Sunday, 14 December 2014

In reflective mood...

Racketts Worcester Competition - Scored 240  (Format: two targets, one high, one low)
2nd in session. Won club team bronze medal overall

Wow, what a day. When Eric phoned this morning having walked the dogs to tell me the car wouldn’t start I was devastated. I’d looked forward to this competition for ages, didn’t do the Frostbite yesterday and now couldn’t shoot today? No…
It all turned out ok though as the breakdown guy got us going and we made it.

I shot really well on the first target, having had to adjust the sight a fair bit after the sighters and first couple of ends. Was shooting well though, lots of 5s, great rhythm, felt relaxed. That was on the lower target, scored 129 for the first 3 dozen. They had a board of scores as we were going along. I was first at one point and there was only ever 2 points between me and the other lady on that first target.

The higher target was always going to be a worry for me, having not been able to practice two targets at the Saturday session which was cancelled. It was a nightmare as I just couldn’t get up there with any accuracy at all. With no sighters I spent some time adjusting the sight, then just had to focus on my technique and try to improve. Was chuffed with the 5s I managed, especially the 3 in the final end. Only managed 111 on the upper target, which was the best I could manage. Gave it everything.
What can I say? I did my best, and just wasn’t prepared to shoot a target so high. I can’t replicate that at home, but will have to find a way of doing better. Who knows what score I could have achieved. Where I could have come? I don't know where I came overall yet as the results haven't come out.

My results in the first three competitions have shown the standard that I am is far better than I thought I was, especially given the way I have to shoot. Whilst archery gives me so much, it is a great sadness that I will never be able to see how good I can be. CRPS yet again holds me back. I know I should be grateful to have achieved what I have in the three competition shoots I’ve done and it will hopefully just get better the more of them I shoot. I am, really I am. I am so lucky to have found a sport again that I love and also helps retain range of movement in my arms.

BUT, and it is a big but, it has also shown me that were I able to really focus, train and push myself harder the potential is there to do and achieve so much more. My coaches have said they feel I have the ability to become a para archer but that can never happen. Firstly CRPS doesn’t qualify under the rules of classification for para archers so I can never be one anyway. Worse though is the fact that I can’t travel more than about 20 miles to shoot in competitions, can’t shoot more than a couple of times a week because it wipes me out so much, nor do any other training which would help me do better. I have to nurse my arms along as best I can, with some days being unable to get to full draw let alone anything else. 

Whilst I have the motivation, attitude, technique and application (my coaches' words not mine) there is that ever present barrier that I have no way of getting over. Or around. It saddens me, but more it annoys the hell out of me. I hadn’t achieved what I wanted to in golf before it was taken from me. Highlights included two hole-in-ones, representing Essex Ladies, getting down to a 5.3 handicap, winning numerous competitions including the Scratch County Handicap Trophy, set a one over par course record on my home course. I was nigh on unbeatable in matchplay (that determination again). I only got to play for three or so years before CRPS struck. It is still sticking the boot in now.

All I can do is keep plugging away, keep entering competitions, shooting when I can and the best I can. If having CRPS has taught me anything it is to go for it, because you never know when you might lose that thing you love. My body might continue to let me down (I sometimes wonder which bit will go wrong next) but it won’t bring me down. I do hate losing after all….

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