week 72 – measuring success can be so many things

Some time ago whilst collaborating I had a discussion about how we measure success, it’s not all about medals and bling and we have to pay particular attention to the individual, their challenges, goals and achievements. I was asked to write something for the website that was being set up to explain as it was believed that for many, it is about ranking and bling.

For me it can be many things. My PTSD creates serious anxiety and agoraphobia, daily I have to build up the strength to step over the threshold to take me outside the house. Every day! It’s one of the reasons that I like routine and structure but also to be busy.

If we go back, before the world of shopping online for everything, the longest I stayed in the house and didn’t leave was almost 10 months. Luckily my GP at the time gave me the support I needed to learn techniques to help me. There are still days though when my head is busy with overthinking and I slip and the work to get me outside is huge.

This weekend I had plans, all in my calendar, get home from work Saturday morning, off to LBAC to drop off my bow and cams and shoot a little, over to AOR to shoot a Portsmouth scored round and get everything ready for Sunday – my first indoor competition of the 23/24 season.

However an email Friday pushed all my anxiety to the front, off to work I went, but Saturday, once home I didn’t want to leave, not a surprise and so began the battle. Eventually I did leave the house and took my bow and cams to LBAC, I deliberately didn’t take my other bow so no shooting. A catch up with friends helped my mood a little but the anxiety and the delays created meant no scored round. Sunday morning? Seriously struggled to leave the house, a million excuses to stay at home, safe. However Rose was going to this competition and there would be friends there, so I accepted the offer of a lift from Paul and dragged myself there. No expectations as I had failed to do the prep this week and I am still dealing with the decision over the future of my release aid.

My PB for a Portsmouth is 548 – scored several times, so close to that next elusive Portsmouth badge of 550! I had sat down Wednesday to consider a realistic expectation and a challenging goal. So I set up at Green Dragon Bowmen with 2 scores in mind – 450 and 500.

My boss buddy was welcoming and we had a friendly session chatting about the sport and our experiences. I saw friends I expected to see, made new ones and saw some friends I hadn’t seen for a while who I hadn’t expected to see. I enjoyed the session and was incredibly happy to finish with a score of 528, had I not had a miss with a shoulder spasm I would have been close to my PB! So much better than I had hoped for.

However, the other unexpected gains from the day were conversations, about disability and adaptations or considerations that can improve their experiences. People that I didn’t know asking about Integr8Archery and the work that I do because they have seen references to me on social media, lots of positive feedback based on people’s thoughts on the projects. So by the time we left my head space was significantly improved over the last couple of days and I had some thoughts about how to improve things in regards to my release.

Top off the day with news that I had managed gold, unexpected but welcome news and a raffle prize! Perfect end to a day that starting with me almost not leaving the house 😱 The medal isn’t the measure of my day, it’s the ability I had to follow my process despite having to keep coming down during the shot routine as I repeatedly lost sensation in my fingers. Careful and controlled process got me that score. I am lucky to have friends who support me and who help me answer questions and find solutions as I continue my journey to shoot for as long as I can ❤️🏹

Busy week ahead with planning meetings and some training but I will update on those at the weekend. Take care of yourselves 🤗