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Buying and Tuning Archery Equipment

Note - So years ago I wrote this article for "The Canadian Daily", an online magazine which has since disappeared. Since it is no more I realized I should republish the article here instead. Thus while the information here may be a little redundant when compared to some of my other articles, it is not wholly redundant. There are some useful parts in here that are not mentioned elsewhere on my website. Also I have updated part of the article, as the store "Tent City" no longer exists.


By Charles Moffat - November 2014. Updated February 2019.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is what equipment archery students should purchase, and how to tune it.

To answer this question I first need to balance how much a student wants to spend with whether they are planning to compete eventually – or if they want to jump straight into competitions, and if so, what kind of competitions because Olympic archery is really only one style of competitive shooting.
There is Arco Nudo (no gadgets), Flight Archery, Field Archery, Clout Shooting, 3D competitions, and some competitions even have moving targets. There is even more bizarre archery sports like Equestrian Archery (on horseback), Archery Biathalon (cross country skiing combined with archery), and other similar events. I personally think it would be fun if someone made an Archery Obstacle Course, wherein participants must make their way their way through an obstacle course as quickly as possible and score as many points as possible.

My recommendation regardless of what style of competition they are planning to get into is to get a beginner bow for that style – just to see if you like it. Or if you are not certain then you should start with the basic 3-piece takedown recurve. (To browse various types of 3-piece bows please read the reviews posted on ArcheryToronto.ca: Review of Three Piece Takedown Recurve Bows. The links below are hyperlinked to the individual reviews for the bows mentioned and will take you to that specific review.)

The recurve bows I recommend most for beginners on a budget are:

The Jandao Recurve is identical to the PSE Razorback, the only difference is the label and the price. The bow is available in 2 lb increments.

Price is $120, although prices vary so you may need it is a higher price at your local store.

The Samick Sage is prettier than the Jandao, but you have to be able to pull 25 lbs easily if you want to buy it because it is only available in 5 lb increments, starting at 25.

Price is $150, although prices vary so you may need it is a higher price at your local store.

Before purchasing either of these bows however I first need to test the strength of the beginning archer. Normally I do this while teaching the archery lesson, during which I start the student off with a light poundage bow – 18 lbs – and then have them shoot with it for 30 minutes or so to see how well they can pull it back, how easily they fatigue, and so forth.

Commonly beginners discover that archery involves a lot more physical strength than they were expecting – even to pull a 18 lb bow (which is considered to be a small amount when compared to more experienced archers that are typically pulling between 30 and 60 lbs). Don’t expect to be pulling large amounts in the beginning however because beginners often have weak back muscles and complementary muscles which are not used to the strain. Attempting to pull more than you can will result in arm, shoulder and back pain – and unlike weightlifters who like to claim “no pain no gain”, in this case pain can lead to chronic strain problems that will prevent you from practicing altogether, so why risk a disability when you can take your time and progress at a safer speed? Ego? Ego is the bane of archers and messes with both their body and their mind, both of which you need to be top form if you are to succeed.

If a person is petite or skinny I typically advise them to start with either an 18 or 20 lb bow, which means they will end up going for the Jandao bow mentioned above or a bow similar to that.

If a person is stronger / more robust they might be able to handle a 24, 25 or 26 lb bow, which means they can choose between a 24 or 26 lb Jandao or a 25 lb Samick Sage.

Someone who is quite strong (football player esque) can handle a 28, 30 or 32 lb bow, which means they can choose between a 28, 30 or 32 lb Jandao or a 30 lb Samick Sage.

Exception – If you are purchasing a compound bow and plan to be hunting with it you will want to set it up for 40 to 50 lbs. Have them do that in the store for you when you purchase it. Preferably buy one that is easy to adjust (the Diamond Infinite Edge for example is very easy to adjust and available at Bass Pro in Vaughan). When choosing what weight to use you will want at least the minimum poundage legally required for whatever you are hunting. Hopefully the compound bow you are choosing has a high let off rate (70 to 85% would be nice). Make sure you can actually pull it back and hold it steady.

