Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thursday, September 25th
Location: The Shooting Gallery, Centreville, VA
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
(Cue "Dueling Banjos" here)
The drive to Bull Run Shooting Center was a little creepy thanks to the remote country roads and the eerie rainy weather.
One of your dilettantes recognized the center as a place where she had been skeet shooting in another life (when she worked for the organization that DOES NOT HATE FREEDOM).
The class was a private lesson for the four dilettantes. We met with Jim, our instructor who went over some basics about the parts of the bows and arrows, stance and how to hold the equipment.
When we were trying to determine our dominant eye, the instructor asked if anyone had ever shot a gun before (since you determine eye dominance for that, too). Amanda casually mentioned, "well, I shot an M-16 in Nam." Of course, because she's the Queen of Sarcasm, we all laughed at her obvious joke -- she was barely alive during the Vietnam Conflict...but she protested, "no, really -- when Leon and I were traveling in Vietnam, we shot M-16s". (Nice fun fact, by the way, Amanda.)
Because Amanda and Amy were cross-dominant (their dominant eye did not match their dominant hand) and because they were both wearing black, they shot together. Nicole and Kathleen, whose dominant eyes matched their dominant hands and who were both wearing orange, also shot together. The dilettantes are nothing if not (color) coordinated.
This was so much fun, because all of us were hitting the target our first time shooting. (Of course, the target was 10 yards away). But after we warmed up and the instructor continued to move the targets further down the range, our shooting actually got better. (Rock Star Amy was shooting bullseyes and she was shooting left-handed -- and she's normally right-handed.) Thet black team definitely shot with more accuracy, but the orange team was pretty consistent -- there were many satisfying "whooshes" coming from Nicole's bow as she released the arrows.
We shot about five or six rounds -- three arrows each time. With the exception of about three errant arrows (say that ten times fast), everything hit the target...and most of the arrows were in the colors.
After, we had dinner and drinks at Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville to celebrate our Robin Hood and Eros-like prowess. (And P.S. Yes, we are totally "zany" in our arrow-through-the-head picture above. We are some wild and crazy dilettantes.)