Friday, May 31, 2013

Kickboxing Round 1

Hey Everyone!
In our internet absence, Quinn and I have been doing some interesting things.  I know she already brought you up to speed on the archery.  I can’t wait to get to the range with her!  But, we’ve been doing some other things too! Here is the latest that we have:

Our personal favorite: Kickboxing.  #That’sRight

When people look at us, they aren’t exactly shaking in their boots.  Even though we are well into our second year post-college, we could still pass for high school kids most of the time.  Our combined weight is somewhere in the 215 pound range.  We’re not exactly intimidating monsters… At least not on the outside…  Bwahahaha

Anyway, it’s kind of one of our goals to become badass ninja superstars one day, so we took up the hobby of kickboxing to get us started.  #DreamsCanComeTrue

The first day of kickboxing was kind of intimidating for both of us.  It was kind of like when you change schools or jobs and you feel like everyone is just staring at you, waiting for you to fall flat on your face. The gym is just a big room full of heavy bags that hang pretty much from floor to ceiling.  There were people warming up that look like they could be on the covers of fitness magazines.  The instructors were super enthusiastic, too.  They immediately (as in immediately after we signed a GIANT packet of waivers) pulled us over to the bags to show us basic punches and kicks.  (Apparently a lot of people are intimidated when they first walk into the gym, because the instructor later told us that they attack people right away so they don’t have a chance to change their minds a leave.  Good tactic.)  And that was it.  A 5 minute introduction and we were released to join the other kickboxing regulars.

Putting on our gloves was a defining moment in our kickboxing debut.  As soon as the gloves are on, you feel like you can accomplish so much.  They really give you a sense of purpose and attitude, and they make you look super badass.  Plus, if you aren’t wearing the gloves, the whole thing looks super awkward, and we were awkward enough as it is.  Anyway, as soon as the gloves were on, we knew this was going to be the hobby for us.

We knew that until we started working out, at least.  See, in our heads we knew that we could rock this kickboxing thing.  But, as it turns out, we're both super awkward and clumsy.  I’m sure watching us try to kick and punch and keep up with the calls and everyone else was pretty entertaining for the first 5-10 minutes.  But after that initial awkwardness, we settled in a rhythm.

And then we became all-stars!  There we were, punching away, being swallowed up by the insanely loud dance music and the thumping sound the bags made with each punch and kick.  It was like Insanity, mixed with boxing, mixed with a dance club hidden in some random alley.  I mean, Alice even thought she was going to collapse and die by the end of it (but in a good way).  Basically, it was the thing of dreams.  Our dreams, anyway.  #NailedIt

Our new found kickboxing gym is a great setting for staying motivated for exercise, and really, changing our lives.  As corny as it sounds, every time we step in that place we learn new things about ourselves and we are able to clear our minds enough to come up with better, even crazier (and more awesome) ideas.  Kickboxing is something that has become part of our regular routine, and we do our best not to bail out on a class.  Probably because we are so awesome, and so is kickboxing.  So, if you’re reading this and have never tried kickboxing, Google yourself a kickboxing specific gym in your area and give it a shot!  It’s cool if you don’t like it, but give it an honest-to-goodness effort.  It really is one of the best things we have ever done.

-Alice & Quinn

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shooting Arrows... In the Dark?

Hobby Update Weekend One -
I (Quinn) really liked the lesson I took with a bow, and thus am now the proud owner of a Genesis Compound Bow. A blue one to be exact, which is pretty sweet. I decided to bring it on one of my trips home, and thus the ideas began to flow. The first weekend I brought it home, my sister really wanted to make a milk jug filled with water explode. So we set about filling the milk jug and just setting it on the ground. We had started the day with it set on a metal deck chair, but someone (naming no names because you know who you are), hit the chair and snapped the arrow clean in half! Having a limited number of arrows, we opted for the safer route, but this resulted in the arrows being buried in the ground. Luckily we were always able to find them though. Back to the milk jug explosion... sounds pretty epic right? That's what we thought at first. Since it was my sisters idea, she was first up. It takes a couple "warm-up" shots, but she had it! And... nothing. No explosion, no water flying everywhere, nothing. She was super bummed, but no one anticipated that the arrow wouldn't actually go ALL the way through the jug. Instead, it just got stuck in the jug, so when we pulled it out the water, in a very unexciting way, just sort of trickled out of the jug. With that myth busted, we just continued as usual, because hey, even if it didn't explode in a fountain of water it was still satisfying to finally hit the jug!

