Archery (or lack thereof) in the middle of a pandemic… – By Adam Trott2nd April 2021
I have shot 5 arrows since September 2020.
Reading that back is shocking. Had you told me a year ago that within the space of six and a half months I would have shot the equivalent of less than one arrow a month, I would have called you crazy. And yet here we are.
No one could have predicted how the past year would have turned out. I remember thinking to myself back in March 2020 that “this COVID-19 wouldn’t be around for long. Sure we’re going into a lockdown protocol, but we’ll be out of it in a few weeks’ time.” Well weeks turned into months, and a year later, I’m not ashamed to say I was wrong.
Now I could have lied at the start and said I’ve been constantly training throughout the lockdowns, or if not training then doing strength and conditioning exercises. But that’s not been my journey this past year, so let me tell you what has.
Up until the summer of last year, I did train fairly regularly. I lived in a large flat in Liverpool, and as a final-year university student, all of my lectures moved to on-line and I found I had a lot of spare time on my hands. The weather was great, but I couldn’t go out and meet up with friends, so I stayed in, chucked a movie or TV series on my iPad and shot a few hundred arrows a day.
Then my time at Liverpool ended and I moved back home with my parents. Again, there wasn’t much to do, so I shot at home in the garden. I managed to go to one training session at home the week following up to a friendly competition held at Aim4sport (the last time I properly shot). Then everything changed.
Having had a great time shooting amongst friends (whilst following the Government and AGB guidelines at the time), I got home and didn’t feel like shooting in my garden anymore. I had gotten a taste of “the good ol’ days,” and suddenly practising by myself, with no social interaction that archery normally brings, had lost all its appeal.
I then started my new job as a Trainee Chartered Accountant and, after working from home for a month, moved to an over-priced flat in Central London with a mate from university – my bow has sat in the corner of the room ever since.
Like many others, I have turned to binge-watching TV series when I’m not working (drop me a line if you need any recommendations). This has been great, but only to a certain extent, as when you finish a series and that brief moment of escapism subsides, reality snaps back in and you remember you’re living in the middle of a global pandemic.
There have been times in the past year where I have really struggled. There have been days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, and times where I have felt truly alone in this world. I’m certain some of you reading this have struggled too, some more than others. But we’re not alone, we’re all in this together, and we all need to cling onto the hope that we will get through this, and that we’ll be standing side-by-side on the shooting line once more very soon.
I can’t wait for a sense of normality to resume, so that I can get back to shooting properly, surrounded by all my archery friends. Because archery people are the best kind of people, and they are the reason why I love this sport so much. They are the reason why I cling onto that hope, the hope that we will get through this, and that we will all be stronger and more resilient for it.
So if you, like me, have or are currently struggling, take care of yourselves. If you might know someone who you suspect is struggling, reach out to them and just check in, let them know you’re there and that you care. Because that’s what we, as archers and decent human beings, do.
Take care, and stay safe.