Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: The year in perspective...

Archery, archery, archery....


With KP Lau, my archery buddy
IT's only fair to say that 2016 had pretty much centered around archery. The year opened with an opportunity to compete in Thailand at the Princess Cup Archery tournament in June. Prior to that, we spent most of our weekend training at our little range in Subang Jaya.


Our team's concept logo
After registering at the Thai tournament, I came up with the idea of forming a team with its own identity.
Hence, the "Subang Barebow Archers". It's a steep learning curve for me as I designed the logo from scratch and when things started to take shape, it's a satisfying moment.


At the tournament venue in Bangkok
A humbling experience...

Bangkok taught me two things: how to get over performance anxiety and proper shot placement on the target.
Timing is everything and one does not need to rush on the shooting line. I used this experience to continue to stay in the game back at home, training resumes at the 18-meter lane with a 40cm, 10-ring target face salvaged from the tournament.

Staying in the game...


Training with a Martin Cypress takedown recurve bow
Exit Bangkok, we took part in a couple of local tournaments in the country to stay focused on overcoming anxiety and hone our shot placement.
In the months to come, we continued training in our small range and worked on our consistency.
The year draws to a close and we look forward to 2017 with the Princess Cup Archery tournament in Thailand. 
In the mean time, its back to more training...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Malacca Barebow Open



Staying in focus...

We have another seven or eight months to train for the 2017 Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament in Bangkok.
And one of the best way to "stay on edge", is to participate in local tournaments. It surely helps to calm the nerves while shooting with a crowd and since the Simpang Pulai event in September, there has been a steady string of events for barebow archers.

Malacca

One of our guys has gone into "semi-retirement". So, out of the lot, only three people are left in the team.
I was pretty keen on to carry on with the local meet and when an opportunity came, I grabbed it without hesitation.
The event was held in Malacca in conjunction with the National Sports Day. It was a 15-meter shoot at a local hypermarket in Ayer Keroh.

With one of the regular Barebow archer at the shooting line

That "moment"

Taking aim

Beating the competition...

Among the group, there was a really good archer from Cheras who shot his way to the top spot in Simpang Pulai.
He was also pretty humble and easy to get along with. Encik Khairulnizam from Sabil Archery team shot 224 points to win the Barebow event.
Spare the agonizing wait, the six-arrow, five-end shootout ended in a flash. I had a few misses on the 20cm target face and managed to score 144 points.
I tied with an Austrian dude with the same score and came in at 10th place. Poor indoor lighting made it hard to zero-in on the target and I guess this is something that I had to address, especially when it comes to local tournaments.
The next shoot is in December and I will have plenty of time to train for this...



The crash




That dreadful phone call...

I was about to fix myself breakfast and a cup of coffee when my cellphone rang. "Sam, please hurry, Michelle is hurt!"
There was a panic-stricken voice at the end of the line. By the time the call was made, my wife was already in the hospital.
Some good samaritan took her to the emergency room after she crashed her bike during a leisure ride.

The cracked helmet...
Head protection, why it's important

I never ride without head protection. I don't preach about this, it's just pure common sense. There are folks who don't care about head protection and I am not going to go into that... Michelle had a bad fall, the right side of her face was scarred and she suffered a concussion. Her helmet saved her from a severe head injury.
Upon closer inspection, I found a crack on the right side of the helmet. The plastic cover on the side was delaminated.
Clearly, the head protection has done its job. Similarly, I had a bad accident more than 12 years ago. My Shoei full-face helmet saved my head.

A costly affair

Five days and four nights in the emergency room, treatment, a cat scan, X-ray and all that private hospital mumbo-jumbo costs nearly RM15K.
Thankfully, she had insurance that covered the huge sum. Apart from a laceration on her right knee, there were no serious injuries. 
But a follow-up MRI scan did yield good results. She suffered spinal injuries from the crash.

The road to recovery...

It's been more than three weeks since the crash. Michelle is recovering well. She is now able to walk without assistance. The rest of the months to come will be focused on physical rehab.

A cautionary tale...

Nothing prepares you for an accident. But when you take the necessary precautions, the risks of heavy injuries will be lessened. And as a rule of thumb, I don't cycle with people who want to go further, be the fastest or simply out there to prove a point. They either get hurt of put other people in harm's way.