Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Fun Halloween Archery Ideas that won't make a Mess

 Every year some silly person brings a pumpkin to the archery range, makes a mess shooting at the pumpkin, and then leaves their stinky mess behind.

Also they make a huge mess on their arrows and then have to clean their arrows with rubbing alcohol, otherwise their arrows will smell like rotting pumpkins.

There is a better however!

And it is reasonably frugal...

#1. Halloween Skull from the Dollar Store

Your local dollar store sells a wide variety of Halloween items which makes for a fun (and less messy) archery target. It doesn't have to be a skull, but that is certainly an option. It could even be a glow in the dark skeleton suitable for night shooting.

#2. Zombie Archery Target

Sometimes your local archery stores sell a variety of zombie themed archery targets. Below is a zombie pizza man. They're pretty inexpensive too.

#3. Old Halloween Decorations

Chances are likely you have some old Halloween decorations you should throw out. But before you throw them out, why not reuse them as an archery target?

#4. Halloween Archery Target

Print out the following Halloween Archery Target using your printer or take it to Staples / Kinkos to print out a larger poster.

Or make/decorate your own archery target.



4 More Ways to Improve Your Archery Form

 Want to improve your archery form and accuracy? Pay attention to these 4 tips that will help to improve your form/accuracy.

Also see my old post from March titled "4 Ways to Improve Your Archery Form". If you read both then that is 8 tips on how to improve your form / accuracy.

1. Align your Torso / Bellybutton to 90 Degrees

It may sound weird, but when you begin pulling back you want your bellybutton to be aligned so it is 90 degrees away from the target. Doing this aligns your torso and allows you to use your upper back muscles (rhomboids) more efficiently, and it allows you to relax your shoulders more.

If you don't do this it results in your shoulders being more stressed and that extra strain on your bow shoulder will often result in a midshot "arm jerk" that will cause your arrow to go to the side. This is obviously bad for accuracy.

Likewise if your drawing shoulder isn't relaxed you are more likely to get a backwards pluck when you release, which will typically make your arrow go higher to the side.

Lastly, if you're not aligned then you aren't using consistent back power. You want to be using consistent back power with your rhomboids so that your arrows are shot with the same amount of power each time.

2. Keep your Drawing Fingers Perpendicular

Avoid drawing back the bowstring with your fingers on a diagonal angle. What you want is to keep them perpendicular so that they release evenly. If they're on a diagonal angle then you will release the bowstring unevenly, often resulting in the arrow flying in a "whale tailing" or "porpoising" manner, which reduces accuracy. The bowstring during the release will also make a more "snappy" sound and will sound weird.

3. Pull your Fingers Evenly

Often beginners will put less power on their third finger on their drawing hand. This likewise effects having an even release. What you need to do is pay attention to giving the third finger and little extra power so it matches the other two fingers.

Beginners aren't used to using the third finger so much and it is weaker compared to the other two fingers, but there is an exercise you can do to increase the strength in your third finger: Snap your third finger 50 times per day on days you are not doing archery. (Hand grips don't work to build muscle in your fingers, that is more for forearm strength. You want to target building muscle in your third finger.)

4. Three Fingers is Stronger than Two

Beginners sometimes try to shoot with just two fingers, because that is what little kids do... Or maybe they saw it in a poorly made movie... What you want to do is use three fingers and half your fingertips. Do not pull to the joints because that will result in more plucking during your releases and can also lead to joint pain in your fingers.

Bonus Tip

Also doesn't hurt to get archery lessons. Get archery lessons in Toronto from Cardio Trek.

In somewhat related news... I have started giving my 3-year-old son archery lessons. He is really enjoying it.

Also in somewhat related news, check out the cover of the September issue of Archery Focus Magazine.

 



Feel Vs Technique - Archery

"If it feels wrong, just start over."

Have you ever done an archery shot and it just felt wrong for some unknown reason?

This is the point when I tell students to just start over. The saying goes "If it feels wrong, just start over."

The execution of a shot should feel normal/natural. If something feels weird, odd, off... Just start over.

You could be doing everything you can think of technically correct, in terms of technique, but if something feels off - even if it is purely mental - I will still argue it is better to start over than to shoot a shot that feels wrong.

It is possible that an archery could be doing something weird with their neck or shoulders and they become aware that something feels off. They wouldn't necessarily notice that something is a bit off if it is something unusual that isn't on their normal checklist of things to do before releasing a shot.

Technique Vs Good Habits

Ideally what archers want to do is to chip away at their bad habits and replace them with good habits. You do this by fostering techniques (and technical knowledge of form) so that you can add it to the checklist of things you do before performing a shot.

Being aware of the technical issues of form is necessary to become self-aware of your form. You don't necessarily need to know the name of what you are doing correctly/wrong, it is more important that you simply know the issue exists and can add it to the things you are checking before shooting.

As an archer's form technique improves likewise they start to develop more good habits, habits which eventually effectively replace technique and you stop consciously thinking about it because it is "just habit".

The problem exists however when an archer persists in a bad habit because they're not aware of it. If they're aware of it then they can consciously work to correct the bad habit, but if they're not aware of it at all then they are hampering their progress because they don't know what they are doing wrong.

If an archer doesn't know what they are doing wrong that is a good time to consult an archery instructor or ask a fellow archer to watch them shoot and hopefully they will spot what they are doing wrong.

Eg. I had an Olympic archer approach me years ago who couldn't figure out why his shots were going erratically to the left. I watched him shoot just a few shots and determined he was unnecessarily tensing his anterior deltoid (also known as the front deltoid) and that this was causing his arm to jerk to the left during shots. This isn't normally a muscle archers even think about when shooting, and with beginner archers it is usually the posterior deltoid (rear deltoid) that they end up tensing by accident. He was doing the opposite and wasn't aware what he was doing wrong, he just knew that something "felt wrong".


In A Nutshell

A beginner archer learns technique, and keeps doing it until they chip away their bad habits and replace them with good habits. Learning the various aspects of form can be technically challenging, and a beginner cannot learn everything all at once. It takes time. It takes practice. Eventually, with ample time, the habits start to take over.

