Always a great way to start off the trip: waking up at 2 in the morning to get to the airport by 3:30 to catch a 5:30 flight.
It turned out to be a slow start, as we had a couple of weather delays. This meant that there was a good possibility that we would miss out connection flight in St. Louis, but luck turned out to be on our side as we all made it (there was about 7 of us going from Austin to Ohio, except no one really coordinated anything but there’s only so many flights from Austin to Ohio within a certain time frame.
We made it to Columbus Ohio around 11:30, and everyone was re-united with our bows. Oh yea, and our other luggage too, but the only thing we really cared about was our bows. There’s always that slight scare while flying that your bow doesn’t make it, because in several states, a bow is classified the same as a firearm and TSA doesn’t need a good reason to pull a bag from flying. Also with that flight delay, there was a chance that we would be leaving before the ground crew had the chance to transfer our luggage.
Going into this shoot, it was quite intimidating as I knew of many of the top shooters, and I knew where I stood. During the official practice, I was shooting with quite a few of the JDT or RDT team members. It was cool to talk with them though.
Qualifications was not the weather I had planned for. It was quite cold and windy, a weather condition that I had never shot in before. I didn’t have too high expectations for my score, but what disappointed me was my lack of endurance. By the last few ends, I was struggling to get through the clicker, and about 2 arrows every end, I had to shoot without the clicker because I was running out of time from letting down so many times.
Here is a quick list of some things I learned but is definitely not the full list:
This tournament was also the first time I ever shot eliminations. However, since my eliminations were on the same day as qualifications, I was very, very, very, tired and then there were some more weather delays. Needless to say, eliminations did not go well for me and I got out during my first match.
This tournament was my first ever USAT (US Archery Team) Qualifier series tournament. It was a very fun and valuable experience, and a wonderful tournament to cap out my first outdoor season. Not only that, but this was the cap to my first competitive year, and was my last shoot as a Cadet. Now it’s time to focus on school for a bit before indoor season starts!
I’m usually not the sentimental kind. Or the kind to keep any kind of souvenir to remember anything by. Sure, I have a few journals here and there with random memories in them, but nothing consistent. But this is an important milestone in my life and I want to have some way of remembering it later on. My last summer as a high schooler.
It is currently the day before school starts, and just thinking back, I’m crying, tears of joy, of sadness, of regret, all of the above.
In so many ways, this summer was one of the best. I didn’t do anything too memorable or application worthy (let’s be honest, summer before senior year is for doing stuff to put on applications) but I managed to accomplish so much. What I’m writing about might not seem like that, and many people, even those that know me very well, wouldn’t know how bug a deal some of these things are, such as Nationals.
With that said, I spent the first 6 weeks of summer studying. I took Government and Macroeconomics at ACC so that I could have an off period this school year. This was a little difficult for me only because it was purely self learned and we had tests each week with some other homework assignments during the week.
I spend the first half day of summer at a Starbucks, studying for Gov and Econ before going to Amanda’s middle school graduation. The next day, I spent it at Starbucks studying with Sarah, and then APL as well as Trader Joe’s.
The second weekend, I went to Dallas for my first ever Star FITA tournament, which was also my 2nd time shooting 60m. It was a great experience and I shot a personal best.
I spent the first full week of summer driving Kevin to basketball camp, and the second week at Baseball camp. I spent the majority of my time at these camps studying or doing assignments. The third and fourth week I drove him to SoccerZone. I also spent a lot of time at the range, mostly working as an admin. There’s nothing too notable to say about this, it’s the same thing that I’ve been doing.
That’s all of June for me.
July started nicely, I had about 4 days before I left Austin for the next 3 weeks. I spent a lot of my days going out to the field whenever I could (I even went out there on July 4th) because the first weekend of July was Outdoor State in Houston. That was something new for me because it started raining the first day and we had multiple lightning delays and a lot of wet clothes and muddy shoes. Despite the rain, I shot a personal 36 arrow best. The second day was bright and sunny (although the ground was still muddy) and we finished quickly and I headed back home.
I was home for about 30 hours, which included a lot of laundry, washing muddy shoes, equipment maintenance (fletching arrows, making sure I have everything), and packing, I was ready for JOAD Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina. This was a huge deal for me because it was one of my big goals for my archery career this year. The past year had all been building up to this. I have another post that details Nationals which I will link here.
I was in North Carolina for a week, and I visited Duke, which was a beautiful campus, with amazing architecture. I flew back to Austin on a Monday, after a few flight delays and close scares of missing the flight home, we got home around 10pm. That gave me just enough time to do laundry, and repack before leaving for Seattle the next morning at 2:30am. While it was for way too short of a time, it was nice to sleep in my own bed.
Seattle was our family vacation of the year and was really nice. I learned that while traveling and sightseeing was fun, by the end of the week I was glad to be heading home. Traveling and dealing with jet lag is exhausting. I have blog posts for each day that I was in Seattle and that are linked here: [SEATTLE 2018]
That’s the entirety of July for me. State, Nationals, and then Seattle.
A large part of August was spent catching up on the sleep that I lost in July. I know, I know, that’s not how this works, but you know what? I wanted to sleep so that’s what I did.
I spent August working, shooting a little bit just so I didn’t lose my strength, watching a lot (A LOT) of TV shows, and hanging out with friends. I spent a lot of time playing the flute as well as the piano, which was something that I had not done in a very long time. I also started being a little more active, going on walks with Sarah or with my parents while walking the dog.
I made the absolute last minute decision to sign up for Buckeye Classic, a National level tournament that would take place the first weekend after school started. I felt like that would be a nice way to really end out summer, with my last tournament of the outdoor season, and my last outdoor tournament in the Cadet division.
I met up with a friend who I had not seen for 9 months, and we talked the afternoon away, going back on memories, and catching up on what we had been up to. This inspired me to get back into my creative groove, and start doing more graphic design projects, as well as starting to look for freelance work.
On the last Friday of summer, I watched Crazy Rich Asians, 2 days after it came out in theaters, and it is the best movie I have ever seen. I might do a movie review post on this later? We’ll see. But this was a really nice way to cap out summer. The same day, I attended a coaches meeting, where I got really excited about the prospect of my new job, and who I would be working with, and all of their goals.
Now it's time for another chapter of my life. Senior year. So scary, but I'm excited about what's to come.
Summer 2018. So much was done. Thank you for being so good to me, and filling every day with a new adventure. This is a summer to never forget.