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Archery - Shooting Downhill and Uphill


Shooting Downhill

Observe the image above. Now tell me, which is further away. The sheep that is 30 yards away on level ground, or the sheep which is 30 yards away on a downhill slope.

If you said they were both the same distance, you would technically be correct.

But when it comes to archery - and in this case gravity - the sheep on the downward slope is really only 21 yards away.

Thus a person using a compound bow in the above example should be using the 20 yard pin, not the 30 yard pin, and aiming just barely below the 20 yard pin so it is closer to 21 yards.

This represents a common mistake when it comes to archery / bowhunting. People assume that because the target is a certain distance away in a straight line that they should aim according to that distance. But what they don't understand is that gravity only affects the arrow for the distance horizontally that the arrow spends in the air.

Thus when shooting at a target on a downhill slope all you really need to do is calculate the horizontal distance to the target. With experience, archers can learn to figure out this and calculate their shot accordingly, but if you didn't know this then you would end up having the shot go too high and end up missing the target entirely because you were aiming too high.

There is also a 2nd problem. Gravity Assist Acceleration. Logic and science dictates that gravity would actually help the arrow on a downward shot go faster. Yes, this is technically true, but the difference is so negligible at short distances that it doesn't really effect the accuracy. At much longer distances then it would matter, but at the distances that people typically hunt at it does not really matter.

Form Wise - On a downhill shot you want to lean into the shot so you can align your shoulders correctly. Trying to stand up straight with your arm on too much of a downward angle will cause your bow shoulder to tense up. By leaning forward (like you would when bowfishing) you allow your bow shoulder to become relaxed and align yourself properly. Practicing downhill shooting form is definitely recommended if you plan to be shooting that way regularly. A good way to do this would be to get into bowfishing.

"The Arrow is Always Arcing."

Shooting Uphill

With an upward shot we encounter the same problem, with a slight twist. Again the sheep is really only 10 yards away in the image shown on the right, but it looks so much further away and the height be confusing.

Instead look horizontally to an object that is directly below your target and calculate your distance to that. Then aim accordingly.

Gravity Deceleration will again effect your arrow (like it always does), but no more than any regular horizontal shot at a short distance. The difference will be so negligible that it will be barely noticeable.

Form Wise - If the target is only a little bit higher than yourself, then your form doesn't really need to be changed at all. However on a really high angle (like in the case of bowhunting for birds) you will have to deliberately lean backwards... the trick however is to only lean enough that it allows a more comfortable and accurate shot, but without causing you to tense up your shoulder. Getting into bird-hunting is one way to get good at the really high angles.

Below: Bird hunters in the Venezuelan Amazon prepare for a shot.
They use very long arrows so that if they miss the arrow is easy to find.

A Comprehensive Guide to Archery within Game of Thrones

The Top Five Episodes of Game of Thrones with respect to Archery...

There are a lot of excellent archery scenes in Game of Thrones. I have picked 5 of my favourite scenes that best illustrate archery as a skill.

Game of Thrones Season 1, Episode 1

"Relax your bow arm." - Robb Stark, instructing Bran Stark on how to shoot.


This scene is actually quite good from an archery perspective. Bran makes several common archery mistakes, like plucking his release, and tensing up his bow arm / bow shoulder. The advice Robb gives Bran to "relax" his bow arm is actually very good advice.

Archery Trivia - The glove Bran is wearing is a Neet archery glove, made in the USA, which use Velcro on the wrist strap. The manufacturing tag was removed.


Game of Thrones Season 2 Episode 9

Not much is talked about the shot here executed by Bronn, but it is important because he is later made a knight and called Sir Bronn of the Blackwater, referring to this shot. The result of the shot, spoiler alert, is one heck of an explosion.


Archery Trivia - The bow used by Bronn is a replica of the Meare Heath bow. The Meare Heath is remnants of a prehistoric neolithic flatbow wrapped with deer sinew in a IXIXI pattern. Below is a remnant of a Meare Heath limb next to a modern replica of a limb.


Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6

This episode is important because it is one of the few episodes containing Anguy the Archer - the best archer in all of Westeros, and includes a scene where he is teaching Arya how to shoot.


The problem with the above scene is Arya's form. She is pulling so far to the side, her form is inconsistent and she is apparently shooting at such a short distance that she is basically "shooting instinctively". At such a short distance she should be able to hit easily whatever she wants to hit, with very little skill required - and very little time spent aiming. Anguy points this out, noting this she took her "sweet time" doing it.