Some people will likely ignore my recommendations when it comes to starting with a low poundage bow. People are certainly free to choose bows that are more powerful than they can properly handle and I won’t be surprised when such people tire too easily, give up because it is too difficult, etc. You have to think of it a bit like you are at the gym and you go over to the dumbbells. Which set of dumbbells do you pick? The big 30 lb dumbbells, the medium-sized 25 lb dumbbells, or the smaller 15 or 20 lb dumbbells. Wisdom tells us that we should start low and work our way up. Ego tells you “Pick the biggest one! Pick the biggest one!”

However there is a trick to this. The advantage to three-piece recurves is that the brand model limbs can be purchased separately and are interchangeable, which means you can always buy more powerful limbs later on. Thus my strong recommendation is that you start low, with a comfortable number, and then after you’ve been shooting for a good period of time (3 months or more) then when you feel ready you can come back and buy an extra pair of limbs for your bow which are more powerful.

Thus if you purchase a 25 lb Samick Sage for example you might come back later and buy 30 or 35 lb limbs when you feel you are ready for a challenge.

I have seen beginner archers go out and buy a 60 lb bow they can’t even string properly, let alone pull. Presumably the bow they purchased either ends up in the closet collecting dust or they sell it for a loss and buy one they can actually use properly.

Tuning your Arrows

When it comes to tuning your arrows you want arrows that have the correct spine (flexibility) for the bow you are using. An arrow that is too flexible will snap and break. An arrow that is not flexible enough won’t flex properly as it flies through the air, will be too heavy, less accurate, etc. To get the most accuracy you want arrows that are the correct spine.

To do this we first need to determine your draw length. With your bow arm extended (for most people this will be your left arm) measure the distance from the base of your thumb (not the tip, just the base, closer to your wrist) to the right corner of your mouth. The measurement, depending on your height, will usually be between 26 and 32 inches. For most people it will be about 28 to 30 inches. This indicates the length of the arrow you should be purchasing in order to attain full draw. Some people also add an extra 1/2 or 1 inch to the total just for safety’s sake or to give them the ability to overdraw the arrow.

In a store they will sometimes have an arrow or a stick with measurements on it they can use to give you an accurate measurement.

Many stores have 29 inch pre-cut arrows that are for sale, which will suit most people who are of average height. Anyone shorter than that can choose between leaving them that length (will be less accurate) or having them cut shorter so they fit your draw length better.

Next you need to read the following chart, which is also available on my website at Three Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment. Using the draw length measurements across the top, compare that with the weight of your bow going down the left side – then find the corresponding 3-digit Arrow Spine Number in the middle. So if you are using a 25 lb Samick Sage and have a 29 inch draw, then you should purchase 600 spine arrows.


A big mistake many beginners make is that they end up with a pile of mismatched arrows. Maybe they lost a bunch, maybe they found some (and neglected to put them in the lost and found box), or maybe they even found broken arrows and decided to fix them (giving new life to broken arrows is a personal hobby of mine). What you will find however is that these arrows will be different weights, different spines, different lengths, and consequently each arrow will shoot differently – which means your chance of making clusters of arrows on the target will be dramatically reduced. (To learn more about how to shoot arrow clusters read some of the posts on my Archery Tips page.) Ideally you want to have arrows which weigh the same, are the same length, the same spine, everything is identical. Including the Arrowhead.

Tuning your Arrowheads

To get a better understanding of this please read my post “What the eff is FOC Weight?” which explains the acronym Front-Of-Center and how it applies to arrow balance. Basically what you want is at close range you want to be using arrowheads that are suited to the task, which in this case are heavier and moves the balancing point closer to the tip of the arrow – and makes them more accurate. At longer distances you want to be using lightweight arrowheads, which moves the balancing point closer to the middle – but still Front of the Center of the arrow.

  • At 20 to 30 yards you want to be using 125 to 150 grain arrowheads.*
  • At 40 to 50 yards you want to be using 85 to 100 grain arrowheads.*
  • At 60 yards or more you want to be using 50 to 75 grain arrowheads.*
* This is just an example and is not always true. Depending on the weight of the arrow, it may be more optimal to use specific weights at different distances.

