I did it! I passed my tests and am a newly certified USA Archery National Training System Coach. Feels pretty darn good too. There we so many good things about that week at the Olympic Training Center I can’t even begin to describe. First of all the place has no other words to describe it but GORGEOUS. The Olympic Training Center was built to inspire athletes. Not just motivate them to do their best but INSPIRE them to love what they are doing and appreciate the opportunity to train here. The center is pristine, calm, beautifully maintained with mountain and lakeside views and just about perfect Southern California weather (which includes some light rain the first two days but to a desert dweller such as me it was heavenly).
Being surrounded by state of the art facilities and elite athletes does something to a person; it makes you want to take care of yourself. And I certainly tried my best to do so. I had the wonderful opportunity to take morning jogs around the grounds with a particularly long jog around the perimeter of the center on my last day that was so crisp and pretty I didn’t want to leave. Also, the food there was great. I haven’t had it so easy to stick to my meal plan in a long time. Everything I needed to eat right was available to me. In hindsight it occurred to me that a slideshow of a weeks worth of meals would have been great for my blog but I was so preoccupied with the course it didn’t occur to me until the last day when I was enjoying my last meal at the Center. I did take the time to take a picture of that which was pretty much what I followed through all the meals with a cheat of scalloped potatoes as a post-exam reward.
One of the things that I picked up during this course was a reaffirmation of archery as a sport. By that I mean an activity that requires skill and athleticism. Like all sports- golf, tennis, volleyball, soccer, etc- there is a difference between a recreational or amateur sports enthusiast and a competitive athlete. To compete against the best in the world takes a dedication and skill not everyone is willing to invest in to develop. Aside from the recognition that kind of dedication can bring it develops a character very few pastimes will accomplish. There is a plaque at the center with a quote that stuck with me and I think I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“Sport is part of every man and woman’s life and there is no compensating for it’s absence.”
So in a way it tells me that I’ve been into and enjoyed the benefit of sports most of my life, I just didn’t realize it’s value until now.
Until next time.