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      1. Personal Training in Toronto Archery Lessons in Toronto Boxing Lessons in Toronto Ice Skating Lessons in Toronto Swimming Lessons in Toronto
        Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.

        Whitetail Deer at the Toronto Archery Range

        Whitetail Deer

        They're about 140 yards away, but there's three fawns and a doe in the photos below taken at the Toronto Archery Range. Just one of the benefits of practicing archery. You get to see wildlife on a regular basis.

        Sometimes you can even get really close to them. I once got within 5 yards of a stag.

        If you're at the archery range often enough you will see whitetail deer, red tailed hawks, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, rabbits, and more.

        Depending upon the season + time of day I also recommend bringing mosquito repellent. That is one bit of wildlife we could do without.







        A Beginner's Guide to Clout Archery

        Look closely and you'll spot the arrows close to the flag pole shown in the photos on the right.

        So what's the big deal?

        Well, the flag is approx. 70 yards (210 feet) away from where the archery student was standing... And this was only their 5th archery lesson.

        Oh and it was a tad windy that day.

        That's why such results are worth taking photos of.

        So what is Clout Archery?

        Clout Archery is a long distance sport wherein archers compete to see who can get their arrows closest to the flag pole, which is generally placed really far away.

        Usually 140 to 180 yards away, which are the competitive distances for Clout Archery.

        However since the Toronto Archery Range is only 140 yards long (and lots of trees behind that) we have to use a shorter distance which is still challenging for a beginner, but also surprisingly a lot of fun.

        Getting a cluster of arrows to land near the flag pole is also very challenging, even for experienced archers who are used to getting their arrows in clusters at shorter distances.

        If you look closely at the photos on the right you will note that some of the arrows are touching or almost touching. That is some very good consistency for a beginner archer.

        This isn't unheard of for my archery students however. I have periodically had students hit the flag pole or the flag itself at distances of 80 yards, 90 yards or more.

        Getting to the point that you can do Clout Archery with this degree of accuracy isn't for beginners really. I generally only teach this to my archery students who sign up for 5 or more archery lessons.

        When students sign up for 5 archery lessons they generally (I will sometimes customize the lessons for the needs of the student) get the following:

        Lesson 1: Safety Lecture, Eye Test, Lecture on How to Aim Traditionally, Lecture on Proper Form, Field Archery Practice.

        Lesson 2: Target Archery Practice, Lecture on Arrowheads.

        Lesson 3: Long Distance Field Archery Practice, Lecture on Arrow Spine.

        Lesson 4: Target Archery Practice, Lecture on How to Aim using Gap Shooting, Moving Target Practice.

        Lesson 5: Clout Archery or Gap Shooting Field Archery (varies on the student).

        Thus it really depends upon the student. Some students are more into learning Gap Shooting and others are more interested in long distance shooting.

        Note - When someone signs up for 10 or more lessons I don't really have to choose so much. I will just teach them both, but I will still be customizing the lessons to the student's needs or interests.

        Clout Archery Tips

        Because the archer will usually have to aim at the sky in order to get their arrows to go that far you need to come up with a system for how to aim at the same spot on the sky.

        Don't aim at clouds. They move. Instead you need to measure on the sky where you want to aim. I teach several different techniques for how to measure and aim at the sky so that students can choose which method works best for them.

        Proper Form! If you don't know how to properly perform a shot then you should either get archery lessons or buy a book on the subject (I recommend "Precision Archery" by Steve Ruis & Claudia Stevenson).

        And if you're in Toronto or the GTA you have no excuse not to get archery lessons from a dedicated professional like myself who teaches multiple different styles of archery and different archery sports like Clout Archery.

        Browse the links below to learn more. Happy Shooting!

        See Also

        The Benefits of Clout Archery

        Archery Lessons in Toronto

         

        10 Things to do on a Mental Health Day

        I don't usually talk about mental health on Cardio Trek, but I am going to do so today because I have decided to take a Mental Health Day. Think of it like a mini vacation. A day off to do something you enjoy that doesn't stress you out.