An experienced* archer shoots based upon feel. Everything they do when performing a shot should be based upon habit and feel. If something feels wrong then they remember the technique and double check what they might be doing wrong.


* Obviously there are different levels of experience when it comes to archery. An archer who has been shooting for 30+ years (like myself) will be shooting (and feeling) their shots differently from someone who has only been shooting for a year or two. 

An "experienced archer" may have different fortes (things that they're good at). Some might be better / more experienced at shooting longer distances. Some might be more familiar with shooting at moving targets. Some might also be more versatile. My goal during my archery lessons is to give students a comprehensive knowledge of archery so that they are more versatile and can reach higher plateaus of excellence by having constant challenges.

It has been my experience that stagnation happens when an archer stops looking for challenges and is no longer pushing themselves to get better. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. Some archers are simply content with their current level of skill and want to maintain it through practice, and if they happen to get better over time due to regular practice then they are content with that too.

I would argue therefore that sometimes even so-called "experienced archers" should try to challenge themselves / learn new things in order to become better archers.

 

The learning process only ever reaches a plateau when you stop trying to reach new heights.

Where to buy Archery Winter Gloves

Q

"I shoot down to a temp of just above zero but my hands get cold. Do you know of any cold weather gloves I could try?"

- Mark M. 

A

Hey Mark!

There are archery winter gloves you can look into. I got a set years ago from England, from a company called Merlin Archery Centre:




 
Then I showed them to Gary at Basically Bows, and he ended up finding a supplier who makes the same gloves with a different company logo on them. You can see the gloves on his website at https://basically-bows1.webnode.com/accessories/, but you will need to make an appointment and go to his physical shop if you want to purchase. He does apparently do online orders too, so you could just order over the phone or via email.

Historically, before I got the archery winter gloves from Merlin, I would just cut three fingers off a cheap pair of gloves from the Dollarama and then shoot like that.


GOT AN ARCHERY QUESTION???

JUST EMAIL cardiotrek@gmail.com AND I SHALL ANSWER IT FOR YOU.

HAPPY SHOOTING! 

 

 



Second Wave of COVID, still open?

 At this time I am still accepting new archery students, but I am being pickier about who I am accepting with respect to students.

Depending upon what happens with future lockdowns I may end up suspending lessons until after any such lockdown. I am expecting the schools to get shutdown any day now because it is obvious that the province of Ontario has not figured out a safe way to reopen schools.

If they shut down the schools but maintain Stage Three then I will continue to offer lessons. If the province decides to do another big lockdown, going back to the same conditions we had in March then any remaining lessons might end up being delayed until Spring 2021.

Knowing this I totally get why some potential archery students might just decide to delay their archery lessons until 2021 in the first place... Whilst some others might prefer to have them now because they're hoping to learn archery for hunting purposes, in which case the argument is the sooner-the-better. A percentage of my students these days want to learn bowhunting because they're worried about the COVID shutdowns causing the equivalent of the Great Depression and food shortages.

Basically everyone has their own reasons for learning archery. Some people are just bored of being at home all of the time because they work from home these days and they just want to get outside and do something fun.

Fun and potentially useful? Yep, good to go.

Of course there is also the people who just have always wanted to do archery and they just keep procrastinating. Always a new excuse for procrastinators. If you're a procrastinator then you're probably thinking of an excuse right now while reading this.

But if you cannot think of a good excuse maybe now is the time to do.

Email cardiotrek@gmail.com to sign up for archery lessons in Toronto today. :)

In unrelated news check out the interesting and cool decorative arrowheads below. One of the archers I know makes them as a hobby.



Archery Trick Shooting


 My new article for Archery Focus Magazine is now available as of September 1st 2020. The topic is "Archery Trick Shooting". Unfortunately I am not posting it here. You will just have to visit the Archery Focus website and read it there.

Also kudos to fellow Toronto archer Crispin Duenas for his review of the BOWdometer.

An one year subscription to Archery Focus Magazine is $32 USD and gets you access to their back catalogue of magazines. Learn more by visiting archeryfocusmagazine.com.

Happy Shooting!





PS. You can also view my past articles for Archery Focus Magazine in the following issues:

  • "Marketing Strategies for Archery Coaches", July 2017.
  • "A Lesson in Adaptive Archery", July 2018.
  • "Teaching Archery Through Narratives", November 2018.
  • "Rinehart Target Balls (and Alternatives)", January 2020.

Pain in Middle Finger after Archery Lesson

 Q

"Hi Charles, 

After the lesson today I noticed the last joint (closest to the tip) of my middle finger is quite sore. I noticed the same thing the last time I shot with my new glove, bow, etc. Is this normal for a new glove or is it an indication of something wrong, either with my form or the glove? 

Regards,
-Brian H."

 

A

Hey Brian!

That happens sometimes when the glove is either not protecting the fingers enough or the person is not used to pulling a higher poundage.

In your case however I did notice that you sometimes pulled the bowstring unevenly, wherein your middle finger was usually about half an inch further across the bowstring and the bowstring was then on the joint itself (as opposed to halfway on the fingertips). You were only doing it with your middle finger (and you didn't always do it so at the time I wasn't too worried about it because I felt you would eventually stop doing it) and you are not experiencing pain in any other fingers, correct? In the future I recommend making an effort to only use half your fingertips and see if that solves the problem.

You may recall me saying "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate." In this case however it could also be "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate, but also less painful." Half your fingertips also reduces the chances of plucking the bowstring during the release. Definitely something to build into a positive habit.

See you at the range!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

 

 

Are women more associated with archery?

 Q

"Can I ask you an archery question for research/my thesis?

Okay so I’m writing a thesis about gender and gender presentations in warrior women. I argue that gender is a construct and that objects should not be gendered when they are tools in one’s art of being a warrior, but my professor countered that bows and archery are more associated with women than men (not meant to offend anyone just looking for answers) is that true? Where does that come from? 

