Where are They Now? Archery Couples Struck by Cupid’s Arrow

Love can find you in the most unusual places, often when you least expect it.

Case in point: Cupid’s arrow flew fast and true at two sets of professional archers. Erika Anear and Martin Damsbo, as well as Linda Ochoa and Steve Anderson were all struck by love’s arrow. They are two of four couples whose stories we shared a few years ago about people hit by Cupid’s arrow while shooting their own bows. We recently caught up with Anear and Ochoa to ask what’s changed since we last spoke.

Erika Anear and Martin Damsbo

couples

Anear and Damsbo shoot for Denmark. Anear was born in Australia, and misses its affordable coffee, 35-degree Celsius weather, and her friends and family. Living in Denmark, however, makes travel easier. Photo Courtesy: Erika and Martin Damsbo

They blame much of their busy lifestyle on hectic archery schedules. “We have to block days off months in advance for anything non-archery related,” Anear said. Because they’re sponsored by World Archery, they train often and showcase their skills at many competitions. Despite vastly different work schedules, they still train together about half of the time on weekends.

They also help each other train as much as possible. “I start early and finish early, so I am often finishing training when he starts, and I head home and cook dinner while he is shooting,” Anear said.

Their training regimen has changed little since they were engaged. Anear said they “maybe (put) a bigger focus on quality over quantity as we have so little time.” In addition to shooting, she focuses her time in the gym on core training.

Anear and Damsbo shoot for Denmark. Anear was born in Australia, and misses its affordable coffee, 35-degree Celsius weather, and her friends and family. Living in Denmark, however, makes travel easier. “I speak fairly decent Danish, although I started taking lessons again just to brush up for work,” she said.

What advice does she offer aspiring archers? “Practice, practice, practice,” She said. That might sound simple, but she believes “there’s almost always improvement to be found in shooting more.”

Linda Ochoa and Steve Anderson

Photo Courtesy: Steve Anderson FB

Ochoa and Anderson have upgraded their relationship status from engaged to married. They’ve been married three years and have been living together for a year and half now that Ochoa has permanent U.S. residency. Ochoa said the period of time when they were married but she was living in Mexico “was a hard time for both of us, but now we enjoy every second we spend together, since we know how it feels to be apart from each other.”

The two archers try to train together when they can, but it’s difficult with their schedules. “Steve has a full-time job so it’s hard for him to find time to practice,” Ochoa said. “But when we do, we try to make it a good practice. We usually shoot against each other, which helps me because I always want to beat him and it helps him because of course he doesn’t want me to beat him.” A little healthy spousal rivalry never hurt anyone.

Ochoa said that compared to her pre-marital training, she’s done a complete 180. “I used to practice every day with my coach in Mexico,” Ochoa said. “I used to ask for help when I needed it, now I practice most of the time by myself. It was hard at the beginning, but I believe it has helped me to be a better archer and I learned to solve problems by myself.”

Her advice to aspiring archers is to trust in yourself. “It’s ok to ask for help,” Ochoa said. “But it’s also ok to trust your own judgment and dare to do things you weren’t used to: to try and learn how to be your own coach, fix your own bow, with the goal of improving your archery career.”

Ochoa credits competing in the same tournaments and having the same goals as big components of what makes their relationship strong. Chalk another one up to archery. “I believe we are stronger together because we know how to help each other and push each other to be better every day, in all life matters,” Ochoa said.

Moving from Mexico to the United States is a big adjustment for Ochoa, but she and Anderson are patient with each other and constantly learning. Ochoa says, “we believe love always wins and we work towards that.”

The love between these couples is proof that Cupid’s arrow can inspire beautiful things when it strikes. It helps, of course when the couple shares a passion for archery, which further bonds them and helps them grow and excel together.

Keep that in mind when visiting your local archery range. You never know who might be there waiting to shoot with you forever.

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Do Your Tournament Season on Point

Whether you’re getting ready for an archery tournament or getting ready for a day out, let archery play a part in your style choices. You can literally and figuratively wear your love for archery on your sleeve. Take these archery fashion cues and impress everyone with your outfit as well as your skills on the range.

Right on Target

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Customizing your archery equipment is a fun way to bring your own personal flare to a tournament. Carry the customization to your nails with archery-inspired nail art. The fun design will draw attention to your nails as well as your bow.

