The Story of Rising Phoenix Academy: Part I
A look inside of Archery
About a month ago I posted on FB that I was considering adding a blog post to the website and was looking not only for topics that people would be interested in but an idea for a name for the blog. Along with the post I added an image that I just happened to think was also cool from my camera roll. I actually did not intend for it to be the eventual selection of this blog. Funny how the universe works. Thanks to Len Agosta for pointing out what was obviously right in front of my face for the name.
I really did not want to open this with a history lesson. I figured, how boring is that subject, but after some time reflecting on how this should begin, I felt it would take a history lesson to establish some credibility with others who may not be familiar with myself or the program known as Rising Phoenix. For the record I’m not comfortable with attention and am somewhat of an introvert. Ok, I am completely an introvert unless the subject is archery. I seem to come alive when this is the topic of discussion.
The seeds of what would become RPA actually trace back years before its formal inception.
You see Dan, my father in law had given both my kids bows for Christmas in 2008 while we were in the state visiting. I think he was a little premature. My son was 5 and my daughter was 3. These were compound bow, and well beyond their strength to even use, but I was so geeked about it, I helped them practice pulling the bows back every night. *It took 35 days for my son to shoot his first arrow un aided. My daughter took a few years.
He was so impressed with my efforts, he gave me an older bow he was no longer using. I used that bow everyday after work.
When we returned from that Christmas visit to Michigan, we joined multiple clubs in CA and shot every chance I had off of work.
Eventually, I was asked to take over our local club. I had long since decided that something other than what I found to be the traditional club format was needed to develop athletes. Glorified open range was not the answer to help the members develop their skills.
While I was pondering if I was going to accept the responsibility, I also began to create the outline of a program that would eventually become RPA.
This was in early 2010 and then tragedy struck before I accepted the leadership role of my local club, the Royal Crown Archers of Exeter CA.
Dan was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer and given a 3 to 6 month prognoses.
I have this philosophy in life, time is not for sale. So, don’t waste your most valuable commodity. My wife’s employer did not share this same philosophy and denied her request for leave to spend time with him in his final days. She worked for a school district as a teacher, they had equal compassion for their students as well. But I digress, there is always a solution to a problem.
We were lucky, we had a trump card in the form of her doctor, who simply waived his medical wand and she instantly had a medical leave of absence due to the stress of losing her father. Within two weeks we had packed the house, sold off everything we knew we would not be able to use and left for Michigan.
What happen’s next shakes the established foundation of what archery program is really capable of…