He then proceeds to correct her elbow so that her back is doing more of the work, and encourages her to shoot without aiming (trying to teach her how to shoot instinctively).

Another good scene to watch with Anguy is in Season 3 Episode 2, when Anguy intimidates Hotpie into backing away when he shoots an arrow almost straight up and it comes back down only yards away from himself where Hotpie was standing - and backed away just in time to avoid being hit.


Archery Trivia - Anguy's bow limbs are tipped with carved horn, suggesting that the bow is quite strong and powerful. However Arya is still pulling it, suggesting Arya is really strong for her young age (doubtful) or the people directing the scene chose to ignore that a girl Arya's age would never be able to pull and hold steady such a powerful bow.


Game of Thrones Season 4, Various Episodes

It is hard to choose one episode or scene from this season, so instead we will point to Ygritte's role in season 4 in general.

In the show (and the books) Ygritte is supposedly a great archer, but routinely the actress is doing all sorts of bad things with her bow which makes her look like a complete amateur. Things like:
  • Using 4 fingers on the bowstring (+ inconsistent use of her fingers in general);
  • Wrapping one finger of her bowhand around the arrow;
  • Pulling back the arrow near her shoulder or often a foot away from her face;
  • Inconsistent draw length...
 I could go on and on. Watching Ygritte shoot in season 4 is like watching a how to guide of how NOT to shoot. You can basically just pick any episode from season 4 with Ygritte shooting and you will have a scene showing you what NOT to be doing.


Archery Trivia - Ygritte's bow is another replica of the famous Meare Heath bow, except this one is a shorter recurved version of the Meare Heath.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 9

I have a whole post dedicated to this episode. See Ramsay's Archery Skills on Game of Thrones to learn more.

To summarize, Ramsay shoots at various distances in this episode and is even showing off to the soldiers behind him by deliberately missing most of his shots. In the moving GIF below he doesn't even look at the target as he deliberately misses. (I shall not spoil the rest of the scene, but suffice to say that if you have not seen that episode then maybe you should reading the above mentioned post about Ramsay's Archery Skills.)


Archery Trivia - The bow Ramsay uses is a Penobscot bow, a double limbed flatbow that uses adjustable cables so that the user can adjust the power of the bow and thus can maximize power and improve long range accuracy. The Penobscot are a Native American tribe from the Maine region of the USA, their bows were rather unique design wise.

Ramsay using a Penobscot Bow

A Penobscot Bow

I may add more posts on this topic in the future, perhaps choosing 5 other episodes and make a sequel post. If this is something you would like to read leave a comment below and subscribe to CardioTrek.ca.

Happy Shooting!

Recreational Archery - 5 Ways to have Fun Shooting

Want to have more fun while practicing archery? Here are 5 ways to make recreational archery even more fun - and challenge your skills!

#1. Shoot Balloons with Arrows

One of the simplest and easiest ways to keep kids / young archers occupied is to use balloons on your target.

Tip - For extra fun, put about 2 tablespoons of glitter inside the balloon and watch the explosion of glitter when they hit it. Filming the glitter explosion is also a good idea. If you don't have glitter handy, you can also use corn starch and food colouring.

However leaving broken balloons and lots of glitter all over the place is bad mojo, so please clean up your mess afterwards.


#2. Blowing out a Candle with an Arrow

For more advanced archers, this is a fun challenge. Trying to blow out a candle without hitting the actual candle. (And without setting fire to your arrow. For obvious reasons you should take safety precautions when practicing this.)


#3. Shooting at Fruit / Vegetables

Another popular thing for kids to shoot at is fruit and vegetables (preferably the kind they dislike the most). While watermelons might seem like a good idea, that is a waste of good watermelon! Instead try shooting at apples, broccoli or something the kid really dislikes.

"Zombie Survivalists" - people who are a bit obsessed with the TV show "The Walking Dead" - prefer to shoot at head sized melons, however they seem to be forgetting that to kill a zombie you have to get them in the brain, which is roughly double the size of an apple, which means they should be picking pretty small melons.

Note - Shooting at fruit and vegetables tends to leave juice all over your arrows and that will smell bad if you forget to clean your arrows afterwards. Keep some water, rags and maybe even some cleaning alcohol handy for cleaning your arrows after you are done shooting and clean them before storing them away.


