Monday, August 17, 2015

My wonderful life as a nobody :)

So it might sound like a negative. But this is not a negative post by any stretch. It is a fact. I have in the eyes of the world never achieved anything, because our world is built on the lie of winning. Only winning achieves anything and if you aren't a winner you are by default a loser. And not only have I heard this said by some of the great winners in the world, I have probably said it myself a time or two. But I suppose it really does take a closer look at what winning means. Is it a shiny hunk of metal to put on your shelf or is it to achieve your goals? Is it a win if you got a medal, but failed to achieve your goal? Is it a loss if you didn't win a medal, but achieved all your goals? If the tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to witness it....

So I'm writing this in reflection to my year as an archery bum which may come to an end when I complete Danish school and get a real job....What did my year achieve? I didn't win any international medals and I didn't break any records so far... so what have I done?

So in a year of shooting in Europe, I have so far achieved my goals. I fought for and won a coveted spot on the Danish archery team. In a series of 5 trials that included a minimum score requirement and performance in both ranking and matchplay, I earned that spot in black and white. I had, before hand, worried that perhaps it would end up being a place based on just attending, but the top 5 shooters in Denmark all pre-qualified and attended. Even the formidable Camilla Søemod commuted from Canada to make it a real fight down to the last day, for that much desired spot on the World Target team on home soil.

I got to shoot the European Indoor Championships, where I ranked 11th  (equal 7th) and finished 9th (top 16) with a competition PB in ranking. Possibly a first for an Australian shooting the European Champs?
Moi (Slovenia 2015)
Shanghai World Cup Stage 1 - I shot 669 and ranked 31st. Finished 33rd (out in the first match) in tricky wind for our first outdoor tournament of the year. I was disappointed, but took away a lot. And took 5th in mixed teams with Stephan Hansen with some solid shooting to make my week worth while.

Turkey World Cup Stage 2 - 675 and ranked 47th against some tough competition and finished 33rd again but on substantially better shooting (lost my second match). I was beaten by Andrea Marcos of Spain and I told her she had to win now because that's the rules. So she did. And I was very proud to be her agent on the day of her gold medal match. And we took away 4th place in teams. I shot some 8s in our last match, but then so did almost everyone who shot finals that day, including some very notable and famous archers. So for everyone who ever shot an 8 in finals...I hear you, but we're in awesome company. So would have loved a medal, but actually very proud of my team. We did great.

Our first team shoot and we made the medal matches :)
World Target Copenhagen - 648 and ranked 71st. And if all you ever saw was score, this result might make you bleed... but if you had been standing in the miserable weather that we shot in... well I'm okay with my score. I went out in my first match and finished 57th against a lady from Austria who somehow shot Xs when I could barely keep my feet and to compound the day (no pun intended), I discovered my fletches were cracking off. My disappointment continued with our team losing to the Ukraine and finishing 6th. But we shot well and it came down to a line call. I think we did great that day as well.
Biggest World Target ever in our own backyard :)
Poland World Cup Stage 3 - 676 and ranked 24th. I'm really happy with this shooting because it is basically the same score as in Turkey, but with brutal wind that changed constantly through the day. After 4 matches I finished 7th in the same evil wind. In every event I have learned a little more and adjusted accordingly and, in this event, it paid off. I know of a few who are disappointed with their lack of medals from this week, but I am enormously pleased with my 7th. My goal was to finish in the top 25% of the field.  So if achieving a goal and how you feel about your result is all that matters, I'm winning just fine.

Wrocław, Poland
So I've spent a year shooting arrows, learning a new language, travelling the world and representing my new home. Gosh how terrible my life must be....And so far my best is 7th. So my perspective to everyone in the world who didn't get a medal this year and the few who did....I'm really happy with 7th at a world cup and beating two of the toughest shooters in the world (Tonioli and Loginova) to get it. Taking home a medal would seriously add some shine to my year, but I'm going to celebrate my win such as it is. I earned it. It makes me smile. If you enjoy archery only when you win a gold medal, statistically you are going to be miserable a lot of the time. So one day (if all the hard work pays off) that gold medal will not be the be all and end all, it will just be the icing on an already awesome cake.
Support staff keeping the bed from running away.
Bring on Nationals and World Cup stage 4.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What happens in Vegas....

OMG she wrote a post! Yes really, I've discovered the keyboard again... it might be covered with kitten fluff and dust... but it still works.

So two people, who I love very much, just had a major falling out. And I'll duck for cover when they read this since they're both still steaming about the ears. But I had to share the spectacular kaboom that leaves me standing in the ashes of the burned down house wondering how they set fire to it without matches and while it was raining. I mean literally world war 3 just happened and the new cold war started because they were agreeing with each other. And then you have to wonder how often it happens that two people who are just having a hard schtick, meet breaking point on each other, and implode. So offering hugs to stressed people today. Squeeze a kitten, sip a hot chocolate and relax in the bath. Love you guys x
Felix being helpful <3
Well the rest of my week has been just (insert Southpark Cartman voice) sweeeeeeeet. I am in the happy possession of two new bows (Hoyt Podium Elites), a whole season of super cute archery bum clothing and I passed my first Danish exam. Shot the first bow down at the range late last night and it was shooting 29-30s on the inner 10. So then of course all agreements to leave it till after Europeans may have gone out the window. The back wall is just awesome. I'm in luuuuurv!
Fabian being helpful with my new Hoyt Podium!
Iceland was a write off. I came second so no complaints about the place. More about the rubbish shooting. Could not shoot two tens to save my life, let alone 3. It was a clusterF@#$@#mmmm of epic proportions and then Nîmes....oh dear... the less said the better. At least I ranked equal top 3 on score for the second chance round and won a nice set of Doinker stabs for my new recurve when it arrives :) But there's something seriously bitter about finding the ten after it counts.