When it comes to tuning your arrowheads there is no “one size fits all”. For beginners it is recommended you buy 125 grain arrowheads (150s are harder to find in stores and are often made for wider shaft arrows) and then stick to the closer targets anyway until your skill has improved to the point that your arrow clusters are the size of a doughnut – and you are scoring at least 40 out of 50 every round with 5 arrows on a standard FITA 40 cm target. If you cannot shoot at least a score of 40 with 5 arrows regularly on the short distances then you are simply not ready to be trying to hit the longer distances.

Tuning your Fletching

Normally the fletching comes with the arrows, so unless you want to be cutting the fletching off and gluing on new fletching you probably are not going to be tuning this so much as you are going to be purchasing arrows with the fletching already on there – or ordering custom made arrows with the fletching you want.

The colour of the fletching doesn’t matter with respect to accuracy – although having bright, easy to find colours on there certainly helps if you ever lose an arrow.
 
What matters more with fletching is the length of the fletch, the width of the fletch, the shape of the fletch – and the type of fletching you are using.

If you are using a compound bow you will want to be using Vane Fletching – vanes are stiff pieces of plastic, and are typically either short or long fletch.

If you are using a longbow, traditional recurve, shortbow, etc then you will want Feather Fletching – which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and is typically between 2 and 5 inches long.

If you plan on shooting at birds or doing small game hunting (or competing in 3D events) you will likely want Flu Flu Feathers – which are extra wide (2″ or so) feather fletched arrows that are often brightly coloured to make them very easy to spot.

The length of fletching effects its accuracy at different distances, depending on the wind conditions. Longer fletches are more accurate on a non-windy day, shorter fletches are more accurate on a windy day. At short distances there won’t be a huge difference in accuracy because the arrow isn’t in the air long enough for the wind to effect it overly much, but at longer distances the longer fletch arrows will give you more accuracy under normal conditions because it keeps the arrow going straighter – whereas shorter fletch will be more accurate if it is windy because the wind will catch the larger fletching sideways and turn the arrow so it loses much of its accuracy. (Obviously you don’t want to be using Flu Flu Arrows on a windy day.)

When it comes to shape of the fletching there are many different kinds, including:
Parabolic, Shield and Traditional are pretty commonly used. Banana, Low-Banana, Swift, T-Hawk, and Pope & Young all have their pros and cons.

The shape and size of the fletching effects how straight it flies, how fast it flies, how much it contacts the arrowrest (or in the case of longbow/shortbow archers shooting off their glove, how much it contacts their glove).

The Swift fletch design for example is basically identical to the Parabolic, but has been trimmed somewhat to make it thinner and lighter in an effort to give it more speed. The Low-Banana is the same idea – nearly identical to the Banana, but designed for speed instead of accuracy.

What style of fletching an archer chooses often depends on the style of shooting you are using the arrows for and whether you want more speed, more accuracy or maybe you just don’t want the fletch rubbing against the arrowrest so much.

Tuning your Arrowrest

If you are completely new to archery you might not know what an arrowrest is. Scroll up, look a the photo at the top. That is the riser from a Samick Sage with a cheap plastic arrowrest on there.
Now pay attention. Your arrowrest is arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment you will own.

 Why? It is because every time an arrow leaves your bow the first and last thing it touches will be the arrowrest, and you want your arrowrest to be accurate and consistent. If you buy a cheap plastic arrowrest don’t expect it to stay the same with every shot you do. With every shot the plastic wears down, it becomes uneven, it starts to rip, and it will eventually fall apart and have to be replaced. There is also the matter that the harder and more durable a plastic arrowrest is the more it rubs against the fletching during each shot, which can lead to inaccuracy if it is rubbing too much or rubbing inconsistently.

More traditional archers like to use fur arrowrests (available at various archery stores) which allows the arrow to slide across the surface of the fur gently and this cushion of fur allows the arrow to not be rubbing against anything too hard that would cause it to lose accuracy.

Example: The bow on the right features a traditional fur arrowrest which has been glued in place.

Now the fur will eventually wear down, but the good news is that fur is surprisingly durable despite being so soft and it should last a good long time before it needs to be replaced.