To me, when I think of archers I think of famous ones like Green Arrow, Robin Hood, and Legolas...Are there other archers in literature that you can think of that identify as a woman besides Susan Pevensie that would dominate the symbol of archers?"

- J. E. T.

A

Gender is indeed a construct, much in the same way that identity is a social construct. Or Zodiac signs is a superstitious construct.

With respect to archery it is predominantly a male sport. For example, with respect to my local archery range, men make up over 80% of the archery range's users, and that the "regulars" are even more male dominated, making up at least 90% of the frequent users.

Archery is a sport requiring strength and endurance. Far too often non-archers are expecting the sport to be easy, and they are not at all prepared for how difficult or strength intensive this sport is.

Part of this misconception is the fault of mass media, Hollywood, and the types of body types depicted in films, television and literature. People see these depictions in a variety of media and then perpetuate the false idea that archers are a specific body type. Eg. Skinny Legolas.

There are a variety of films during the past 30 years wherein skinny female characters are depicted as archers. This depiction is a double edged sword: It creates the stereotype that skinny women are ideally suited for archery, promotes archery to women, but also pushes the idea that women are unsuited to hand-to-hand melee.

While I appreciate and applaud that Hollywood is pushing the idea of more women in archery, it is coming at the expense of saying women are unsuitable for using axes, lances, swords or a variety of other medieval era weaponry, while simultaneously pushing the idea that archery is not a sport of strength and endurance.

This all comes back to depictions of body types in my opinion. Eg. Try to think of a film that depicts a female archer as not being skinny. I cannot name one. Hollywood depicts female archers as being ballerina skinny (and usually Caucasian, Asian, or giant blue alien, but that is another topic entirely).

In reality archers are all kinds of body types, but there is one commonality with respect to experienced archers - They are all strong and have built up their back muscles so that they can pull higher poundage bows. Some archers started being reasonably strong, and then became stronger as they built up their rhomboids, deltoids and other muscles used for archery. Some were weaker, but built up the muscle groups over time. Even older archers are often surprisingly robust and strong for their age.

Thus even if an archer started as being skinny or overweight, after 20 years of doing the sport regularly they're going to have a more robust stature because they've built up the muscle groups.

This strength factor doesn't mean that women cannot excel at archery however. While women are certainly a minority, I have met plenty of women who excel at archery.

Eg. Back in March (a week before COVID shut everything down) I had the pleasure of teaching a dancer in her 40s who has what I would describe as having an Amazonian body type. Certainly more in the direction of an athlete, which was an asset and she did very well during her first lesson. You can see a video of her on my Cardio Trek YouTube channel. Her lessons are supposed to resume this Autumn.
 

So does having more of a Tom Boy / Amazonian / athletic physique help when doing archery? Absolutely it helps. It is a sport of strength and endurance after all. However that doesn't mean it is only body type that can excel at archery. An archer who is overweight can excel just as easily if they build up the needed muscle groups, and likewise a skinny will become stronger over time.

With respect to archers of literature like Green Arrow, Robin Hood and Legolas there is definitely one missing:

Hercules.

Now you might think "Wait, Hercules did archery?"

Indeed he did. He was supposedly extremely good at archery, owing to his demigod strength.

Here's another: Odysseus / Ulysses.

Ulysses returned after 20 years of fighting Trojans & being lost at sea to find his kingdom in turmoil and suitors trying to marry his wife and take his kingdom. But his wife was very smart. She said she would only marry a man who could string her husband's bow. All the suitors tried and failed. They weren't strong enough. Then Ulysses, now an old man in disguise, asked to try. He strung his bow easily and killed all the suitors. There is a lovely clip of this scene on YouTube wherein actor Kirk Douglas plays Ulysses in the scene from the 1954 film.
 

So what is Greek female equivalent of Hercules or Ulysses?

Atalanta, and to some extent the Amazons.

Atalanta was abandoned on a mountain and raised by bears. Away from the social constructs of her fellow Greeks. The Greek myth makers clearly understood that femininity is a social construct and apparently believed that the only way a woman could grow to maturity without such constructs was to be raised in the wild by animals.

The Amazons it is now believed was one part myth and one part based on the Scythians (or the forebears of the Scythians), who were a nomadic group of hunters from Asia Minor wherein men and women both hunted, often from horseback, and they perfected the Scythian bow, which is a very complex recurve-decurve-recurve shape. As such they were phenomenal archers. It is small surprise that the Greeks mythologized such encounters with any warrior-women they encountered from Scythia as they were doubtlessly deadly with the bow.

Obviously I could keep going. I could probably write a nonfiction book on this subject.

So yes, in conclusion the idea that archery is strongly associated with women (and a skinny body type) is a stereotype perpetuated by the media. Largely due to Hollywood and anyone influenced by that false narrative. Archery is still very much a male dominated sport, it is a sport requiring strength and not agility (despite what Dungeons and Dragons would have people believe).

I would also assert that gender identity is not a factor in archery. People can identify as whatever gender they want to, it will make zero difference when you hand them a high poundage bow and ask them to pull it.

Anyone wishing to disagree can come to my local archery range and I will hand them a 50 lb Browning Wasp recurve bow, at which point we shall see if their perceptions of archery being "easy" or not requiring strength is remotely accurate. If they can't pull it I will give them a "much easier" 24 lb Ragim Matrix recurve bow. And if they still cannot pull that I will swap out the limbs for 18 lbs.

I have been teaching archery for almost 12 years now. Beginners are continually surprised at how physically exhausting the sport is. It is the reason why my lessons are 90 minutes long. Two hours is too long. People get tired and start making more mistakes close to the 90 minute mark.

There is a reason why I have blog posts on my website pertaining to weight training exercises specifically aimed at archers, so they can build more muscle in the needed areas of their body faster.

It truly is a sport of strength and endurance. Anyone who has fallen for the Hollywood fantasy that it is not... They're just perpetuating the false narrative.

My apologies if this is a bit of a rant. Archery is a lifestyle for me. I have been practicing the sport for over 31 years. Teaching for almost 12 years. My wife shoots. My 3-year-old son shoots. I write both fiction and nonfiction about archery. I am very passionate about promoting the virtues of the sport and it annoys me that there are so many false perceptions of it.

