I never thought I would learn any survival skills, let alone an archery survival skill. But I did learn, and the reason is not surprising at all. My brother and I are very close if you must know and all credit goes to my mum. My brother loves doing what many feel reluctant to do, and that’s one thing the family loves about him.
On a particular Thursday, he told me to drive him down to a place where he took archery lessons. I initially refused because I was a freelancer who had some orders to complete, and even though I planned on using that as an excuse, I still promised to give him a ride the following Monday.
But after he explained to me that he had lost his license and taking a cab would cause him to spend above his allowance; I immediately stood up pointing to the door saying, “Let us go!, because I knew any extra would be coming from my pocket and I was not ready to give him a penny.
My reaction cracked up a smile on his face, and anytime I remembered that scenario, I smiled too.
Driving a little less than an hour, we got to the facility. I drove into the parking space, and we both alighted from the car. He went ahead of me, and I was right at his back taking an unusual look at people pulling the strings of a bow like someone playing a soulful melody using a guitar. A sensation was brewing in me, but I quickly turned down the knob because I had always categorized archery as a complete waste of valuable time.
I turned to my front, and I felt embarrassed because my brother and his tutor were both looking at me, dead-on. Oh no I said to myself, it never occurred to me that I was carried away, and the price I was paying right now for that was too much to quantify. Immediately, I took a walk to the reception in order to drown the awkward feeling.
In an hour or so, my brother rounded off his training, and we were heading back home. He tried bringing up the topic, but I stopped him dead on track. I also promised never to set foot in that facility again and told him that whenever he needed a ride, I would call a friend to pick him up, and that was precisely what I did.
Months went by, and those feelings I got from seeing people pulling a bow, and that sound that came after the arrow hits a target won’t go away. It became more like a stain on a white shirt and no matter the detergent I use, the stain only got worse. So I decided to ask my brother some questions even though I knew his funny humor would get the best of him, but who cared.
I was still in my thoughts when my brother walked in. In his custom, he gave me a peck and greeted. I turned around, and immediately he knew I was about to say something because it was glaring that I was fighting against something in me.
In my defense, I blurted out, “What’s wrong? Why look at me like that?” But in return to my questions, he said: “I should be the one asking you what the heck is wrong here.” I smiled and told him to take a sit, which he did.
I proceeded, “Why do you put so much vigor and energy into this un-resourceful sport? You are up every morning with a bow and an arrow, and before anyone says jack, you are off to meet your tutor. Why?
He inhaled deeply and gave me that look he usually gave whenever he was dead serious. He explained how archery was a survival skill he thought everyone should learn, because, no one could say for sure what could happen tomorrow. He said things like people would readily opt-in for a pistol rather than a bow and arrow when things get crazy, and that was understandable, but sometimes, we might find ourselves in a situation where stealth does it.
He also mentioned the health, and mental benefits of archery, how someone with the skills could provide for themselves in tough situations, and the peace and calm many with this skill enjoy. He said, he said, oh he said a lot of things I must say, and with his analyses, I now understand why those feelings I had, had never left.
I told him “Thank you,” and his gullible self, asked me for what? I put my hands over my face and shook my head. He laughed and said “Love you, sis,” and off he went. I took my hands away from face and smiled.
He is such a darling, and I love every part and parcel of him. But when I talked about part and parcel, I would proudly exempt the part where he constantly asked me for money though. But in all, he was an amazing soul, and the information he made available to me, I would cherish for a long time to come.
After the long talk with him, I couldn’t do anything anymore because it was late already and I am an early bird who try as much as possible to sleep on time. I left my office, took my bath and glided on my bed, but I could not get my eyelids to cooperate with the obvious. I found myself continually thinking about the words of my brother and as much as I wanted to fight against it, it all made perfect sense.
I made up my mind to go with him to his training school the next morning and even if I was not too confident about that decision, I was willing to try anyway. With that taught in mind, I drifted off to sleep, and an alarm ringing was the next thing I remembered.
I quickly brushed my teeth, took my bath, wore a shirt and a jean trouser, and went downstairs to have a cup of tea with some loaves of bread which I never did because as soon as I got downstairs, I saw my brother leaving already. I called him back and asked, “So soon?” He told me today they would be having a large flock of students, and he has volunteered to help his tutor.
I then broke the news to him, and he could not contain his happiness. He told me I would enjoy every bit of the training, and as usual, he acted goofy again by lamenting how late my friend came to pick him.
In no time, we got into the car and drove to the facility where he received his training, and immediately we got there, I suspected the day would be fun-filled because automobiles have the parking space on full capacity. We got down, and I stuck to him like a client following a lawyer. He takes two steps; I take exactly two steps, no less, no more.
Within a couple of minutes, I saw his tutor, and he greeted me. I was surprised he did because of the way I had acted the last time. He apologized for spooking me and said he hoped we could start all over on a clean slate. I accepted his apologies, and my brother told him the reason why I had come. Some feet away, I could see him grin, and I know at that very moment, there was no going back.
But instinctively, I was still trying to look for the closest exit to bail, and my brother, knowing me too well, took his bow and arrow and “boom,” right in the middle of a funny looking circle. I looked at him, and he said, “Nowhere to run sis, the feeling is mutual.” Anytime I remember that encouraging words of his, my love for him grows beyond boundaries.
Now, I was more relaxed and my brother or let me rightly say, my tutor then handed me and some other students a bow and an arrow and took us through the basics like how we would position our feet, hands, gaze, aim. He showed us seven types of major bows like Longbow, Compound Bows, Crossbows, Takedown bow, and Composite bow.
I was so excited that hours went by like minutes.
At the end of the days training, he handed me over to my brother because he believed I would do better with him. Three years down the lane, I am still practicing with my brother, and anytime I remember how reluctant I was before learning this skill, I thank goodness someone was there to push me. Yes, I LEARNED ARCHERY SURVIVAL SKILLS, and if you are moved to learn also, find a source of motivation and continually strive to get better at what you do.
Mine was my brother, and he did a very good job. Look at me as I hit the bulls-eye with ease and precision!