Another option is to buy a more modern arrowrest made of metal and other materials.
Your options are drop down arrowrests, drop away arrowrests, spring loaded arrowrests, wire arrowrests, whisker biscuit arrowrests and hostage arrowrests. There are many more types, but I am not going to list them all.

When it comes to these modern arrowrests (many of which are most commonly used on compound bows) they usually come with instructions on how to tune them. This will usually require you to tune the arrowrest to the weight of the arrow, to adjust it to left or right, up or down, to make certain it is centered on both the X and Y axis, and so forth.

For best results read the instructions that come with the arrowrest so you can tune it properly. I am not going to give the tuning instructions here for the literally hundreds of different arrowrests that are available out there.

If you purchased a compound bow then your bow likely came with either a whisker biscuit or a hostage arrowrest. Both are quite good and you likely won’t even need to tune them if they were already tuned in the factory.

Tuning your Hand Gear

How you release your shot is equally important as what you are using. Regardless of whether you choose to go with a tab, gloves or mechanical release you will want one that works well for you. Some people (myself included) find tabs annoying. I would rather shoot with a thumb ring than shoot with a tab. This is an area of shooting that comes down to personal preference (unless you are shooting compound, in which case you have only two choices: mechanical or gloves).

Pick the method you find to be the most comfortable for you and learn to shoot with that as best you can. As time progresses try other styles of gloves, tabs, etc and find the one that works best for you.
For example I have 6 different styles of shooting gloves in a box at home, I also have 3 different tabs, 2 thumb rings, and 2 mechanical releases. Of these I have determined that of all the equipment I use, I prefer the Neet gloves (size large), the Regent Archery Persian-style gloves (size medium), and the more expensive mechanical release because it just works better and is less fussy to use – not because it is more expensive, simply because it is the easiest to use.

Tuning what hand gear you use for shooting with will be something you play with along the way. For beginners I recommend you find a pair of Neet gloves in your size and then experiment with other styles of releasing as you progress. Don’t go trying to skip to thumb rings or something more difficult to learn until you have mastered how to shoot using something simpler.

Other Gadgets

If you are looking to tune a sight, find the right stabilizer that suits you and tune other gadgets then we are getting into more complex topics. You will need to sign up for archery lessons if you want instructions on how to tune such things. I teach all of the topics listed above and much more, but I have to go do some personal practice now so that will have to wait for another day.

When do you become an archer?

Q

Someone posted this on Facebook awhile back:

"When do you become an archer?"



And below is how I responded to this question:


When you first start you become an amateur archer.


When you compete, you become a competitive archer.


When you get paid to do archery you become a professional archer.

When you teach it and people come back for more lessons and tell their friends how great you are, you become an archery instructor (possibly by accident like I did).

When you have learned everything in terms of the physical aspects of archery and have to constantly challenge yourself mentally, you have become an archery master.

The master already knows how to shoot. That is not their problem. Their problem is finding challenges (often mental challenges) that allow them to continue learning something new.
A round of shots on January 24th 2019. The one shot clipped a nock and the nock went flying off.

Now you will notice that, yes, that is a very tight cluster. And yes, I did clip the nock so that it went flying off.

But what you might not notice is the date. January 24th and it was freezing cold outside. Here is some more photos from that day. To shoot that well in those conditions... it is mostly mental.

Eventually it got so cold I decided to go home.






Panarama of the Toronto Archery Range!

Private Archery Ranges near Toronto

One of my students asked me about private archery ranges near Richmond Hill, and in response I have made the following list of private archery ranges near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) - which includes Richmond Hill.

I was originally thinking of organizing this list alphabetically, but then I changed my mind and decided to organize by categories as some of these locations are university clubs, archery tag locations, and only a few are wholly private archery ranges.

PRIVATE ARCHERY RANGES IN THE GTA

Archers of Caledon
archersofcaledon.org

Located North-West of Brampton, this club/private range was once known as the Humber Valley Archers, but changed the name when they moved the club to Caledon Hills north west of Toronto. The club hosts indoor and outdoor tournaments, and international tournaments as well.

The Archers of Caledon has a 30 x 15 meter heated indoor range, with 10 shooting lanes.

