Addiction as defined by Dictionary.com is:
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
For more months than I care to count I have been centric on one goal, to compete in the 3 Star Tour! The 3 Star Tour is made up of The Vegas Shoot, Louisville and Yankton, the culmination of which is shooting for $10k on the Saturday night of competition at Yankton. So what does my title and opening have to do with this? Simple, I have become so addicted to archery that I displayed many of the actions and habits one would associate with someone that is addicted to gambling, drugs or alcohol. I am going to share my tale of the habits I got into since January of this year, the things I am on the verge of losing, when and how the light switch in my head got flipped in realization of my poor judgment and what I am doing to correct for my poor behavior over the last six months.
I have been fighting with my son for well over a year about his computer use and the fact that he will do anything he can to get time on it, up to and including being deceitful. The begging, the conniving and the shenanigans have been boundless. Last week on Thursday I left for Yankton SD in order to compete in the First Dakota Classic with a Friday noon qualification round. I left with my family being upset with me as I did not share the fact that I would be traveling with them or at the very least I was very vague about the subject. This had been and ongoing habit at least since January of this year and I guess it bothered me all the way up to Yankton. Any extra funds (selling equipment) that came my way, instead of using them to get the finances back together after a very expensive family vacation to Florida, I kept and used for practice time on the range and other related events. Spare time needed to attend to chores or upkeep of the home was spent doing archery related activities. I would retreat to archery to escape the real world that needed my attention. So I was doing exactly what my son was doing and in a lot of ways I was being worse.
As a result of these actions and my abrupt departure to go shoot in a tournament I received a very stern email from my wife stating what I was going to lose as a result of my actions and what I would win as well. I received this email well into the afternoon of my drive and I spent the rest of the day thinking about everything. Losing my home and winning a separation from my wife was not what I wanted, nor upsetting my son and not being able to see him. But, I still had to go and shoot for the $10k so I kept going and thinking. I arrived in Yankton about 11pm and got settled into the passenger seat of my truck and went to sleep. Saturday morning was filled with excitement and bow work. I realized that my center serving was separating and it needed to be redone. I did the work right there at my campsite and then got cleaned up and headed over to the venue. I got sighted in and was ready at 11:15am to rest and get ready to shoot at noon.
12:00 Friday afternoon, first qualification round and my assigned target was 13C. I am on the top and wait for the lower shooters to shoot there first official practice end. Four minutes pass and it’s my turn. I get in my stance and nock an arrow, hook up my release and draw back. As soon as I settle in on the target, I think to myself, “What the hell am I doing here?” and let down! I did shoot my practice ends and shot the round after that but suddenly my priorities had changed. I didn’t care about the tournament anymore, I needed to get home but I needed to get rest before I left. I left the venue and went back to the campsite and got prepared to leave early the next morning, went to get dinner and came back to go to sleep, all the while in the back of my mind knowing something was wrong!
Sunup comes and I am on the road and now I am very uncomfortable and thinking that I was having problems the day before with my stance and being uncomfortable. Looking down at my legs I realize that my legs and feet have swollen up to footballs attached to tree trunks. My mad dash home to try and mend things with the family has now turned to a scary run back to New Mexico and a local ER. And thus my penance begins!!!!
I made it to the ER around 11pm and spent the next 5 hours there being poked and prodded. No cause was found but I think it was unrealized stress. I made it home and found that my son had been grounded from his computer while I was away. I had been thinking while I was in the hospital I was going to hang up the bows for a while and get things right and now here I am presented with an opportunity to ground myself and provide a lesson for my son. I am every bit as addicted as he is or someone on drugs or alcohol. I am in a bad way and in need of learning how to moderate my archery. I will not quit archery but I know that I am not going to be making a living at this and need to keep my full time job so moderation is in order at this point in my life. So addiction comes in all forms and be just as destructive to your life and those around you. The shows about Interventions come to mind while writing this and I am pondering the scope of those shows and if they just do drug and alcohol related stories or………..
Flash forward to the end of June:
I have only shot 5 arrows since my return. I have contemplated my situation further and have started rectifying things with my family. I am going to start practicing this weekend for the NM State Outdoor Championships on the 9th of July. I am still working my Sponsor commitments and my CAD design work for two companies and have to come up with a schedule to be sure that I don’t interfere with my family/home life. I am more communicative with my family about what my intensions are as it pertains to archery, and I plan to shoot the same tournaments next year but with more planning involved so that I don’t repeat my actions or create new issues that could cause further harm to my family life.
I have realized that this year was actually a horrible year for the major tournaments for me. In Vegas I was dealing with a cracked tooth and couldn’t anchor against my jaw. At Louisville I had the airline damage to my sight and the ridicules issue with shooting on Sunday and having to get on a plane at the same time; and then my bow getting lost on the way home. And then there is Yankton....................
I viewed the video of the 12:00 line yesterday and watched myself and it was very clear that I was hurting and having serious issues at that point so it is very apparent that I was screwing up and needed a slap down to make me understand just how much!!!! The problem is real and addictions come in all forms!!!!
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One quick update to my health is that I don't know anything. I still continue to get tested for this and that but have yet to get a definitive answer to what happened to me. None the less it was a serious makeup call for me!!!!
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