Hobby Update Weekend Two -
It's Memorial Day weekend, and what better way to show your patriotism than once again shooting a bow in your backyard at a target? This weekends target was a lot more exciting than the first one, and not only did it sound exciting, it stayed exciting until the very last moment.We didn't get the idea until about 8:30 in the evening, but finally we decided on shooting more arrows, and this time we were set on getting the explosion effect. That was it... balloons filled with confetti! What could be a better target? Since it was a Saturday night, we thought we had until 9pm to shop at Hobby Lobby, so off we went. And... it was closed. Apparently it had closed at 8, so we had to re-group and develop a plan B... and that would be Wal-Mart. By this time, the sun was setting, so we had to revise our original plan and by the time we got to the store we were on the hunt for anything that glowed in the dark. And boy did we luck out! Not only did we find glow in the dark balloons, we grabbed a couple glow-sticks to use the insides. We also found glow in the dark sand that would be a prefect balloon filler instead of the confetti, which we probably wouldn't be able to see at this point.Back to the house we drove, super excited about the epicness of most current adventure. What could possibly go wrong with shooting arrows in pitch black at glow in the dark balloons? Nothing. Niente. And so we proceeded with building the target. Good thing my mom had just bought a grill. The balloons were thus attached to "the box the grill was in", which quickly became a catch phrase for the evening. We realized that the glow in the dark balloons actually contained LED lights, which was perfect because we could transfer them to the other, cheaper balloons, and thus keep the supply of glow balloons alive for the next 15 hours of battery life. Not that we would be shooting for 15 hours, but if we had wanted to, the option was there. #15Hours. #BetterThan5Hr.
And thus the target was built.

Our make-shift target. Yes that is another glow balloon hanging from a tree in the background.
Pretty sweet, huh? We all took turns shooting until popping at least one of the balloons, and it was GREAT! It was pretty difficult, because let's face it, it was dark out, we didn't use any lights, because that wouldn't have been fun. Everyone made their shots, and then it was my turn. I was the last to go, and multiple shots in I was getting a little irritated. All of my shots were hitting along the outside edge of the freaking white glow balloon and it was starting to really tick me off. And then I did it, I lost my arrow. Everyone was down by the box looking for it, and couldn't find it. We even shuffled the box around. And then it was felt, a rain drop. Looks like I would be walking in the house a failure. A failure and it was MY bow! WHAT?! We were about to give up looking for the arrow when it was found, directly behind where the box the grill came in was. My sister looked at me and I knew. "Go for the Hail Mary shot! It's all or nothing!" She exclaimed as we hurriedly put the box back in place and I jogged to the distance we had been shooting from. My heart pounding, I knocked the arrow, drew, semi-aimed because it was really dark and hard to see, and then... I released. I held my breath for a split second, and BOOM! The balloon was done, finished, exploded!! I had done it, right before the rain, right after finding the arrow had almost been a lost cause, the last shot of the night! A success, and everyone burst out hollering. So all in all, it was pretty epic. Now my sister and her boyfriend have found an outdoor archery course by them, and my friend was thinking about getting into it as well. It's addicting, and what can I say, totally satisfying when you hit your makeshift target of glow in the dark balloons attached to the box the grill was in.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Archery Anyone?

It’s late February, still way to cold to really get out and do much. One day, I woke up and decided it was time to try something new, something that I was able to do indoors and, when the weather gets nicer, outdoors as well. Got it! Archery! Something I’ve always wanted to try, and totally awesome looking. This is definitely one of those things that says #WeRule. No doubt shooting bows has that attitude. So there it was, my #Awesome moment being put into action. Time to tell Alice! Unfortunately there was a scheduling conflict, so off to the indoor range I went for the first lesson on my own, #Awkward #OHwell.

To start the trip, I left with just barely enough time to make the lesson. Normally, I try to leave a little early if I am going somewhere I have never been before, but alas that was not the case this time. My GPS quit working, of course, as soon as I got off the highway!! I had a vague idea how far off the highway the place was supposed to be, but I still had to turn around several times. The second time, I called the place. Apparently the GIANT arrow out front wasn’t a good enough clue for me… ! #NotObservant.

Now that I am officially 15 minutes late, I walk in and greet the first person I see behind the counter. She doesn’t say much, but points me in the direction of the indoor range area. I introduce myself and get a quick lesson on the history of bows. I almost have to ask what to do next but luckily my instructor comes by and says we can begin. Phew! I was getting a little worried. So, “Are you going to be hunting?” my instructor asks me. What? Me? I tell him no, that I just wanted to give it a try and see how if I liked it. Well, I guess I can chalk up the hunting question to the area I live in. #NotFromHere. Well, here goes nothing!! After getting a quick lesson in the proper way to hold a bow, draw, etc. it's time to start shooting! This is awesome! As it turns out, I ended up being pretty alright for my first go at it. They were even able to move the target back to 30 meters and I was still shooting consistently and hitting the center portion of the target. I know it's not a super far distance, but I was feeling pretty good about myself at this point. Since I was using a compound bow, I asked if I could try a recurve for the last 4 arrows of my lesson. I can totally do this.... 20 lb draw weight..... and off it goes! Wait, what?! I watch, saddened, as the arrow archs right over the target and hits the back wall. Second try, I get a few pointers, and release – this time I hit the target! Too bad it is in the very top corner and not in the actual target portion... Much closer this time! Well, the last two arrows were pretty much an exact replica of the situation. So two arrows missed the target completely, the other two hit the very top right corner of the target. Ehhh... could be a lot worse! I had a great time though, that's for sure. Shooting a compound was easier, but the recurve offered the challenge dynamic which is something I enjoy. As of this post I haven't made it back to the range, but I have already picked out a few bows I am interested in looking at to purchase. Looks like I will be making this into a real hobby and sharing my bow with Alice! If any of you guys have tried out things you've always wanted to do, we would love to hear your comments about what it was and how it turned out for you! :D