I recommend including my entire email in your appendices for your professor to peruse. If they have any questions or follow up they can address it to cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

What kind of bow should I get my wife?

Q

"Hello! My wife weighs 115 lbs and isn't very big. What kind of bow should I get her for getting into archery?

Matt M."

A

Hey Matt!

Her weight isn't the biggest concern, her height and strength are bigger factors. I am guessing she is petite?

Start her on a low poundage bow, like a 15 to 20 lb recurve. I recommend a 3 piece recurve where she can get more powerful limbs later so she can build more muscle as she progresses.

If she is short you should also consider a youth bow. Some of my adult archery students who are closer to 5 feet tall need to use a youth bow, so if your wife is 5'2" or shorter this is an option, otherwise she may have clearance issues with the bowstring rubbing against her side.

If you have any questions just email me at cardiotrek@gmail.com

Good luck and happy shooting!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
 
 
Follow Up

"Thank you very much. This has been a big help. She is 5'3" so I am probably gonna go with a 3 piece so I can get her stronger limbs when she improves.

I was thinking the Samick Sage for her, but I'm worried the riser might be to big for her hands any other good starters you can recommend?"

A


Also the lowest poundage for the Sage is 25.

Perhaps the Samick Little Fox?

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-little-fox-48-takedown-bow.html

Maybe get 20 lbs and she can later get 25 lb limbs. By the time she is ready for 30 lbs or more you can look at more expensive bows.

Cartel has a slightly bigger 54" bow that would also suit her, also available in 20 lbs.

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/cartel-triple-54-takedown-recurve-bow-58177.html
 
Or the Galaxy Bullseye 54, if she prefers wood.

Due to her height try to find something in the 48 to 58 inches range. The bigger the bow the more likely she will have clearance issues. 60 to 66 inches might be too big and have clearance issues with the bowstring.


Reply

"Thank you very much again. Very helpful."

New Archery Lesson Rates

Morning / Afternoon Rates (No Evenings)

1 Student, Weekdays or Weekends
$70 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $200; 5 Lessons - $320; 10 Lessons - $620.


Notes

My new rates are effective as of July 8th 2020. See my Older Pre-COVID19 Archery Rates.

I no longer offer pairs/couples or groups of 3 lessons. All lessons are now one-on-one.

Older archery students from 2019 or earlier who are returning for more lessons get a discount. Ask for details.

Please be advised that I no longer offer evening time slots.

Ask about my 10% Seniors Discount if you are over 65. Ask about my 10% Veterans Discount if you are a former or current member of the Canadian Armed Forces. (Discounts are not cumulative.)


Email cardiotrek@gmail.com to Schedule a Lesson.
Notice
Anyone who previously purchased an Archery Gift Voucher for single, pairs or group lessons will still have their gift voucher honoured and as previously announced I have extended the expiration date for Gift Vouchers due to COVID19 throwing a wrench into the scheduling of lessons during 2020. See Gift Voucher Extension of Expiry for more details.

Anyone wishing to purchase Archery Gift Vouchers can still do so and the expiration date is similarly extended, but they can only purchase gift vouchers for one-on-one lessons at this time. No pairs or group lessons.

New Arrows for Archery Lessons in Toronto

Purchased new arrows yesterday for archery lessons.

There is something about unboxing brand new arrows that always brings a smile to my face. They are shiny, perfect, pristine...

It is very satisfying.

And these arrows should hopefully last a long time.

In other news I have resumed teaching archery lessons, as of today (July 3rd), but I am limiting the number of archery lessons I am willing to teach and invoking the following new rules due to COVID.

#1. All lessons will be conducted using physical distancing of 6+ feet.

#2. No more couples or group lessons. All lessons going forward will be taught one-on-one.

#3. Equipment will be cleaned before and after lessons. Possibly also during lessons.

#4. No more 30% deposits. Students booking lessons must pay the full amount in advance. This is prevent cash being handled by both the instructor and student(s).

#5. Students will be expected to fetch and clean arrows themselves during the lessons. No more will the instructor be fetching arrows and then handing them to the student between shots.

#6. Instructor will only be available to teach a limited number of lessons / students per month. This will apply to all lessons being taught in July and August. September and October will have more availability.

#7. Additional rules may be applied based on circumstances.


If you want to book Archery Lessons in Toronto or have any questions please email cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Older / Pre-COVID Archery Rates

I have decided to update my archery lesson rates due to COVID and have made some other changes.

For record keeping further below are my older "pre-COVID19" rates for archery lessons. My new archery rates are listed on my archery lessons in Toronto page.

Starting in July 2020 the new archery rates come into effect.


Weekday Morning / Afternoon Rates (No Evenings)

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

2 Students
$80 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $225; 5 Lessons - $360; 10 Lessons - $700.

3 Students
$100 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $285; 5 Lessons - $450; 10 Lessons - $880.

Weekend Rates

1 Student
$90 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $255; 5 Lessons - $405; 10 Lessons - $780.

2 Students
$120 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $337.50; 5 Lessons - $540; 10 Lessons - $1050.

3 Students
$150 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $427.50; 5 Lessons - $675; 10 Lessons - $1320.


New Changes


My new archery lesson rates come with some big changes.

#1. No more different rates for weekdays and weekends. One rate regardless of the day of the week.

#2. No more pairs/couples or groups of 3 lessons. All lessons going forward are one-on-one. Doesn't that mean I am making less money? Yes, yes it does. Teaching 2 or 3 students at once is definitely more profitable, but due to COVID I will no longer be teaching any kind of pairs/group lessons.

#3. Compared to my old weekday rate my prices are going up by $10 per lesson. Compared to my weekend rate my prices are going down by roughly $20 per lesson. The new base price for a single lesson is $70.

#4. In previous years due to sheer demand I charged a 50% premium for weekend lessons, hence the price differences listed above for the older rates. Due to COVID19 the demand has pretty much disappeared. Not a lot of people are looking for archery lessons any more.