#4. Robin Hood an Arrow

Trying to split an arrow is a huge challenge. See my tips on How To Split An Arrow. For extra challenge, try to Robin Hood a Moving Target.

To do it on purpose, place an old arrow (one you don't need any more) in the middle of your target and then practice shooting until you manage to robin hood (hit it directly in the end). You may not get it on the first day of practicing this particular challenge, but with regular practice you will eventually do it - and do it again and again. (I have lost track of how many times I have Robin Hooded my arrows.)

If you would rather not destroy one of your arrows, a different challenge is to shoot at a piece of LifeSaver candy. If you get it right it in the middle then that is just as good as Robin Hooding an arrow.


#5. Field Archery / Roving

Field Archery is a specific sport of archery, wherein your challenge is to try and hit a target at a random / unknown distance. The distance is usually unmarked and the location is usually across a field, across rough terrain or in the wilderness. As a sport, it was traditionally practiced by people who are into bowhunting and "rovers".

One way to get into Field Archery is to get a Target Ball, like the one shown below. Then simply toss it into a field and begin shooting at it. I recommend using metal blunt arrowheads so you don't damage the ball as much. The interior of the thick rubber ball is filled with sand, so you will definitely want to avoid using broadheads as that will leave holes and cause it to leak sand. I also recommend using wingnuts on the arrowheads so that your arrows don't get lost in grass easily in the event you miss.


Roving is an old tradition of young men going for a walk and shooting at random objects along the way, often while drinking and making up drinking songs like "A-Roving We Will Go". Rovers would wander across the countryside and pick random targets to shoot at, sometimes combined with "I dare you to try to shoot ____." The practice of roving dates back to the 16th century, and possibly earlier when it might have been known by different names.

The modern equivalent of roving is called "Stump Shooting", shown below. The archers wanders around old woods and looks for old tree stumps that are fairly rotten and falling apart, and then shoots the rotting tree stump. Make sure you check to see if the tree stump is actually fairly soft, as you wouldn't want to shoot at a hard tree stump and damage your arrow.


Want more archery tips and fun ideas? Subscribe to CardioTrek.ca using the options on the upper right.

It is the archer, not the bow

You can buy a fancy bow if you want to, but if you don't learn how to shoot it won't really matter.

The meme below demonstrates what I am talking about.


If you ever wanted an example of why people should get archery lessons and why lessons is more important than buying an expensive bow, just think of the above meme. Does it hurt to get archery lessons? No. Should you get them? Yes.

Here are a few scenarios for you to consider...

Would you buy an Aston Martin DB5 without first taking some driving lessons and learning how to drive stick?


There are many things people should learn more about before they put money into it. Buying real estate, a computer, very large pets (like a horse or a lion), firearms, fireworks (really, anything involving explosives is probably a bad idea), buying a business, etc. The internet is full of stories of people who did things without learning more about what it is was they were getting into.

There is an amusing post I read today titled "The 3 Lessons I Learned After Accidentally Buying a Liquor Store", which details how a guy who did real estate investments accidentally ended up getting into liquor business because it was part of a property he wanted to buy, and how he eventually learned it was not a cash cow, required a lot of work, the industry was very complex because the distributors controlled everything, and how it was a huge mistake.


Seriously. People need to learn things first before they make an investment. As Yoda would say:

"Much to learn you still have."


Just for fun, here is one more.

Pokémon Go as a Workout Plan - How to get the Most Exercise and the Most Pokémon

First, what is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game that works on both Apple and Android devices (smart phones and tablets). The game uses real world exploration to collect Pokémon in the game, and later to battle Pokémon against each other.

Note - The game has become intensely popular, as the Pokémon Go craze has swept the USA and Canada. For some people it is now more popular than Facebook. It isn't just for kids either. Many adults, usually between 20 to 40, are now playing the game. But that doesn't mean that elderly people cannot get into it too, and are doing so - partially for the fitness benefits.

The goal of the game is to physically get the player to go from location to location, collecting Pokéballs, Pokémon, and other objects within the game. This means that people are walking, jogging, running, cycling, etc to get from location to location as part of the goals of playing the game.

Pokéstops are real world locations, varying from park benches dedicated to people, statues, museums, art galleries, historic sites, etc. At each Pokéstop a person visits they can then slide the icon sideways so it spins and they then get free Pokéballs and other stuff that are useful for playing the game.

