Monday, May 7, 2012

Mojo Monday: Let the games begin!

When you start to feel like things are getting a little status quo, the best way to spice things up is to find something new and adventurous to get into.

No, I'm not referring to sex... at least not in this post. 

I vowed in the beginning of the year to find some interesting new activities that didn't break the bank. 

Although I loved the Russian baths, I haven't been back since, so I've been itching for something outside of my typical social schedule. 

The goal was also to be spontaneous and say "YES" to things popping up unexpectedly that might lead me outside the box.

Well, it just so happened that my friend invited me unexpectedly to take a ride and hang in the park in our neighborhood.

It was a gorgeous day and I had no set plans other than to get some work done, so I said yes.

We sat in the sun drinking beer out of paper bags old school style, and I was so happy to be outdoors.

We noticed some people walking over to the empty field nearby and my friend pointed out that it was an archery field. 

Archery on Staten Island? Really?

I was surprised I never knew it was there or knew anyone who had done it before. 

I watched through the fence, seriously impressed as they shot their bows and arrows Robin Hood style.

Finally one of the guys yelled out for us to come over and try it. I hesitated for a second, and then said YES.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I was SERIOUSLY excited. I felt like I was getting to experience a part of history. 

Maybe it was the fact that I'd seen The Hunger Games, Braveheart, and Robin Hood in the two weeks before, but I was like a kid in a candy store. Who knew?

These guys were no joke. They had some serious gear and some more basic stuff for beginners like us who wanted to try it out.

A "quiver" used to hold arrows behind your back

beautifully crafted bows, which can be pretty pricey

They were using traditional bows and arrows...

NOT the more modern compound bows common in hunting today. I was told those require less skill and effort than the traditional versions.

There's a whole subculture linked to archery, and although they were laid back, they definitely took it seriously.

I asked about a million questions and learned that they each had pseudonyms, and there are huge events where people set up tents, dress up in medieval garb, and represent their "kingdom" in competitions.

Yes, it was all a little "dungeons and dragons" but these guys were so cool to let us try it out. And because they had extra equipment, it was free!

I got a quickie lesson on safety, form, and mechanics before strapping on a leather arm band, finger tab glove, and taking my first shot. So exhilarating!

I was nervous at first, but it was actually a pretty calming, meditative experience once I got into it.

I definitely shot better than I expected to. The arrows flew straight and quick, just a little to the right of the target board. Eventually I hit it, and naturally, I did a cheesy celebratory dance.

I was very proud of myself. It was so fun, I felt like Katniss! (That's the girl from The Hunger Games in case you've been living under a rock.)

Ironically, the next day I got a Groupon for archery lessons on Staten Island... pretty strange coincidence. 

A few hours after that, I opened a People magazine right to an article about an actress who is into archery. Weird.

Then I had a dream someone was trying to kill me and I was defending myself with a bow and arrows, lol.

Clearly all signs were pointing in that direction, so I went with it.

They invited us to come practice any time, so I went back again, making a lot of my shots on the target board. Three or four even hit the blue!

Apparently there's a whole points system and ranking procedure. I'm not there just yet.

It was honestly one of the coolest things I'd done in a while. It's not often we stumble onto activities that are new and exciting.

It was definitely outside my comfort zone, but well worth it.

Admittedly, I'm a GINORMOUS geek. And while I might not meet the man of my dreams at the archery field or become a grand master bowman with a pseudonym like Angel Heart Demon Slayer, it sparked something in me that made me feel like a kid again.

I'll be on the lookout for other things that ignite the kid in me, and I encourage you to do the same.

So next time you're on the fence and someone asks you to cross over and try something new, do yourself a favor and just say

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