Shoot Out of Love

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I love watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. When I was a kid, I fell in love with Legolas. Although his handsomeness was big plus, my key attraction was his impeccable skill in archery. He becomes this sharp and swift warrior as he holds his bow and arrow; that’s why I always had my eyes set on him.

Because of this, my brother and I had a makeshift bow, made out of a wooden stick from a back scratcher and a packaging string. We would partake in mini adventures in our bedroom, jumping to and from our beds as we attacked our enemies: our pillows.  

But later, with school and adult responsibilities, the dream of being archer in Middle Earth faded away and the bow was long forgotten.

When I came to Cal, I realized that there were these classes called DeCals, where students teach other students topics that are are independent of our academic fields. Students learn skills like Bollywood dancing, the political hegemony in the Game of Thrones series, Naruto, Parkour, etc. I was drawn to the Cal Archery DeCal, for the aforementioned reasons, and signed up instantly with my roommate to learn the basics of archery firsthand from the members of Cal’s Archery Team.

On the first day of the DeCal, it was a windy Sunday afternoon and my roommate and I head over to the Kerr Field, which is behind the Clark Kerr Campus (one of the residence dorms). After choosing our instructors, we started off with determining our dominant eyes to figure out if we should carry a left-handed or right-handed bow. Next, we each received a red band and focused on fixing our posture, form, and learning key terms like “anchor” and “fall-through”. Finally, we each grab our recurve bows, quivers, finger tabs, and arm guards. I was surprised to find that the bows were heavy, weighing from 16 lbs. to 24 lbs., and they were about 5 feet to 6 feet! The movies made bows look so easy and light, but it definitely wasn’t on the first try. I was very happy that we got to shoot on our first day, and despite the cold winds and a few shots off the barrel, I was able to shoot arrows “like a pro” and fell even more in love with archery.

I decided to join the Cal Archery Club, where instead of learning archery only once a week, I get to learn and train with the Cal Archery Team three days a week and for longer than the DeCal allowed. With the frequent number of practices, I got to use more advanced equipment and shoot more arrows on the center of the target. If I train harder and longer, I may eventually get to join the Cal Archery Team and take part in inter-collegiate competitions. But for now, I’m living my dream and training to become the next female Legolas.

Catch me on the field soon!

Author: Rani Chan

Hi there! My name is Rani Chan. I’m a sophomore double majoring in Media Studies and Political Economy, and I’m also an international student from the Philippines. I really love food! I love to eat, cook, and go on food trips. Also, I love traveling, watching films and musicals, acting, dancing, singing (in the shower), and learning new languages. In addition to being a Campus Ambassador, I am a Planetarium Presenter at the Lawrence Hall of Science, where I get to share my love for Astronomy. I’m also part of the Cal Archery Club, hoping to become the next girl Robin Hood. I’m truly blessed to be a Golden Bear, and to be in an environment where I always feel welcomed and where I’m constantly learning, discovering, and being a better me. There’s no place I’d rather be than here at Berkeley. I’m very excited to share my Cal stories with you! Go Bears!