time reaching my peak performance in competition. It hindered my ability to shoot consistent scores and ultimately led to my loss in interest of the sport.

Now, with a second chance after surgery I’m ready to address the problem and set a goal to fix it. I will get back to the level I used to be at and I will use the nervousness to my advantage. I will harness it and shoot my practice scores in tournaments again. Although I can’t practice as much due to the surgically repaired shoulder I can still visualize and rehearse mentally. I look forward to the challenge. Now that I have set goals I’ll map out a plan to achieve them. A person without a goal just has hope. A person with a goal has something to look forward to. I will no longer hope I do well. I know I will do well again.

………………after a look back in time a new journey has begun. Set your own goals and begin your journey. Good luck.

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