Saved my trip to Nîmes with at least something to take home!
Roll on Vegas and I almost couldn't drop a point the week leading up to it. Then shot utter filth on the first two days. Could have saved my dignity on the 3rd day if I had just shot the right target! An X and a 10 on the wrong target ruined a perfectly awesome score. 24x, 279 with 2 misses. I matched Mr Damsbo on X count. So apart from epic stupidity.... it was awesome shooting :S

I would have thought responsible gaming advice would be like don't bet your house or something...

Small child making us all look like amateurs at practice. She was great! 

One of those days :S

Night out in Vegas because you should.
Then there was the trip home...or rather there almost wasn't a trip home. On attempting to check in at McCarran International, I was informed I could not go to Denmark without a visa. After a very long argument about visas which I don't need and never have needed and an hour at a counter while they kept insisting I can't leave the US without a visa for Denmark, they gave me my boarding passes and told me not to forget to show my visa (that didn't exist) when I get to Denmark. Is it bad if the homicidal eye twitch was more because they just gave me my boarding pass, anyway, after an hour of wasting my time? If the visa was a genuine reason to not allow me to check in, I should still be sitting in Las Vegas. Not that I'm not happy I got to leave. Just that it obviously wasn't that important, so why did I have to argue about it for an hour???? Then we had to leave a team mate behind, because her ticket dates were wrong and we had to buy two extra pieces of luggage. One because the airline refused to recognise the excess attached to the ticket and the other because everyone had significant excess from shopping, sponsors and let's face it - Veeeeegas!

So bring on Slovenia and Europeans. It's official. I shoot for Denmark next week.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

So close you can taste it...

I'm talking about those moments in your life when the actualisation of a goal is so close that your mouth is watering. This is what my shooting has been like lately. Every day the feel and the process is a little tighter and a little better.  It doesn't have to be an epic goal or a life dream. There's just something tasty about being on that edge, when you know things are happening. I shot a 148/150 in matchplay for my first competition of the year and everyday since has been great shooting in practice. Loving those days when shooting a 10 is a choice and not a hope.

Nytårspokalen 2015

All of which had to be said before I gave my usual update because it sounds way cooler than anything else I needed to say :D

I fell off my bike before Xmas, and took a chunk of skin off my bow hand, right before the Kings of Archery tournament in the Netherlands. Shot a 878/900 (41x) ranking and ended up finishing 16th. Not an amazing result, but I'm claiming sissy rights on the whole gaping wound issue and calling it an okay result. It was beyond expectation that I managed to draw the bow at all. Everything else was gravy :).... I may have been banned from riding the bike prior to tournaments from now on....

No more bike for me!
The Berlin Open was a substantially better innings. I shot a 576/600 and ranked equal 4th. Going into matchplay, the ties were decided by coin toss and I was demoted to 6th. I might think that the whole thing had whiskers on it, but that's how it rolled. I won through the 1/16 match against Valeria Goncherova from Ukraine 140/138 and then lost the 1/8 to Janine Meißner from Germany 144/145 to finish 9th overall. I shot my qualifier for the European Championships and finished in the top 10, so basically a happy camper.

A quick trip home to Aus for Xmas was required. I've been missing BBQ turkey and daylight for xmas :) There was, kid you not, 5 turkeys on Xmas day. Something about not being sure we would have enough food.....a problem that seems to give various family members nightmares despite never having occurred in my memory. Was just awesome to see family and have an Aussie xmas. So I'm all xmas fat and stocked up on things you can't buy in Denmark.... like vanilla bean paste, real sunscreen and Sherry Gale (our most excellent house guest for January) and settled back into the life of an archery bum.

Aussie archer Sherry Gale come to visit :)
The kittens are settling in well. Maybe a little too well. I woke up one morning to find Fabian trying to clean my teeth for me.... which of course ends badly for all concerned as I shoot up and kitten goes flying while I Plbplbplbpblbpblbplbpblpblpblpb!!!! trying to get the cat spit off my teeth and lips. Ugh!!!! The boys are weighing it at 4kg a piece and the vet informs me I can afford to feed them less. No one ever accused me of underfeeding a cat :D

In all these days of shooting, studying and travelling, a random and aimless rant that plays in my head just lately is about trying to understand crap coffee. Now we aren't talking about instant versus filtered or expresso versus latte etc we're talking that nasty stuff that looks like fine powdered rust and can be found in archery clubs all over the world. The floor sweepings from the clay factory that they put in jars and call coffee and sell to bad conferences and archery clubs. I'm sure you can find it at rehab meetings and anger management courses too... Because nothing tests you like really awful coffee... Now don't misunderstand, I'm not a coffee snob. It's more a life the universe and everything question... Why does such awful coffee exist? Who drinks it? Why do they drink it? Are they divorced from their own tongues? Why not drink tea instead? Because no matter how bad the tea is it can't be worse than the nasty coffee (okay I'm sure my Chinese mother could find me a worse tea)... So with the few people aside who have no taste buds and drink the crappy coffee for religious penance or has to wonder at the market...
I now keep a jar of coffee in my archery locker.

School, like cat spit and crap coffee, is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. It's a good thing the new teacher is actually good at teaching.... With people skills like that, one has to hope she's got something going for her. Heinous cow. Nuff said. Here's hoping I learn Danish fast and get out before I'm forced to drastic measures. Herring has few uses (eating not being one of them), but I suspect one would do quite nicely tucked in the bottom of her bag.

Got kittens, coffee and christmas sorted. Bring on 2015. Next stop - Iceland :)