Being close to Pokéstops also means that you are also in a great place to catch random Pokémon. They will randomly appear on the screen, usually with your phone vibrating or making a beeping noise to alert you that there is a random Pokémon nearby. Click on the Pokémon and you can attempt to catch it by throwing Pokéballs at it. (Which feels a bit like basketball, but once you get the hang of it throwing the balls and catching them is pretty easy. The only trick is if you miss, that Pokéball is gone and you can run out of Pokéballs very easily if you are struggling to get good accuracy with your throw.)

Pokégyms are unlike real gyms, in the sense that you don't normally fight people at gyms. When you visit one you can try to defeat the current defender(s) of the gym which works a bit like the old "King of the Castle" game you might have played when you were a kid. You fight your strongest Pokémon against whichever Pokémon are guarding the gym. If you manage to defeat all of the Pokémon guarding a gym, then you capture that gym and you can leave a Pokémon there to guard it. You will get your Pokémon back after they are later eventually defeated.

Pokémon Go's Augmented Reality

So why is Pokémon Go good for Fitness?

This game has been surprisingly good at getting people outside exercising when they would normally be indoors watching TV or fooling around on the internet. It is arguably a Competitive Sport.

The more you exercise, the more Pokémon you get, the more powerful those Pokémon become, the better they do in battles, etc. Thus it is a surprisingly powerful and easy way to motivate people to go outside and exercise.

That motivation factor is one of the biggest reasons why some people succeed at losing weight and others fail in their attempt. A game which helps motivate people to go for walks outdoors certainly scores points on the motivation factor, even if it does seem childish.

Now it is possible to gain various things within the game, like Pokéballs, just by paying for them. However even if you pay for the Pokéballs you still need to go outside and walk around to find and catch Pokémon - as they are rarely going to be on your doorstep. Thus while some people might choose to spend money in an effort to reduce how much exercise they have to do to play the game, they still need to exercise a fair bit just to find Pokémon.

Furthermore you cannot cheat during this game. While it is possible to catch a few Pokémon while in a car or on a bus, most of the time the speed of the vehicle will cause you to miss things, such as Pokémon and Pokéstops that are too far away by the time GPS catches up to the speed of the vehicle you are in. Thus the ideal speeds to be going is somewhere between walking and bicycling.

What I find fascinating is that this game has done what no sport has done before - get millions of people to suddenly go outside and exercise, with little more motivation than the attempt to find fictional non-existent pocket monsters who only exist within the game. You don't really get much out of the game beyond the fun of catching them, and the journey of catching them becomes the really fun part instead - in other words, walking around and exploring becomes the real challenge and the whole point of the game. The journey becomes both the means and the end goal.

10 Ways to Lose Weight using Pokémon Go

1. Family Fitness - Take the whole family with you and you can all play the game together as you explore. Friends who are also into the game means more people to talk to while you explore, so it becomes a social activity for everyone involved.

2. Jogging - Get from Pokéstop to Pokéstop faster by jogging. Dress for the occasion and take water with you! (Or plan your route so it goes by libraries with free water fountains.)

3. Cycling - Get there even faster on a bicycle. See more Pokéstops and catch more Pokémon in less time. Many bicycle trails will also have various Pokéstops along the way too.

Map of Pokémon locations in downtown Toronto
4. Walking - Take the easy way and just walk it. Very relaxing. In Toronto a simple walk around the downtown area will garner you quite a few Pokémon. See map on right.

5. Hiking - Hilly parklands can sometimes have lots of Pokémon. In the last two days I have visited two parks in Toronto and came away feeling invigorated from walking and exploring, and catching quite a few Pokémon.

6. Focus on Cardio - Don't be afraid to alter your speed now and then. Rotate between walking and jogging between Pokéstops the same way people do using HIIT (high intensity interval training). This way you get to enjoy the best of both worlds between walking and jogging, getting more Pokémon faster, but with breaks that allow you to take it easy once in awhile.

7. Stay Safe - Don't take silly risks. Pay attention to where you are going, what is around you, avoid cliffs or steep ledges, take the long way around, avoid dangerous shortcuts, and take your time. Also you don't need to look at your phone the whole time. You can ignore it while you walk from location to location.

8. Go to the Beach - If you want to swim, then do it safely. All of the Pokémon will be on the shore however as they usually dot places of importance, historical or otherwise. Many water-based Pokémon can be found near lakes, rivers, and ponds - and Toronto has plenty of rivers and water features to check out.