        So with that in mind let's go through some of  my favourite activities to do on a Mental Health Day, and keeping in mind that I like to exercise so there will be a theme to this.

        #1. Archery

        I love archery. I find it very relaxing, despite it being a sport/exercise. I never get bored doing archery. I get tired and/or hungry and eventually have to leave the archery range because I need food, sleep, ice cream, a shower, etc. Creature comforts. But I am never bored while doing archery or socializing with my fellow archers (most archers are fairly social and talkative).

        #2. Go to the Beach and Swim

        If it is remotely warm outside (and not raining) then it is probably a good day to go to the beach and swim, walk along the beach, jog in the surf, etc. Take the dog with you. Take the kids. Have a fun time. Bring cold drinks and/or stop for ice cream.

        #3. Make Ice Cream!

        As you may have guessed I do like my ice cream, and while most ice cream certainly is not the healthiest you can also make low sugar / low fat alternatives that still taste amazing.

        You can very easily make your own strawberry ice cream (not real ice cream, but the texture will be roughly the same) by mixing the following in a blender:

        • 10 ozs frozen strawberries
        • 4 ozs Greek yogurt 
        • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
        • 4 fresh strawberries

        Easy peasy strawberry squeezy! Afterwards you have a healthy snack you can take with you for a walk, to the beach, to the archery range, etc.

        #4. Go for a Walk / Hike / Birdwatching

        Where you go doesn't really matter. Walking trails. Abandoned railway tracks. The beach. I recommend taking a camera with you, or if you are into birdwatching (aka birding) then bringing a bird book with you is also a good idea. Even if you are not into birding then now is a good time to start getting interested in it. There are even apps on the subject if you don't own any birding books. (I am not going to recommend a particular app, but feel free to browse.)

        #5. Shopping / Window Shopping

        I love window shopping almost as much as I like actually buying things. Sometimes it is fun just to browse and look. Even for things you know you cannot afford, like when you walk into a Lamborghini dealership just to have a look. You aren't going to buy a Lamborghini, but it is still fun to walk around them, sit in them and talk to the sales staff (try not to waste their time however unless they look bored due to a lack of customers).

        Shopping often deals with a significant amount of walking, and possibly carrying anything that you purchased, so there is oddly an exercise component and it can be quite exhausting by the time you get home with your new purchases.

        One of my personal favourites is to go to bookstores and browse (and maybe buy a book). I don't need to buy any books to have fun and relax while shopping for books, but I certainly buy a lot of books judging by my shelves. I also like garage sales and used book stores because you never know what you are going to find. In Toronto check out the store "Re: Reading" on the Danforth. 

        Another one I really like is furniture shopping. Mostly because you get to sit on the furniture and it is therefore relaxing, but there is still a goodly amount of walking involved. Plus maybe you finally replace that sofa you've been meaning to throw out, so that could be a win-win.

        #6. Ice Skating

        In the winter it is a great time to go ice skating, and in a city like Toronto there are many free outdoor ice rinks to choose from. The one in front of Toronto City Hall for example offers skate rentals and lockers so that you can enjoy the activity even if you don't own skates you can still do it. Plus you don't need to be good at ice skating to have fun doing it. It is still fun regardless even if you are horrible at it.

        #7. Rollerblading / Roller Skating

        Other times of the year you can still skate, but the method is different. It might involve going to a roller rink and renting roller skates or rollerblades, but just like ice skating this is something you can have fun doing even if you are horrible at it.

        For best results take a friend or family member with you!

        #8. Go Fishing

        Not for everyone, but regardless of whether you don't catch anything, catch-and-release, or eat what you catch you will still have a relaxing time.

        #9. Antiquing

        Similar to shopping, antiquing is when you go to many different antiques stores and browse. Antique store owners are used to people browsing and not buying anything so what you're doing isn't really that unusual.

        #10. What is your favourite hobby?

