Nationals: Trying to stay positive as my disappointments continue
Fast forward now to Friday (day 2 of competition), and R and I get to shoot our short distances (50M and 30M) during the afternoon (yeah wind!). I was really looking forward to this day for a couple of reasons: one, I had been shooting 50M all year, so I was most confident in that distance and two, I found 30M very scary, but also lots of fun, since it was such a large target (same one that is used for 50M) at such a close distance.
First end of the day was pretty solid, but that’s when things fell apart. I struggled through 50M, with consistently poor shots. I was shooting some 8s, but more importantly, I wasn’t shooting very many 10s. I was getting pretty frustrated, as I knew I was falling pretty severely in the rankings, but I tried to stay calm. I reminded myself multiple times, that I really had nothing to lose at this point. I wasn’t making the national team, so whether I finished 5th or 20th, it didn’t really matter. I just wanted to shoot like I knew I could shoot, however, and that’s why I was getting so mad at myself.
Thankfully, 50M came to an end after 36 arrows (never thought I would say that!), so it was on to 30M. I tried to clear my head and remind myself it was a whole new ballgame. I was nervous about my sight mark, praying it was at least close, as you can’t drop more than a few points at 30 to be competitive.
First arrow I shot was a high 9. I quickly corrected my sight and hit an X on the next shot…whew, I thought. I only had given up one point due to my sight. Unfortunately, my second shot must not have been quite a good shot, as my next few arrows were a little high still and cost me a couple more points. I made some adjustments and I was back in business by the second end.
I knew i’d have some catch up to do, but I was confident I could shoot some 60s to make up for my lost points. The girls on my bail with me really were stepping things up at this distance, and I was quickly falling from 1st/2nd on my bail to 3rd/4th until I hit my first 60. Unfortunately, my next 60 came at the same time as one did for my bailmates. We did think this was pretty cool, however, and one of the girls grabbed her camera to snap a quick picture of our bail (that’s four perfect 60s!).
I finished 60 with a score I was happy with. I wasn’t jumping for joy, and I knew others had done better, but I was happy with the score I had put up, especially since I had only shot 30M once before and was not something I spent time practicing. In the end, I finished the two days of qualification sitting in 13th place, but I had beaten a couple of people who were ahead of me all year AND points-wise my score was much closer to those ahead of me. This left me happy and disappointed all at the same time…those were positives, BUT that also meant had I shot better (especially at 50M), I would have easily moved up at least 5 places.
I don’t know about you, but I only know one full proof solution to calming disappointment: Ice Cream! And because we were in Cincinnati, there was only one logical choice, “Graeters!” Before the ice cream, I was definitely feeling down and wishing I could have had a better first season. I felt like I hadn’t proven to anyone that I really was a contender and could compete with the top archers in the country. I KNEW I could do better than I had shown, and that is what made me most upset. However, after my ice cream, I had a fresh outlook and was looking forward to competing in eliminations the next day 🙂