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Saturday, 26 March 2011
Given my wonky eyesight, you wouldn't expect me to be any good at shooting things. I mean, I'm a girl who walks into doorframes... precision is not my strong point.
Nevertheless, at the hotel last week there were daily sessions of coaching on the shooting ranges: air rifles, air pistols, and archery. With all these things available for free, it would have been silly not to have a go.
My husband had done a little archery and shooting before, and as we walked to our first session (pistols) he passed on a few tips. Shoot at the end of the out-breath, he suggested, as that's when your body is most still. And aim for consistency above accuracy, because if you can be consistent, you can learn to change by whatever degrees you need to in order to hit the target.
Well, that sounded achievable. I've done enough martial arts over the years to have a pretty good idea of where my body is, and how my muscles are flexing, at any given time. Consistency was something I could aim for.
The shooting distance was a few metres, and the target only about eight inches across. At that distance, to me, it's just a blurry circle of darkness; I can't pick out the individual rings. However, I aimed for the middle of the blurry shape and shot. I couldn't see where I'd hit, either, until the end of the round. We got ten shots, and almost all of them at least hit the target. In fact, they were almost all clustered within about a two-inch radius, so the consistency aspect was working out.
Then we got ten shots more, and now I just had to figure out how to centre my cluster around the bullseye, rather than at the top of the target.
I won't say I did brilliantly, but I did win the ladies' prizes for both the pistols and the air rifles that day! (The archery, I only won later in the week when I was the only woman...... my arms evidently aren't strong enough to be consistent with a bow.) Considering that I could barely see what I was aiming at, I was astonished.