        Chances are you have a favourite hobby. Why not spend the day doing it? Just relax and do that one hobby that makes you really happy. As long as the hobby isn't harming you or anyone else, and isn't stressful, then it should be a good way to relax.

        Happy Mental Healthy Day!

        Students who don't Listen

        Today I had a bonding experience with a fellow archery instructor during which the topic of "students who don't listen" came up. For me this experience of commiserating with a fellow archery instructor was cathartic.

        What is the point of getting archery lessons (or any other kind of lesson) if you're not going to listen to the instructor?

        There is nothing more annoying to an instructor than trying to teach someone who refuses to listen. I have, historically, refunded lessons to people who didn't listen and I didn't want to bother teaching them.

        Especially if I considered them to be a danger to themselves and others. It would be irresponsible, in my opinion, to teach someone I consider to be dangerously ignorant and refuses to correct their mistakes or listen to the instructor.

        This is one of the reasons why I rarely teach children any more. There is a measure of responsibility and maturity on the part of the student that needs to be there before I even agree to teach archery to a child... And if they later turn out to be the type of person who doesn't listen then guess who is getting the remainder of their lessons canceled and refunded*...?

        * Partly because of liability issues in which I don't want to be legally responsible for a child (or adult) who is a danger to themselves and others. So this isn't really a choice for me. It is basically a legal requirement on my part to be responsible about who I choose to teach.

        As noted by my colleague and myself, this problem of students who don't listen is mostly an issue of children who lack maturity. It is rare to meet an adult with this particular problem, although not unheard of. I sometimes come across an adult or even a senior who has become set in their ways and doesn't want to listen, even when they know it is in their best interest to do so.

        The problem I find often stems from students thinking that they know more than the instructor because they have been watching too much television/movies, did archery at summer camp with someone who didn't know how to teach archery, or they've bought into misinformation about the sport they learned from other sources (fictional books, YouTube, Facebook, etc). This is why, in my opinion, it is often better to teach a student who is a blank slate. The less misinformation they have previously received the better.

        Just because you saw a cartoon character doing archery a certain way doesn't mean that you know more than the archery instructor. You don't. Get over it.

         



        Trying to teach someone like that also makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration. I don't need the added stress. My knee jerk reaction to meeting a student who doesn't want to listen is to cancel the lessons and refund the money. The liability and the stress just isn't worth it.

        Plus why take lessons in something that you don't want to learn???

        I get it when parents sign up their kids for ice skating lessons or swimming lessons... And the child would rather be looking at their cellphone than paying attention to the lesson. But if the parent knows that their child isn't actually interested then you should just find them a different activity that does interest them. Not every child wants to swim, do ice skating or archery. Find them something else they actually want to do. Tae kwon do lessons perhaps. Rock climbing. Krav maga. Golf. Violin. Ballet. Parkour.

        Don't force them to do a sport they're clearly not interested in.

        Shapesmiths, Fitness Coaches and Personal Trainers

        I learned a new word today:

        "Shapesmith"

         Apparently it is an older version of saying fitness coach or personal trainer. The word Shapesmith appears in Dr. Johnson's English dictionary, which was published in 1755. He defined the shapesmith as “one who undertakes to improve the form of the body".

        But that could also mean someone who is an athlete too, couldn't it? So to some extent it represents someone who is both an athlete and/or a fitness coach.

        I see myself as more of a sports trainer, seeing as my goal is to get people "in shape" by encouraging them to get better at various sports like archery, boxing, swimming, ice skating and others.

        I find that motivation is an important part of exercising - and getting into the practice, rhythm and habit of exercising - and that if you can make exercising fun via sports then it is far easier for people to get motivated and stay motivated.

        Furthermore a person doesn't necessarily need a personal trainer (or fitness coach or shapesmith) in order to do sports, but when it comes to certain sports like archery, swimming, ice skating and boxing then it definitely helps to have someone who can coach you on how to do it properly. 

        ... 

        For reference, I learned the word shapesmith by watching an episode of QI (season J, episode 4), which you can watch below thanks to YouTube: 

         

        Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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