#5. See my new archery lesson rates to see the changes.



COVID Themed Archery Targets

For your amusement / archery practice.


Stop Doug Ford's Plan to Dump Nuclear Waste in the Beef Capital of North America

REPOSTING THIS. I GET A LOT OF MY FOOD FROM BRUCE COUNTY.

If you live in Canada and care about eating healthy food you should repost it too.

:(
CM



Doug Ford.

The name brings fear to the minds of many people in Ontario.

Doug Ford is the Premier of Ontario, and he is a jerk. A real nasty jerk. He wants to dump nuclear waste in Bruce County, close to the town of Teeswater. The Teeswater River (and the underground aquifer beneath the region) supplies the drinking water to:

  • Tens of thousands of people.
  • Dairy cows.
  • Water for agricultural farming (corn, potatoes, soy beans and more).
  • Water for Aquafina bottled water.
  • Cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens. Bruce County is the Beef Capital of North America, but it also produces a lot of other meat products.

If you live Ontario you've eaten food many times from Bruce County. Guaranteed. You've drank the milk. You've eaten the cheese. You've eaten beef, pork, turkey and chicken. You've eaten the corn, the potatoes, the soy products. You've drank Aquafina water.

Even if you are a vegan and don't eat milk and dairy, you should still care where your soy products and other vegetables are grown and where your bottled water comes from.

And that is why you should care.

If you care about what you eat, then you should protect what you eat. Learn more at:

https://www.protectsouthbruce-nodgr.org/

If you care write to Doug Ford. Tweet him. Phone him and leave an angry voicemail.

Share this post. Copy/paste it to other websites. Share it on Facebook. Share it on Twitter. Share the memes below.

Show that you care about your food and where it comes from.

Protect your food and your health from Doug Ford.





Squats - A Good Foundation for Any Exercise Routine

If you think of working out like building a house, then squats would be like pouring the foundation.

Squats are an essential move to help strengthen your lower body, and they help fortify the base for all the rest of your movements. Squats are a crucial move not only because they work so many different muscles, but also because the muscles they build work to balance your body when you are doing other exercises, thus benefiting your exercise routine for the rest of your body.

Thus if you are going running, why not do 20 squats first?

If you are starting a weight lifting workout, why not do 20 squats first?

Yoga? 20 squats first.

Some people swear by stretching before a workout, some people are against stretching because the stretching can sometimes cause sports injuries because people overdo the stretching. But 20 squats is not a huge number and they will certainly help to build the muscle groups that you will be using often.

They also cost zero equipment. So squats rank high on the frugal exercises.

There are also many kinds of squats. You are not limited to one kind. Just pick your favourite and add it to the start of your workout.


Example: Barbell Squats


GIFT VOUCHER, Extension of Expiry Date due to COVID


1. Gift Voucher Expiry Extension

Anyone who has an older Gift Voucher for Archery Lessons from Cardio Trek which was set to expiry during 2020 can still redeem their Gift Voucher in 2021.

I am extending all such older gift vouchers which would be expiring at any time during 2020 so that they now expiry in December 2021. (I may amend this later if the Covid Crisis + Lockdown lasts into 2021, although I doubt that will happen. I am currently expecting to be teaching archery lessons as soon as September 2020.)

2. New Expiry Policy

Where previously Gift Vouchers had an expiry of 18 months, giving recipients a sum of 1.5 years to redeem the gift voucher before it expires, starting immediately new Gift Vouchers will now have a 30 month (2.5 years) period before they expire. That should cover the duration of the COVID Lockdown and then some extra.

Notes

If anyone has any questions about Archery Lesson Gift Vouchers feel free to ask by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.

If you are really anxious to begin learning archery NOW I can recommend the following:

  • "Precision Archery", an impressively good book by Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson.
  • "Archery Focus Magazine", edited by Steve Ruis (with articles by myself and other archers).



International Archery Day, Second Saturday in May

Saturday, May 2nd 2020.

Today is the first Saturday in May. Next week, the Saturday, will be International Archery Day.

International Archery Day (also known as "National Archery Day" in the USA) is observed annually on the second Saturday in May. The date was chosen because it is usually fairly good weather and it doesn't interfere with any popular holidays or events (eg. Mother's Day).

One of the oldest sports still in existence, archery has been around for tens of thousands of years, with some of the oldest bows ever found dating back to 8,000 to 9,000 BC. The oldest bow thus far found is an elm Holmegaard bow dated to 9,000 BC and was found in Denmark.

Cave drawings, other artifacts and similar stone age depictions are dated much further back, suggesting that archery is significantly older. At least 65,000 years old.


When celebrating International Archery Day it is traditional to invite a friend to try archery out for the first time. So get out there, invite a friend to try archery (or learn archery yourself) and enjoy one of the oldest sports known to mankind.

International Archery Day falls on the following dates in upcoming years:

  • May 9, 2020
  • May 8, 2021
  • May 14, 2022
  • May 13, 2023
  • May 11, 2024
  • May 10, 2025
  • May 9, 2026
  • May 8, 2027
  • May 13, 2028
  • May 12, 2029

 Happy Shooting!

How to Practice Archery while Social Distancing

#1. Practice archery in your basement.


#2. Practice archery in your attic or garage.


#3. Practice archery in your home.

While it is not generally recommended, some people have been known to set up a mini archery range in their living room, a hallway, or other location. You will need to make an effort to avoid damaging the floors, walls, furniture, etc.

#4. Practice archery in your backyard.

You will need to make efforts to make the space you are using SAFE as you don't want neighbours getting injured or complaining about the lack of safety precautions. If they call the police then the cops will want to check to see what efforts you have made in order to ensure safety.


If you have lots of spare time currently to build things you could even convert your backyard into an archery dojo.


#5. Build an archery range in the countryside.

Find a place in the countryside which you can periodically visit and practice your archery skills. Helps if you already own land in the countryside.

If you have friends or family who live in the countryside then you could ask them if you could build a small 3D archery range / walking trail on their property. No social interactions necessary beyond phone calls and emails. You could give even gift them with alcohol/chocolate/etc to show your appreciation.

