Between Disney/Pixar’s new animated “Brave” and “The Hunger Games” – this summer’s hottest accessory is, believe it or not, a bow! As in the kind that shoots arrows. Add to that “The Avengers” and “Green Arrows”‘ return to television, it’s safe to say archery is back! And I couldn’t be happier!
When I was a kid (and when I say ‘kid’ I mean KID) I was obsessed with archery. I got my first bow for when I was five or six, and as I got older and taller I upgraded almost yearly. I took lessons, was extremely competitive and I won. I won a lot! I’d compete in tournaments, one-off challenges, weekend meets and just about anywhere else that would allow or trust a third grader to shoot without killing themselves or anyone else.
Archery, for the most part levels the playing field between boys and girls. It’s one of the only sports they can compete at equally. There’s no running, no lifting or throwing or hitting. You just pull it back and let it rip! Archery is the perfect skill for the modern day girl-powered heroine! And director Mark Andrews knew exactly what he was doing when he put a bow in Merida’s hand in “Brave”!
I’m not going to pick apart the technique of Jeremy Renner in “The Avengers” or Jennifer Lawrence, buuuuuuut, I will say this – out of all of the arrow-hurling wannabe pop culture archers out there Merida in “Brave” smokes ‘em all! Her technique is actually flawless.
When Mark and I hooked up at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma I knew I’d be interviewing him, talking archery’s big comeback and shooting bows – what I didn’t know was he’s also been shooting his entire life AND still does. My plan was to keep my childhood awards top secret until the end of the shoot… instead what should have been a fun interview and archery lesson turned into a straight up competition!
I’m not going to say who won, but I will say that I’m sort of glad I didn’t do a ton of on-camera bragging about my great achievements in archery, that happened two decades ago. Also, my arm was sore for week after this.