It’s true! Archery benefits the addict!
Archery has helped me in so many ways in my recovery, and I think it’s a safe and healthy way of fulfilling my reward-seeking tendencies of my inner addict.
My achery story
I took up archery a good few years ago and shot with a recurve bow for about a year and a half. Skip forward to 2018 and I finally bought myself a bow!
I had the choice to go recurve, which is what I knew and what I’d shot up until then, or go compound which I’d been around but never shot before. I ended up going compound and bought the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro.
This bow allows me to grow from a light draw-weight (5lbs) to up to 70lbs. I can promise you I probably won’t ever exceed 50lbs (I’m currently on 45lbs) so it’s more than enough!
Ok ok, I’ve rambled on long enough about my bow. “How does archery benefit the addict?” you all but scream at me. Well, I’ll tell ya!
How archery benefits the addict
To get to this, we need to understand some of
the basic traits of an addict:
- Adventurous and we take risks.
- Disconnected and cautious.
- Obsessive & compulsive.
- Unable to self-regulate.
just to list a few.
So let’s break those down and how archery benefits the addict.
Adventurous & risk-taking
Let’s face it, archery is a cool sport. It involves you weilding a deadly weapon and shooting with deadly accuracy. This appeals to our adventurous side.
And I guess there is an element of risk-taking, when you consider some of the injuries people have encurred from the sport.
Do yourself a favor, do not Google archery injuries! It’s NOT pretty.
Disconnected & cautious
Archery is a sport which you can do completely alone – if you choose to (and once you have the basic training under your belt of course)! So in this, it already appeals to the addict who feels overwhelmed by people.
It’s also a sport in which you can go slow. In fact, it’s encouraged! So it appeals to the cautious of us addicts.
In archery your mind has to be in the moment, in the present, on your shot. You have to concentrate on the target, on your bow arm, your draw arm, your anchor point, your trigger (if you’re shooting compound), your breathing, and while you’re thinking about all of that your mind also has to be clear. Sounds impossible, but it isn’t. And it’s great!
Best part about it, it’s like a mini escape from all my thoughts every time I nock an arrow.
Obsessive & compulsive
Addicts by nature are obsessive as well as compulsive. We thrive on reward-based actions! We’re often competitive.
What better way than to compete against myself each round I take? I get to feel great when I hit that bullseye from 18m, I get to feel pumped when I outshoot my previous score, and I get to feel confident after logging my scores for a few weeks and seeing my progress on a graph I created. It’s all reward based, man.
Unable to self-regulate
Addicts unfortunately don’t have a way of self-regulating naturally. We like things in excess, and often we struggle with daily balances in life. Archery benefits the addict here as well!
By shooting every morning, or on a regular basis, I am forming good habits and behaviours. I am slowly starting to self-regulate.
I have also learned to still myself and focus on my shot, it’s showing through my shooting which is improving daily. It’s a nice way to let off some steam if my BDP is acting up and I’m getting overly emotional in a bad way, and the daily routine of 5 rounds calms my anxiety and gets me going for the day in a positive way.
In the most basic sense, it’s helped refocus my mind.
In fact I often wish I had the pressure of having to go to a range to shoot so I could set aside a good hour or so for my archery and maybe even some me time (something I’ve often neglected in my life) vs being able to pick up and fling some arrows at a whim.
So what I’m saying is, don’t make excuses, go visit your local range and get started in archery. You will NOT regret it.