Outdoors, Archers of Caledon has:
  • A 30 to 90 meter target range.
  • A 10 to 80 meter practice range, which includes both field archery and target archery.
  • A 28 target field archery / 3D range course with animal targets ranging from 6 to 65 meters.

Durham Archers
durhamarchers.com
Two ranges located north of Oshawa, this members only club offers a 3D shooting range (only from Spring to Autumn, the 3D targets are put in storage during the winter to prevent ice damage), target ranges, and field archery. They also host a variety of tournaments.

Note - There is no indoor range.


Peel Archery Club
peelarchery.ca

Located in Peel/Brampton (north west of Pearson International Airport), this indoor range offers both target and 3D options, with the comfort of heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. It also boasts Canada's only 70 meter indoor archery range. (Currently the only one. This may change in the future.) They also host a variety of indoor tournaments.

Note - There is no outdoor range.


York County Bowmen
yorkcountybowmen.com

Located east of Newmarket (north of Toronto), York County Bowmen is a club/private range that boasts the following:

  • An indoor 18 meter (20 yards) range  with 12 shooting lanes.
  • Over 50 acres of 3D target ranges, with 14 field archery shooting lanes.
  • A target practice range, with targets spaced from 10 to 60 yards.


ARCHERY TAG INDOOR RANGES

The following is a short list of archery tag locations which also operate archery ranges, the trick being that most of the time the space is being used for archery tag, and they only rarely open the space up as an archery range. So for example some archery tag locations only open up the space for practice 1 day per week, so don't expect a lot of availability that matches your schedule. The size of the space varies on the locations, but don't expect anything larger than 30 meters as these locations are typically about the size of a high school gymnasium. The good news however is that you don't need a membership for these indoor ranges and can just pay an hourly rate to use the space.
  • Archers Arena in North York
  • Archery Circuit located south of Markham
  • Archery District in Etobicoke
  • Archery 2 You in Ajax
  • Battle Sports in North York
  • Stryke Archery Range in Brampton and York

UNIVERSITY ARCHERY RANGES

Joining an university archery club can be a bit trickier. It generally helps if you are already a student or alumni for that university. With university archery clubs there is typically specific times when the range is open, so you really need to find out what their hours operations are before deciding whether to make the effort to join one of these clubs.
  • University of Ryerson Archery Club
  • University of Toronto Archery Club @ Hart House
  • York University Archery Club

PLACES TO AVOID

Sharon Gun Club - Located north-east of Newmarket, this club does NOT offer archery. Contrary to what a Google search dictates, this club does NOT do archery at all. It is purely a gun club. So don't waste your time on this one.

Shooting Academy Canada - Located in Scarborough, this location does offer both guns and archery (as well as throwing knives, airsoft, and BB), and boasts a tiny 15 yard indoor target range. There is no outdoor range. No field archery, no 3D archery targets, etc. Hence why I decided to list it down here and not with the wholly private archery ranges. Plus since they are using firearms indoors, users should really be wearing hearing protection - which many archers might object to as it would feel weird wearing hearing protection while doing archery. So it is not a location I would recommend to students.

Target Sports Canada - Located north of Markham, this is another location that does NOT offer archery. It is another gun range that could be easily confused as an archery range, mostly due to faulty Google search results.


See Also

List of Archery Clubs in Ontario

Why you SUCK at archery

I admit I do not own this book.

I don't need it. I don't suck at archery, ergo I do not need this book.

So this is not a book review, because I admit I have not read this book.

However, the book was written by Steve Ruis, who is the editor of Archery Focus Magazine. (Cough cough, the guy who keeps publishing my articles in his magazine. I am up to 3 articles so far. Visit archeryfocusmagazine.com to learn more.)

I do however find the title of the book funny and appropriate. And I don't mind returning the favour by giving him some free advertising, and I hope he does the same when it comes time to promote some of my own archery books.

I also recommend Steve's other book "Precision Archery". Getting a book like that is the next best thing to getting archery lessons from an instructor. So given his track record of previous books and magazines, the new book is doubtlessly a good one and worth reading if you are a beginner - or if you suck at archery and need to rectify that problem.



Online you can buy the Kindle version or the Paperback version on Amazon.ca.