9. Rollerblading - Again, watch where you are going and be careful. Rollerblading will let you get from place to place faster, which saves on battery life - and you get to capture more Pokémon faster.

10. Skateboarding - Not for everyone, but still a decently fun way to get around Toronto.

Note - Fans of the Pokémon TV show will also note that one of the main characters also used a skateboard frequently to get around.


How to do an Archery Trick Shot

The trick shot I did yesterday for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's #TakeYourShot campaign got me thinking about the nature of archery trick shots and how people can practice for them. Visit http://www.takeyourshot.org if you want to take part and do your own trick shot or donate to this great cause.

You can see the one I did yesterday in the video below, during which I shot two arrows at once at a target 20.5 yards (61.5 feet) away.



To accomplish the task I practiced shooting two arrows at once for half an hour prior to making the video, determining several things...

#1. Where to aim. #2. How much to be canting the bow. #3. How I should be nocking the arrows in order to get more consistency (mostly to prevent them from colliding midair and going awry).

Once I had those things figured out I was ready to film it and we managed to do it in one take. The two arrows were tight enough on the target I didn't feel the need to do it again. (It is basically impossible to get super tight clusters when shooting two at once anyway.)

Regardless, having done it, the experience got me thinking about the nature of trick shots and whether it is possible to teach someone how to do a trick shot.

Yes and no. I shall explain why.

You really need for the person to know how to shoot first. They should know all the basics and have good consistency when doing normal target practice. A complete amateur shouldn't really be attempting to do a trick shot, as their arrows will be super inconsistent even under normal circumstances.

Thus I feel I should break down this possible process into several steps, which are basically mandatory if someone is hoping to do a trick shot and do it well (without trying to do it and failing 10,000 times before they finally succeed).

Step #1. Learn how to shoot properly first. Whether you get archery lessons, learn from a book, or learn how to shoot based on years of practice. There is no point attempting a trick shot unless you are guaranteed to at least have a decent chance of succeeding.

Step #2. Know your limits. A good archer should have a decent idea of how far they can shoot accurately and try to stay well within those limits when trying to show off. Trying to shoot at a really long distance for example in an effort to display your skill, when you normally don't practice at that distance - well that is a great way to become discouraged, break/lose arrows, and eventually realize that maybe you picked something that is too difficult.

Step #3. Choose a Trick Shot that is within your range of Skill. Try to pick something relatively easy that you already know how to do, or is perhaps only slightly harder than something you normally do already. This way your chance of success will be way higher. To be a proper trick shot archer, you should be able to repeat the trick shot more than once - not just the one time when the camera was filming and you deleted all the other failed attempts.

Step #4. Practice the Trick Shot. This is really your chance to get good at it. So that you can repeat it on command. Years later, you might not have done the trick shot in a long time, but you should remember all the basics and in theory should be able to repeat the trick shot based on memory.

In my defense yesterday was not the first time I practiced shooting two arrows at once. I have been doing that for years now. Years earlier I did a series of trick shots for Rice Krispies and one shot included shooting two arrows through a bag of flour simultaneously. They wanted me to shoot a single arrow through it, and I suggested that it was a tad boring and what if I shoot two at once? They liked the idea and we went with it. Another shot involved shooting through a plastic milk jug and having it pour milk through the holes into two bowls of Rice Krispies cereal. Twas quite fun doing those.

Step #5. For best results, repeatedly practice the Trick Shot on multiple days. Self explanatory, practice makes perfect. By the time you decide to film it, you should be able to do the trick shot "most of the time" on command. 60% of the time or better would be good.

Step #6. Perform the Trick Shot on Camera. By this point you should be able to do the trick shot either on the first or second attempt.

One of the things I regret not doing yesterday is repeating the trick shot, thrice. To prove it was not a fluke. I should have shot two arrows at once, then another two arrows at once, and then maybe another two arrows at once. A nice cluster of arrows on the target.

Instead I did it on the first attempt and then didn't bother doing it over again. Oh well. Maybe next time I will up the ante.

I am also thinking of doing a whole series of archery trick shot videos. Moving targets, three arrows at once, shooting upside down, various ideas. We shall see.

For fun below is another trick shot video I made in 2015, during which my goal was to hit a tiny moving target - a bottle cap.



And below, a tight cluster on a bottle.

Happy shooting!


Archery Lesson Plan + How many lessons should you do?

