An addiction that will last a lifetime
An Addiction that will last a lifetime
by Frank Addington, Jr.
They say the first step when you have an addiction is to come clean with yourself and admit you have a problem. This is my chance to step forward and say that I am an addict. Yep, there I've said it. I feel better already. I am addicted.
What's my addiction? Red Meat? Nah, although I do love a good rare steak. Nope, I am afraid I am addicted to the sport of archery. Ah, relief. I've taken the first step.
Since you and I are on the subject, let me elaborate. In 1971 my father and mother put a small fiberglass recurve bow in my hand. Pop also gave me some arrows, a little side quiver, armguard, and a leather glove. I stood in my back yard and shot arrows with my parents until I got to be a fair shot with that little bow. From there I graduated to bigger & better bows. The pattern was in place.
My folks took me on several hunts with them and I became addicted to archery and bowhunting even more. We also shot tournament archery as a family unit and my fascination with stick and string grew. All family vacations seemed to revolve around hunting, archery tournaments and a spring trout fishing trip or two.
I discovered a hero in the pages of my dad's archery magazines. He was a tall, thin fella that was older but had a good eye for adventure and thanks to the late, great Fred Bear I had a good role model who's tracks I'd spend the rest of my life following in some way.
As luck would have it I'd eventually become acquainted with Fred Bear and become friends. Luckily Dick Lattimer and the rest of the staff at the Bear Archery booth turned their heads and didn't run me off at the trade shows. I'd sit and just listen to Fred and try and absorb his knowledge and his wisdom. What a great man.
Fred taught me how to promote the sport of archery in the media and the importance of getting high profile people involved in the sport of archery. His encouragement helped seal the deal that I'd be hooked on archery the rest of my life. I would use Fred's lead to later get a bow in the Governor of West Virginia's hands, country singer Toby Keith, and many other high profile folks I came into contact with along life's trail. Although I didn't get to give President Bush a bow I did meet him and was a surrogate speaker for him at an event and did an archery show on his behalf at an event in Oregon. I know Fred would have been proud.
The late Rev. Stacy Groscup also came along at the right time in my young life to make a big impression on me. Stacy put me on stage for the very first time doing archery exhibitions along side him and also taught me a great deal about life. He encouraged my performances and also had a hand in this addiction. Sadly Stacy passed away a few years ago but he was inducted in the Archery Hall of Fame as the 49th member and his place in the sport is secure. I'm very happy to be considered his protege' and will try and carry on the path Stacy showed me.
There are many, many others who also played a role in this addiction. In addition to archery I had other habits form as well. I became addicted to a warm campfire alongside of good hunting companions, the smell of the autumn woods, a Spring turkey hunt, and cold mountain stream during trout season. I grew to enjoy the feeling of my heart thumping louder and louder as a big buck snuck along a trail checking his scrape line. I also became addicted to the bugle of a big bull elk as he answered the challenge of an elk bugle in his territory. And who isn't addicted to a peanut butter sandwich and bottle of cold water during a break from a day's hunt!?!? One of my favorite meals.
So I became hooked on archery. What I didn't become addicted to was TV, drugs, alcohol, or any of the other pitfalls so many around me fell victim to. Thankfully my archery addiction was strong enough to keep me busy. Much too busy for any of that other stuff.
All of us face a limited amount of time here on earth. How we spend that time is up to us. Few if any of us will near the end of our lives and say, "Man if I could just go to the office for 40 more hours." Nor we will say, "If I could just punch in that time clock for eight more hours..." Chances are what most of us will do when reflecting the end of our lives will be, "What I'd give for one more morning of fishing with my dad. If I could just have my kids outside shooting archery with me one more day. Now that they are grown if my kids would just spend one more Spring Gobbler season with me..."
Don't get to that point and have regrets. Take the time NOW to spend time as a family unit outdoors. You see when you take the time to hunt, hike, camp and fish with your family you are teaching your kids far more lessons than just how to hunt or how to fish. They are learning life lessons from you and with you as their role model chances are when faced with drugs or other bad things they'll make the right decisions because of the time you invested with them outdoors. It will make a difference.
I encourage you to turn off the TV, video games, computer and cell phones long enough to spend some quality time outdoors with your family. Ted Nugent has a song that I play before every archery exhibition I do, titled, "My Bow & Arrow." The first time I heard that song it touched me. The words were perfect. Although Ted & I grew up at different times and at different locations, I could relate to what he sings about. Now days Ted gets more national media than anyone in the hunting industry and uses that opportunity to promote the great outdoors, healthy living and a drug free life to today's young people.
Our son Gus will soon be a year old. He already has two bows and as soon as he's able you can bet I'll have him outside shooting archery with me. Afterall, I want to get him addicted to the right things at an early age, just like my parents did for me.
Get your family addicted to the sport of archery and the great outdoors. Now, before it's too late! You'll be glad you did.
Frank Addington, Jr. aka "The Aspirin Buster" has been shooting a bow and arrow since he was four years old and has been on stage doing his "bow & arrow razzle dazzle" for 22 years now. He's believed to be the first and only archer to ever hit a baby aspirin from mid air from behind his back. Addington feels fortunate that the sport of archery has allowed him to meet and call folks like the late Fred Bear and rock and roll legend Ted Nugent friends. Addington, 40, calls West Virginia home and lives with his wife Amanda, son Gus, two barn cats, a spoiled dog named Miss Elley and three horses. For more information on Addington's archery shows visit : www.frankaddingtonjr.com