Kindle - https://www.amazon.ca/Why-You-Suck-at-Archery-ebook/dp/B00BM925AQ/
Paperback - https://www.amazon.ca/Why-You-Suck-at-Archery/dp/0984886036/

The paperback version is currently $19.59 CDN, whereas the Kindle version is $9.14 CDN.


Meanwhile, I do actually have 1 archery book available of my own... although it is admittedly a poetry book... about archery. I am still working on my guide / how to book, and I am in the planning stages of a 3rd and 4th books.

Dreaming of Zen Archery

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/dreaming-of-zen-archery


Cardio Trek Milestones and Achieving Milestones

January 4th 2019.

So in ancient times the Romans would place a milestone along roads to mark how far that section of road was from Rome. Important Milestones might be every 100 miles, 500 miles or similar distances.

Today we use the term Milestone when there has been achievement of some kind.

For example, as an archery instructor I have been on CBC, CTV, CityTV, TSN and several other television and radio broadcasts, usually promoting the sport of archery. Oh and newspaper articles. I tend to forget the newspaper articles.

I also have personal milestones like when my wife and I got married, or when we had our first son, our 1st anniversary, and our son's 1st birthday party.

And now that it is 2019 I want to do a wee bit of record keeping regarding the "History of Cardio Trek", which began as a website in 2011. Truth be told, I started teaching archery back in 2009, but it wasn't until December 2011 that I began taking it seriously as a business and put together this website. Prior to that my archery lessons were based on word-of-mouth, so the creation of the website was a milestone by itself because it means I realized that this had potential as a business and I could teach significantly more people if I was able to advertise more effectively.

I also got my personal training certificate, although now I think I should have got a sports training certificate instead as that would have been more accurate to what I actually do.

Statistics

Regarding the website, there was an explosion in popularity in the early years of the website.

I even have old posts regarding some previous Milestones:
1 Million Visitors

1.5 Million Visitors

2 Million Visitors
And sometime in late April/early May of 2019 I expect to reach the 2.5 million visitors mark.

I should note however that a lot of those visitors are Americans who are visiting a handful of my posts that went viral. Seven posts in particular that got 20,000 visitors or more. Roughly 850,000 of the current 2.4 million visitors are people who were visiting those 7 viral posts, mostly because the posts in question were unusual subjects.

Of those 7 posts, only 1 of them had anything to do with archery: "Ramsay's Archery Skills on Game of Thrones"

What is more important to me is the statistics for my Archery Lessons in Toronto page, which recently surpassed 40,000 visitors.

Now why is that one important? Because that is the page that usually indicates how many people are checking out my site, looking for archery lessons in Toronto. Since archery lessons makes up a good chunk of my annual income, keeping track of that is important to me.

How many of the visitors to that one page are from Toronto? Unknown. I should hope it is mostly people from Toronto, but I know that I also get international students so there must be a good chunk of people who see my site and say "Hey, this guys looks really good. I am going to plan a trip to Toronto and schedule archery lessons with him." Hence why I also get archery students from the USA, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, China, the U.K., France, Russia, and other countries.

Regarding Old Posts

As noted in my Cardio Trek End of 2018 Notes, I used to do a lot more posts per year.

180 posts in 2012
230 posts in 2013
120 posts in 2014
120 posts in 2015

And then it dropped to 100 posts in 2016, and 60 posts per year in both 2017 + 2018.

So including the 10 posts from December 2011, there has been 880 posts during the 2011 to 2018 period. At the current rate of 60 posts per year, I should reach 1000 by December 2020.

However, I am somewhat tempted to go back to my old routine of 120 posts per year. 60 is certainly easier, but if I did 120 in 2019 then I would reach 1000 posts by the end of this year. So to do this, I would need to be writing 1 new post every 3 days roughly.

I could in theory do this, and it would no doubt help my business if I grew my content of archery themed posts. My busiest years as an archery instructor was the 2012 to 2016 period.

Starting in 2017 I noticed a decline in the volume of students, partially because the Hunger Games Fad was wearing off, but also possibly because I was not writing as much as I used to do.

Regarding the Future

In 2017 I also did something new. I published my first article in Archery Focus Magazine.