Q
Good Afternoon,

I am interested in signing up for archery lessons. I was hoping to get some additional information about the lessons. From the site, I see that they are packages for 1,3,5 and 10 lessons. I was wondering if the multiple lessons have a sort of lesson plan, for example the first lesson deals with X and Lessons 2 and 3 deal with Y. Or if you have a recommendation of how many lessons a beginner like myself should start off with.

Thank you,
F.

A

Hello!

Yes, I do follow a lesson plan - although it does sometimes vary from client to client. eg. Some clients want to learn how to shoot longbow, shortbow, compound or have specific goals in mind, which changes how lessons unfold. Depending on wind conditions some lessons will also deal with how to adjust for the wind.

Below is a typical lesson plan.

Lesson 1 - Safety Lecture, Eye Dominance Test, Aiming Lecture, Form Lecture + Field Archery Practice (various distances), with a focus on form.

Lesson 2 - Target Practice at 60 feet. Focus is on developing quality form and getting rid of bad habits, may include learning how to adjust for the wind depending on wind conditions. The lesson may sometimes include a Field Archery element for fun.

Lesson 3 - Target Practice at 60 feet. Focus is on adjusting aim and doing an aiming exercise, while still working on quality form. May include different types of aiming exercises or one of the topics mentioned below.

Additional lessons beyond that can vary dramatically, but typical topics include:
  • Long Distance Shooting, either Field Archery or at 90 feet (possibly further depending on the relative skill of the student).
  • Adjusting for Wind at Longer Distances. 90 feet up to 300 feet.
  • Perfecting Form / Getting rid of any remaining bad habits, how to recognize bad habits.
  • Shooting at Moving Targets / How to Gap Shoot.
  • Precision Marksmanship at 60 feet - requires the student to have developed good form first.
  • Instinctive Archery - but only if the student requests to learn that style.
  • How to shoot while Kneeling + Alternative Stances.
  • Varying Distances, Adjusting Aim based on minor Distance changes.
Some lessons may also include a mini lecture and/or demonstrations on a topic such as arrow spine, arrowhead grain, how to wax a bowstring, how to string a bow using a bowstringer, how to string a longbow, etc. Mini lectures typically occur during the middle of a lesson, to give the student a bit of a brief break from shooting.

As to how many lessons, most people choose based on the following:
  • 1 lesson for people who want to just try archery.
  • 3 lessons for people who are thinking about getting their own equipment.
  • 5 lessons for people who definitely want to get into archery, and possibly are already shopping for equipment.
  • 10 lessons for people who want to get better at archery in a hurry and are definitely planning to purchase equipment.
If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Statue of Archer

#TakeYourShot for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Earlier today I performed a trick shot on behalf of http://takeyourshot.org/, which is raising money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, located in Toronto.

#TakeYourShot is a social media campaign to raise money/awareness and they are encouraging athletes and sports enthusiasts to use whatever skills they have - football, basketball, darts, archery, bowling, javelin, axe throwing, etc to show off their skills and raise awareness/money for the PMCF.

The trick shot I chose to perform was "Two Arrows at Once", which I recorded at 120 frames per second on my cellphone and then slowed it down to 30 frames per second to show it in slow motion.



The video was made today (July 11th 2016) at the Toronto Archery Range. I spent half an hour before the filming practicing shooting two arrows at once, then handed my cellphone to a friend and we recorded the trick shot in one attempt. That first attempt was so good we didn't bother doing it over again.

The bow used was a three piece Samick Red Stag, which I have named "Ulmaster", draw weight 35 lbs. The arrows were Easton Power Flight 400s. The distance I was shooting at was approx. 20.5 yards (61.5 feet or 18.5 meters).

To donate to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation you can visit either: http://takeyourshot.org or http://www.thepmcf.ca/Ways-to-Give/Donate-Now.

ArcheryToronto.ca is also looking for people to submit links to YouTube videos of archery trick shots for the campaign so that people can get inspired and take part / donate.

Want to see more archery trick shots? Leave a comment below and a suggestion for another archery trick shot and I will see if it can be done.

Six Rules of Success - Motivational Tips from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is an inspiration to many. Including myself.

Among the many speeches he has given in the past, is the video below during which he explains Six Rules of Success - which are excellent tips for people who are exercising and seeking to accomplish a specific goal.



The Six Tips are:

#1. Trust yourself. Follow your own instincts.

#2. Break the rules. Be a Maverick. Don't break the law, but don't be afraid to break the rules and try something new.

#3. Don't be afraid to fail. Failing is okay. It is quitting that is wrong.