If you don't have friends or family who own land in the countryside you could potentially rent a wooded area on a section of farmland. All you need to do is find a farmer who has wooded areas of their property that are unused and is willing to rent that property to you for a small monthly fee.

Then you build some homemade archery targets and set them up on a walking trail within the wooded area.

I don't recommend going out and purchasing a big 3D target because there is certainly the chance it could get stolen.


Uncontrollable Moods Vs Taking Control of your Mood

Don't let your moods control you, learn to control your moods!


If you are feeling trapped indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic there are ways to control your mood.

#1. Enjoy the weather by opening the windows more. Even if you don't go outside the fresh air from the open windows will do you good.

#2. Stop watching so much news reports about the coronavirus. Watch cat videos or something fun instead.

#3. Eat foods that are both healthy and that you enjoy. Or if they are unhealthy, eat smaller portions of it alongside a healthier food.

#4. Don't forget to eat. Starving yourself just makes your moods worse.

#5. Sleep in and have naps. You might as well, we are all on Staycations for the next few months!

#6. Make a To Do List to help organize your thoughts. Look, I've already got you started. Just follow this list here and add more things to your list. Eg. Do laundry, clean your home, bake oatmeal cookies, do 100 jumping jacks, do 20 pushups, etc.

#7. Don't forget to exercise. Even if you are just doing jumping jacks, pushups, and body weight exercises at least you are doing something to get your heart pumping.

#8. Take five minutes out of every hour to do something fun. What is the point of "Working from Home" if you cannot schedule a little me time to relax and do fun things too.

#9. Don't work yourself towards burnout. Relax. Take it slow. The work will get done. If you get burnt out from overworking yourself you are only going to make it worse.

#10. Stop worrying about your toilet paper supply. You have enough already!


4 Ways to Improve Your Archery Form

Want to improve your archery form and accuracy? Pay attention to these 4 tips that will help to improve your form/accuracy.

1. Fix your Feet First

Regardless of whether you are on flat terrain or shooting on a steep slope / hill then you should always fix your feet first so that you are either doing relaxed stance or square stance. It is possible to shoot using other stances, but if you're a beginner trying to get more accuracy then you really want to improve your footing before doing anything else.

2. Brace the Bow / Center your Hand

If you're not holding the bow in your hand properly it is going to effect where the arrow is going to go, often randomly. To improve consistency (and accuracy) you want to brace the bow's handle on the meaty part of your palm closest to your wrist.

If you don't put enough meat on your handle you will often torque the bow to the side. Likewise if you put too much meat on the handle you can torque the bow in the other direction and the bowstring will hit you in the forearm between the elbow and roughly halfway down the forearm.

What you want is the "Goldilocks" amount of meat on the handle. Centered.

3. Relax your Hand

You want your bow hand to be relaxed, and positioned like you are giving a very limp handshake. Keeping your hand centered and relaxed improves your accuracy. There is no need to squeeze the bow with your hand. You aren't going to drop it. After you shoot you will immediately grip the bow so that you don't drop it. (Some archers add an archery wrist strap on their bow so they can leave their bow hand completely relaxed the whole time.)

4. Pre-Aim before Drawing

When you pre-aim at a target you align your forearm and elbow with the arrow, and thus when you pull back the bowstring the arrow and your forearm end up being better aligned.

If you skip this step and just draw the bow and then aim, your elbow will often be too high or too low, which means your forearm will be out of alignment, resulting in increased chances of plucking your release, and you will be more likely to be shaking a bit if you are straining your forearm to hold the bow steady.

Pre-aiming only takes an extra moment to do, but it makes a big difference to accuracy if it makes you steadier and reduces the chances of plucking.

Bonus Tip

Also doesn't hurt to get archery lessons. Get archery lessons in Toronto from Cardio Trek.


Should you cancel your gym membership during COVID?

Q

 "Should I cancel my gym membership during the Coronavirus Pandemic?"

 

A

Honestly, if you're not able to use your gym membership right now because all of the gyms in the city are shutdown, then absolutely you should consider canceling your gym membership.

I don't know when the lockdown is going to be over, and who knows when you will be working again / making money, so you might as well cancel your gym membership and find a different way to exercise that doesn't involve being around people.

The same thing goes with if you currently have a personal trainer (like myself). Right now is a good time to cancel (or indefinitely reschedule) those sessions with your personal trainer and ask about a refund.

I have already started issuing refunds to my archery students who signed up for archery lessons in April and May, or rescheduling them until "later". Hopefully when the pandemic has dwindled I can teach archery again, but in the meantime due to the lockdown that isn't going to be happening.

Let's consider the math...

If this lockdown goes on for months you could be out hundreds of dollars.

Back in 2008 I had a gym membership that was costing me $75 + HST per month. If you are paying a similar rate at your local gym and the lockdown goes on for 6 months that is going to cost you...

$75 x 6 + 13% HST = $508.50.

It could last less, it could last longer. We have no idea when this Coronavirus Pandemic is going to end.

And even if the pandemic was ending in September, and we had a confirmed date on when it would end, would you really want to be paying gym fees for April, May, June, July and August for a gym you cannot use (or are afraid to use) during the pandemic.

What happens when we eventually get a vaccine?

1. Not everyone is going to take the vaccine. Eg. Anti-vaxxers.

2. They need to test the vaccine properly, a process which normally takes 2 years. So it isn't going to be tested and ready by September or October anyway. Not this year. It might take until 2021 or 2022 to have a vaccine that works.

3. Even when they do make the vaccine the production of the vaccine might be quite slow. In the film "Contagion" (which was a very realistic film) it took months just to make and distribute the vaccine.

4. Assuming you get the vaccine early, are the gyms going to open up at the same time? Doubtful. Their staff might not yet have the vaccine. They need to make certain all their staff have been vaccinated. I foresee employers requiring all their employees to bring in a doctor's note confirming that they've been vaccinated.

So what should you do in the meantime?