Which was followed by two more articles in 2018, one about Adaptive Archery, and a second article about Teaching Archery through Narrative Storytelling. So these magazine articles were also milestones, and I have another two articles upcoming in 2019.



Then there is also my 2nd poetry book, which was specifically about Zen Archery. So yes, for those of you who don't know I have a secondary career as a writer / poet, and I am not limited to writing nonfiction about archery.


During the past several years I have also been writing an "Archery How To" book, so whenever I finish that it will be an additional Milestone. Plus I have been accumulating things for a 2nd archery how to book. Oh and a 3rd poetry book. And a book of fables which is now about 60% finished. And various fantasy novels, novellas, short stories, and a web series about a vigilante boxer set in Toronto.

So yes, I am very busy. Busy teaching, busy writing, busy taking care of my son and enjoying life with my wife.

But being so busy does not prevent me from achieving milestones.

If anything, achieving milestones is what makes me so busy - and motivated.

Motivating Yourself through Milestones

So yes, the second purpose for writing this post is the issue of achieving personal milestones and motivation.

Motivation is an important thing for people seeking to lose weight, gain muscle, or do specific sports. For the people who lack motivation to go outside and exercise (or stay inside and exercise), finding motivation to exercise is just as important as the exercise itself.

But when you achieve some kind of milestone you also get a feeling of accomplishment. That feeling of accomplishment makes you want to go forth and do more. To do better. To achieve more. To hit greater milestones.

And thus tracking your milestones is important.

For me, Cardio Trek is not just a business or a website. It is also how I track myself through milestones. If I have a particularly great day doing archery, and take photographs of what I did, I do a post about it.

If I do a series of trick shots and have photographs of it, I do a post about it.

If I get some really nice testimonials from students, I post.

Think of it like how some people keep journals of their exercise routine, how many calories they are eating, etc. A person who keeps a journal can also note down their personal bests they've ever achieved in specific tasks, keep track of their weight, etc.

So for me, CardioTrek.ca doubles as an online journal, which allows me to keep a record of every kind of milestone I feel is worth sharing.

Note - Some people might prefer to use Instagram or something similar for their online journal. Photos of their gym workouts and other personal achievements.

Imagine for example a person who wants to lose 100 lbs of weight and they workout every day for 3 years, losing about 33.3 lbs per year. And during that process they took a selfie of themselves every day and posted it on Instagram.

No doubt the images would show a dramatic change in their appearance as they exercised. It wouldn't be a simple before and after photo. It would show the entire process of their physical transformation over 3 years.


So think about what kind of milestones you can achieve and make a list.

Weightlifting Milestones
Speed Milestones
Jumping Distance Milestones
Dieting Milestones
Belt Size Milestones
Weight Milestones

With respect to sports like archery, one could also have:

Accuracy Milestones
Speed Shooting Milestones
Furthest Distance Milestones
Competition Milestones

And you can even track other milestones for other activities that have nothing to do with exercising. So for example for my writing career I have:

First Novel Published
First Short Story Published in an Anthology
First Solo Anthology of Short Stories
First Magazine Article
First Poetry Book
First Children's Book

And then the Second Novel, the Third Novel, the Fourth, etc.

Achieving these milestones encourages you to keep working at it, and it works for everyone regardless.

Imagine a person who has been in a terrible accident and the doctor says they may never walk again because they are paralyzed from the waist down. But they are determined to prove the doctor wrong so they keep trying.

First Toe Wiggle
Second Toe Wiggle
All Toes Wiggling
Foot Movement
Leg Movement
First Steps with Assistance
First Fall
Second Fall
First Steps without Assistance
First Jog
First Dance
First Run

It is really a matter of finding joy in every milestone, no matter how small or how insignificant. That is your milestone. It is important to you.

Every baby has their first steps, but just because you're an adult doesn't mean you cannot achieve more milestones than when you were a baby.

My son has been figuring out how to climb out of crib lately - or trying, but I keep stopping him and distracting him. Some day soon he will climb out for the first time and then he will realize that he can climb out of the crib whenever he wants.

Take that as a metaphor for your life. Your crib is not a cage. You can climb out whenever you want to, it really is a matter of motivating yourself and achieving that first milestone.
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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