#4. Don't listen to naysayers. Because if you only ever listen to negative ideas, you will never accomplish anything.

#5. Work your butt off. Because nobody ever accomplished anything by being lazy / doing nothing.

#6. Find time to give something back. To your community, to society, to your chosen sport or activity.

Swimming Vs Drowning

This child is only pretending to be drowning. During a real drowning
you would probably only see his hands.
Every year thousands of Canadians die from drowning. The average number of drownings in Canada per year is currently 3,551.16. It kills 10.1 out of every 100,000 Canadians per year.

For comparison purposes, the murder rate in Canada is a mere 1.45 for every 100,000 Canadians per year. Drowning kills 6.9 times more people than murderers do.

Want to know what the leading cause of drowning is?

It is:
Not knowing how to swim.

Globally, approx. 400,000 people die every year from drowning.

20% of all drownings are children and youth under the age of 14, largely because they don't know how to swim.

And even those people who are resuscitated using CPR don't necessarily go back to their normal lives. Over 50% of non-fatal drownings result in hospitalization due to nonfatal drowning injuries, some of which can lead to long term health problems such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (aka, permanent vegetative state).

Another big factor is gender: 80% of drowning victims are males. Male pride and a refusal to take seriously the risk of drowning leads many men to drown because they "think" they are strong swimmers, when in reality they are poor swimmers and have bitten off more than they can chew.

Impoverished minorities are also more likely to drown with numbers ranging from twice as likely to drown to five times more likely to drown, depending on the ethnic group. This is because they are also the least likely to have received swimming lessons. The numbers are largely tied to economic factors, as poor parents are the least likely to be able to afford swimming lessons for their children.

Having access to a local swimming pool, having access to swimming lessons, having the desire to learn how to swim, having access to water related sports and activities.

Ignoring age, gender, economic factors, etc, there are a number of key areas that cause drownings. They are the following:

#1. Lack of Swimming Ability - This includes no knowledge of how to swim or simply being a poor swimmer.

#2. Lack of Proper Fencing - Having a fence surrounding all sides of a pool lowers the chances of a child drowning in a pool by 83%, compared to a fence where only 3 sides of the pool have barriers preventing entry.

#3. Lack of Supervision - One of the biggest statistics for drownings is children under the age of 4 who are left unattended, sometimes in a bathtub, near a pool, river or lake. It can happen quickly, even with the presence of lifeguards.

#4. Location - Most drownings for children under the age of 14 happen in pools. Over the age of 15 and most drownings happen in wilderness areas such as rivers, lakes, oceans, etc.

#5. Boating Accidents + No Lifejacket - 72% of boating accident deaths are the result of drowning, with 88% of drowning victims wearing no lifejacket.

#6. Alcohol Consumption - This statistic skyrockets for teenagers and adults. 20% of boating accident deaths involve alcohol, and 70% of water recreation drownings also involve alcohol. Alcohol effects balance, coordination, and judgment, and the effects of alcohol are worsened by sun exposure and heat, making swimming and drinking exceptionally dangerous.

#7. Seizures and Narcolepsy - For people with a seizure disorder drowning is the leading cause of accidental death, which occurs most often in bathtubs. For people with narcolepsy falling asleep without warning can be very dangerous during many activities. Knowing how to swim won't help them during a seizure, but they should certainly consider switching to showers.

So how do we prevent people from drowning?

Well, for starters children should start swimming lessons from a young age. The rest is mostly common sense things: Pools should have proper fencing. All swimming and swimming lessons should be supervised, and young children should be supervised while taking baths. Always wear a lifejacket when boating. No alcohol before or during swimming. People with a history of seizures or narcolepsy should stick to showers and even consider wearing a lifejacket when swimming.

The key parts of this is swimming lessons + common sense. Think of getting swimming lessons like getting a vaccine against drowning. It isn't a guarantee that a person won't drown, as accidents can still occur, but the chances of a person drowning is significantly reduced if they know how to swim.

As someone who was raised with parents who had a pool, I didn't really have a choice. I had to take swimming lessons, my parents saw to that. I wasn't even allowed near the pool unsupervised until I had reached level Red at the local pool that provided swimming lessons. As I got older I even got into snorkeling, an activity I now find to be quite enjoyable and only enhances my love of swimming. To any parents reading this, I strongly recommend you do the same. Get your kids swimming lessons. Don't take chances with their lives.

Happy Swimming!
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