I have a new found respect for Jennifer Lawrence. After seeing The Hunger Games approximately 725,982,081,563 times, I already knew Jennifer Lawrence was a badass, I just didn’t realize the extent of it. She did most of her own stunts, she climbed the trees, and she shot her own bow. On top of all of this, her acting is just phenomenal. But the thing that really impressed me most, was that she learned her to shoot her own bow and arrow. I know that I, and many others, thought that the hardest part of archery is the aim. To be able to hit the target had to be the most difficult thing, right?
I was getting frustrated with the dress I’m working on and I really wanted to quit. I probably have to rip out what I’ve already done and start over. I can’t accept failure and I just needed a break from it, so I wouldn’t snap. (Case in point of why I could never major in technical design.) I happened to have a few days off this week, so I went to Iowa City to visit my sister. We went shopping, worked out, watched the series finale of LOST for the one millionth time and cried our eyes out. All good fun. Yesterday, her friend Louie invited us over for some target practice with his bow. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I finally could live out my dreams of being a badass like Katniss Everdeen. Except I wasn’t going to be watching it, I was going to be living it. Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt.
Mallory had shot before with Louie once or twice. She warned me that the bow is kind of heavy and it’s extremely hard to pull back. I, having no upper arm strength at all, was mildly concerned, but I started lifting heavier weights and doing more resistance exercises. I figured once I got around to actually shooting with them, I’d be fine. What I didn’t realize, was that this “getting around to it” would actually be Wednesday of this week. Eek.
Now here is where the badass Jennifer Lawrence preface comes in. I thought the most difficult part of shooting would be the aim. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Mallory went before I did and pulled it back a little, but Louie had to help. It was finally my turn and that is when the extent of my weaknesses were realized. Louie said something along the lines of, “I can’t pull it all back myself, you have to pull a little.” I was pulling a little. No, not a little. A lot. But, the string barely budged. I felt so pathetic, I didn’t even want my turn anymore, but nevertheless, Louie helped pull it back for me, and what do you know? I got a bullseye on my first shot. It wasn’t all about the aim. The aim was easy. The tough part of archery is the prep; the pull back; the strength needed both mentally and physically to overcome the challenge. The aim wasn’t the problem. It’s everything leading up to the release that was.
I didn’t get a bullseye every time. One time, I even missed the target completely and we had to go on a hunt for the missing arrow. (Sorry again, Louie.) The outcome wasn’t always what I expected, and I definitely need to work my upper body more to be able to do it on my own. The point is, I really need to be more patient and realize that my ventures are not going to be perfect every time, no matter how often I try. This dress is my Everest right now and I’m tumbling down backwards (Sorry for the metaphor, Mal…). I need to face the fact that I may have to start over again and possibly again one more time. But if I pay attention to my failures, I may end up learning a thing or two and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a kick ass dress out of it. Three or four failed attempts doesn’t equal a giant failure. I think that several fails can equal a great success, don’t you?
I think Katniss would be proud.