A few years ago I had the great pleasure of meeting a para Olympian Taekwondo champion who also has autism, she gave a wonderful speech during which she explained that her version of Autism is best described as a “busy mind” her brain never turns off unlike the rest of us who have our own version of down time. The only time she feels completely under control is when she is either sparing or competing and that for those few minutes she is in control and her mind is quiet.
This made me think that we live in a world full of gadgets and gizmo’s where you are very rarely off line or away from any type of electronic communication devise. How busy are our own minds during the day and how our lives are intrinsically linked to communicating with everyone. I am as guilty of this as anyone else, my work is 90% email and internet based, my free time is full of Facebook, Twitter, my YouTube channel and this website blog. Much like everyone else in the same situation I have had nights of difficulty sleeping because of everything going on in my thoughts. Archery has a hidden benefit to all of us, for a few seconds it gives us a much needed quiet mind.
The moment I stand on the shooting line everything changes, I can hear my breathing and feel my body working, my shot routine is automatic as the muscle memory brings everything into place, my breathing is slow and constant, the arrow is slowly coming back, the noise of people around me is just white noise as I feel the strings going over the cams, my concentration is on the sight hovering on the gold, then the increase in tension and the sudden release, the bow is rocking forward and arrow is on its way. For these few seconds per arrow my mind is quiet.
Archery gives me this much needed release, or I should say my mind gets this release, the wonderful feeling of a quiet mind.
Until next time, enjoy your archery.