1. Go for walks. Do some outdoor photography. Take the dog or kids with you.

2. Find a sport or exercise activity you can do indoors. Eg. Put on some music and dance. Dancing costs you basically nothing so it ends up being very frugal. Yoga? Body weight exercises? Lots of options.

3. Buy a treadmill, a home weightlifting gym or something similar. You don't have to get something expensive. Start small, say $25 to $40 per month on exercise equipment, and you will still be spending way less on exercise equipment for your home than you would be paying for a gym membership.

4. Go bicycling. Spring is here already and Summer will be here soon enough. Either fix up your old bicycle or buy a new bicycle. Totally worth it. You could even bring your camera with you and do photography as you cycle around Toronto (or whatever city you are in).

5. Swimming, specifically in lakes or rivers, but if you know of a place with a pool where you feel safe and COVID free go ahead.

6. Go for long hikes. Again, take your dog, kids and/or camera with you.

7. Take up jogging.

Seriously there is a long list of activities you can do instead of going to the gym. Going to the gym was never mandatory. You should never have to feel obligated to exercise just because you are paying money to a gym, you should feel MOTIVATED to exercise because you've found something that you love doing which just happens to be exercise.

That is why I teach archery, boxing, swimming and ice skating. Mostly archery these days. I love those activities. They're highly enjoyable and I feel very motivated to go out to the archery range, the ice rink or the swimming pool to do such activities because they're FUN.

Eg. Until the COVID shutdown started I was a regular at my local indoor pool and my toddler son (he's 2 years old) was learning how to swim. I was taking him there twice per week to do 1 hour of swim time so he can learn how to swim and enjoy the water.

And when he is older I will get him a bicycle and we will be out there cycling together so that he learns how, but also because he will enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with having a bicycle.

And if you're trapped indoors because of COVID during the next few months then having the freedom to hop on your bicycle and just go places, that feeling of freedom could be very therapeutic.



Temporarily Closed For Business

Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak my archery lessons are temporarily unavailable.

I am going to be using this break to spend time with family, work on some writing, read a few books (currently I am reading the Witcher series and also a series of books by British writer Anthony Ryan, which I totally recommend people check out), and perhaps do some woodworking/bowmaking.

I will also be working on writing a new magazine article for Archery Focus magazine.

Whenever the virus outbreak gets sorted out I will be resuming my normal routine of archery lessons, but for now I suppose I am on an "extended vacation".

So for now my bows are just going to hang for a bit until they are ready to be used again. (Asides from me getting some personal practice, of course.)

7+ Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Where can I do archery? Is it safe and legal to do it in my backyard?  Is there a designated place to do archery in my city?

In Toronto the best place to do archery is at the Toronto Archery Range, located in E. T. Seton Park (near the Ontario Science Centre).

Visit archerytoronto.ca/Toronto-Archery-Range.html to see maps and parking info.
The legality of doing archery in your backyard depends upon how safe you are doing it. If a neighbour complains about your lack of safety precautions and police investigate they could charge you with reckless endangerment with a firearm. Since Toronto has a public archery range however it is generally accepted that you should really be practicing archery at the archery range.

What is the cost of equipment?  Do I have to shell out big bucks or can I do it on a budget?

Either. Nobody is forcing you to spend a lot of money. A typical beginners budget for equipment is about $350 CDN to buy bow, arrows, arrowheads, arrowrest, shooting glove or tab, bowstringer, etc. Alternatively you could just make your own equipment if you are skilled at woodworking and want to try your hand at bowmaking / fletching arrows.

What kind of equipment do I need to start out?  Should I just get a bow and some arrows or is there anything else I need?

Yes. You will want:


  • Arrowheads
  • Arrowrest
  • Shooting glove or tab
  • Bowstringer
  • A bag or box for carrying your equipment to and from the archery range.
  • Various optional items like a quiver, arm guard/bracer, arrow nock bead, paper targets, portable targets, 3D targets, and a variety of other accessories.

Do I need archery lessons?  Can I just go and shoot or do I need to be instructed on technique, safety, best practices, etc...?

No, you absolutely do not need lessons, but it is definitely helpful to have archery lessons and you should definitely pay attention and abide by all the safety bylaws as they are for your own protection and to protect others.

What types of bows are there?  I have seen some complicated contraptions and more Robin Hood looking bows, but what is the difference and which should I choose?

The most common styles of bows are:

  • Recurve Bows
  • Longbows / Flatbows
  • Horsebows / Shortbows
  • Olympic Recurve Bows
  • Compound Bows

Recurve Bows are the easiest to learn how to use. Longbows/Flatbows and Horsebows/Shortbows are stylistically similar, but have a more difficult learning curve. Olympic Recurves are more specialized and use gadgets to help the archery increase archery. Compound Bows are typically decked out with every gadget you can find. The biggest difference between the styles is how much the individual archer wants to embrace specific traditions or whether they prefer to use gadgets to get extra accuracy.


How long will it take me to be good?  Is it a long process or will I pick it up quickly?

It varies significantly upon a number of factors.


  • Whether or not you get archery lessons.
  • How many archery lessons you get.
  • Whether or not you buy/read any archery books or read websites about improving your archery form.
  • How good is your posture.
  • How often your practice.
  • What your definition of "good" is.

It takes years to get really good at archery. It isn't something that happens overnight. Getting archery lessons / reading a good book on the subject really speeds up the process.

What types of arrows are there?  What do you call the feathers at the end?  What is the best arrow I can buy?

There are many types of arrows, usually made from wood, bamboo, carbon fibre, aluminum or fibreglass. The feathers are called fletching. The "best arrow" depends on what you are using it for. An expensive arrow doesn't necessarily mean it is better at a specific task. Eg. A lightweight arrow would be better for long distance (flight archery), but a heavier arrow can often be better for hunting purposes. So it really depends.

Historically "footed shaft" arrows were considered to be the best of both worlds because they were heavier on the front and lighter on the back, which improved accuracy.

More Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Competing Against Yourself and Records

ARCHERY LESSONS TORONTO

One of the things I have done over the years of teaching archery is that I have started keeping records of how well my students do.

