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Behind a scar

| Tuesday, March 25, 2014

During the winter in 7th grade gym, we had a rotational program. We would switch between various indoor activities like volleyball, basketball or badminton. There were always the random events like circus skills where we pretended to be good at juggling and cup stacking, or yoga where everyone just laid on the ground until the bell rang to head back into the locker room.

The most desired sport of the entire rotation was archery. Lucky for me, I got it that year.

Class would begin by inspecting the bows to make sure they were in good shape and then selecting arrows for shooting. Our instructor was like a broken record when he would explain how if the arrow were damaged, it would not fly correctly, but heck, we didn’t care. We just wanted to spend the next 40 minutes acting like Robin Hood.

One day, I grabbed all my equipment and went to my spot. The targets were lined up against the far end of the gym. Kevin, my oh-so-dreamy 7th-grade crush, was in the line next to me.

He shot — almost a bullseye. We all complimented him on his form.

I got up to shoot and wanted to make an impression. Naturally, I quickly grabbed a bow and got situated. As I was preparing to shoot, Kevin looked over to add in his 7th-grade archery expertise.

“Make sure you pull it back as much as you can. You’ll need the speed. Do this and then make sure to do that immediately…”

I pulled back the bowstring to the most of my ability. My tremor was setting in and the arrow was shaking in my grasp with nerves. And then I let go.


Needless to say, I did not make the shot. It didn’t even make it to the target.

The arrow I chose to shoot was broken and had snapped in half when I shot it. Amidst snapping, the front section hit my in the head and knocked me down. The back section stabbed me in the left hand between my thumb and pointer finger.

Now, if that’s not how you make an impression, then I don’t know what is.

When I opened my eyes, I yanked the arrow out of my hand in panic and ran off to the nurse. She cleaned me up and I sat out of archery for a while.

I still have a nice little white scar on my left hand that I laugh at when I see. It’s a little reminder of my 7th-grade self that I get to laugh at here and there. And better yet, it is only one story of a scar among the many.

What’s the story behind yours?

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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