For example during the first lesson, which involves Field Archery Practice at target balls, I keep track of which students have managed to hit the target ball at the furthest distance.

During the first lesson the student starts shooting at a target ball at a distance of 10 yards. If they hit the ball I move it back 1 pace (roughly 1 yard). If they hit it twice in the same round, I move it back 2 paces.

Five times? Clearly that distance is too easy. Move it back 5 paces.

By the end of the lesson most students are shooting at the target balls at a distance of 21 to 25 yards. However some students have been quite good at this and manage to hit the ball enough times to get the ball out to an impressive distance.

The record for a beginner student during their first lesson is 37 yards (111 feet).

Recently one of my archery students managed to tie that record, and I got it on video. So now there are two students who managed to hit the target ball at 37 yards during their first lesson.




Competing Against Yourself

Keeping track of your personal record at various distances is handy and fun to do. It lets you know how much you have improved. For example I know my personal record at 20 yards when shooting at a 40cm FITA archery target is a perfect 50 out of 50, but I also know I only managed to get that score on a day when:

  • I was well rested and well fed.
  • I was mentally focused and not distracted.
  • There was almost no wind.
  • I was using a particular bow I had been shooting with for years.
  • I was using brand new arrows.
  • I had been trying to get a perfect score for almost a month.
 Getting to that perfect score out of 50 was very hard. I got a lot of 47s, 48s and 49s. I could get four 10s fairly easily, but getting a fifth was proving to be extremely difficult.

Getting that perfect score basically required everything to be alignment (like the moon and stars, etc) and I only ever did it once.

Once I did do it however I moved on to other things, like seeing what was the best score I could get at 33 yards (30 meters / 99 feet), also on a 40cm FITA target. I don't think I will ever get a perfect 50 at that distance on a target that small. (The 10 point circle only has a diameter of roughly 4 cm.)


Competing Against The Record

Find a record set by someone else that you think you could potentially beat.

For example the most amazing shot I have ever seen done by any of my students was last year when I was teaching one of my older students Clout Archery.

Clout Archery involves shooting at a flag pole at very large distances. So far away you need something like a flagpole so you can see what you are trying to hit.

One of my students hit the flagpole, right on the flag where it was attached to the pole, the middle point of it - and hit it so hard the flagpole fell over.

The distance was 85 yards (77.7 meters). For reference Olympic archers shoot at 70 meters.

In the video below you can hear me grumbling about how I need to come up with more difficult challenges for this particular student, who after so many years of lessons continues to amaze me with his ability to beat a challenge.



Warm Weather is Here / Archery Season in Toronto!

The 14 day weather forecast shows there being a slight dip in temperatures starting Wednesday until Saturday of this week, and then it getting a lot warmer in a hurry on March 1st.

By March 4th it will be 5 degrees outside and sunny.

For Toronto's Archery Community this means a return to shooting outdoors regularly, and seeing friends many of us haven't seen since October or November. (Sadly archery is very much a seasonal sport, even for private indoor locations the sport is largely seasonal.)

Speaking for myself I have been missing archery during the Winter so it is going to be a joy to be shooting again very soon.

The Toronto Archery Range on a Cloudy Day

Browse my archery lessons page to learn more about rates / discounts.

Read my archery lesson plan so you understand what you could be learning. Eg. Want to learn how to shoot long distances? Sign up for at least 3 lessons.

Lesson 1 - Short Distance Field Archery.
Lesson 2 - 20 Yard Target Archery.
Lesson 3 - Long Distance Field Archery.
Lesson 4 - Moving Targets.

Want to learn more about what is involved? Just email cardiotrek@gmail.com with any questions.

Happy Shooting!

4 Need To Know Things Before Your Weight Loss Journey

4 Things You Need to Know Before Setting out on Your Weight Loss Journey

How many of us have woken up on a Monday morning telling ourselves that the “diet starts today”, only for it to be ruined by lunch time? We have all been there, and the more we try and force ourselves to get through fad and crash diets, the less likely we are to stick to it. Losing weight isn’t easy, and with processed and high in fat food being so easily accessible, it is very common to fall into bad eating habits that can seem impossible to get out of.

However, it is important that you look after your weight, as being overweight can cause an increased risk of suffering from life threatening conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Therefore, we have put together some of the things you need to know before setting out on your weight loss journey that may help you along the way.

Starving Yourself Won’t Work

First of all, don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you starve yourself and dramatically cut down the amount of food that you eat each day, you are going to suddenly drop two dress sizes. In reality, those who follow crash diets are much less likely to continue with their journey as they give in to the temptation of high calorie foods.

Instead of cutting down the amount of food you eat, you should plan three healthy meals a day that are both nutritional and tasty. Nobody wants to eat just salad for the rest of their life, and thinking that you can is not going to work. So, stop thinking about the bad foods you can’t eat and focus on the good foods that you can!

Get into The Right Mindset

If you can get yourself into the right mindset that is needed to see you through a successful weight loss journey, then you are already halfway there. When we start a diet at the beginning of the week, many of us don’t take it very seriously, which is why it rarely lasts past lunch time. So, start by telling yourself that you are ready to make the changes to your diet and transform how you feel about yourself.

Decide Your Why

While a medical professional would tell you that your main motivation for losing weight should be for health reasons, there may be a variety of other reasons that have you led you to your weight loss journey. While losing weight for the benefit of your health will likely be a considerable factor, you may decide that you want to feel good about yourself again, something that has been unobtainable to you since gaining the weight.

You may even have a special event coming up that you want to look good and feel comfortable for. Whatever it is, decide your why and focus on it to keep your motivation up.

There Are Extra Tools Out There to Help You

Remember that you don’t have to struggle through your weight loss journey alone, and there are extra tools and resources out there that will be able to you through. You may be interested in weight loss groups or HGH injections that can boost energy levels, so make sure you should consider the online purchasing options available to you.

The decision to start your weight loss journey can be both daunting and anxiety provoking, and it is important to remember that it is completely normal to feel nervous about trying to lose weight. However, by following these tips and advice, you can start off on your successful weight loss journey.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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