Clean and Bright

Photo Credit: Pinterest

When your nails look this good, you’ll want to reach for your bow just to show them off. Take a cue from this design and try colorful arrow decals against a neutral nail base.

Paint a Picture

Photo Credit: momMrsandMe blogspot

Why limit yourself to just arrows when you could paint a whole scene of an arrow hitting a target onto your nails. This design is fun, dainty, and lets others know something about you right of the bat.

Nailed It

Photo Credit: Spreadshirt

A sweatshirt with a target and arrows on it screams archery-ready. Wherever you are, people will know that you’re passionate about archery.

Buy it here.

A Work of Art

fashion

Photo Credit: spreadshirt

Get artsy with your archery clothing choices and pick something like this intricate bow design. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a nod toward your love of archery too.

Buy it here.

Stepping Out with Archery

Photo Credit: Polyvore

Even your feet can represent archery if you step out in these arrow-patterned shoes. Showing your love for archery through your shoes will give you the confidence to walk the walk and shoot the shot.

Buy them here.

Keep Archery Close to your Heart

fashion

Photo Credit: Evelyn Mae Creations via Etsy

A delicate bow and arrow pendant is a perfect way to wear your love of archery every day. You can keep archery close to your heart even when you’re not at the range.

Buy it here.

They say everything in moderation, but whoever said that obviously didn’t have a passion for archery. Incorporating a passion into your daily style will make you smile every time you look in the mirror. Take these fashion cues and advertise your love of archery from head to bow the next time you show your skills at the archery range.

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5 Archery Manicures That Rock the Range

Fashion is a popular form of self-expression, and fingernails are the icing atop one’s artistic cake. It’s indoor archery season, which is a great time to rock some archery-inspired nails while rocking the range. If you’re equally comfortable showing your archery skills while showcasing your fashion sense, put these archery-centric nails on display the next time you draw your bow.

When the Lyrics Say It All

Photo Credit: TheSparklingHoard.com

The Greatest Archer in Sherwood Forest … or Your Local Range

Photo Credit: ToxicVanity.com

Light up the Range like a Marquee with Neon Nails

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Not All Rings are Silver and Gold

Photo Credit: LATimes.com

All Signs Point to Success

Photo Credit: ValliantlyVarnished.com

Excitement erupts when two passions collide. In archery, your hands are front and center every time you draw your bow, so draw some attention by sporting these archery-inspired nails the next time you shoot your bow. Statement nails showcase your love of archery while catching a few eyes every time you shoot at your local range.

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Archery Goals: How to Train Like an Olympian

Are you excited about a potential athletic career in archery, but don’t know how or where to start? If you have Olympic aspirations, work toward getting invited to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. Heather Koehl, the Archery Trade Association’s communications assistant, is training there in her second Olympic cycle. She agreed to share what life is like at the complex.

Koehl graduated recently from Texas A&M University, and has shot archery since kindergarten. She’s a professional recurve archer who’s on her second Olympic cycle, and training for a shot at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

Olympic training cycles last three to four years. After Heather’s first cycle, she was the USA Archery Olympic Team’s alternate for the 2012 Olympics. Her success didn’t stop there: She finished in the top eight in Team USA’s 2016 Olympic trials.

The most important things she has learned is to have a faster shot sequence and to be strong and aggressive when finishing each shot. Photo Credit: USA Archery

How do Olympic athletes in training live? Koehl’s schedule is packed from sunup to sundown. She begins the day at 5 a.m. with Archery Trade Association work, and then trains on the range from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., with 90-minute lunch breaks that includes more ATA work. She ends the day by finishing her ATA work before bedtime. Her training also includes a workout routine three days a week. She runs for a cardio workout the other two days.

When asked how she spends her free time (if any), she said: “Sometimes I just go to bed early. Sometimes I read. And other times I might get in a few games on League of Legends.”

What about her dietary plans? “I make sure to stuff as much food in me after a workout as I can,” Koehl said jokingly. “But more seriously, I usually have a lot of carbs during lunch, and follow up with a more protein-based dinner after everything major that day, like shooting and the workouts.”

She doesn’t drink any soda, except during the holidays, which helps keep her body well-conditioned. All meals at the dining hall are free. Each is carefully thought-out by nutritionists, and prepared by the training center’s private chef. It resembles a college campus dining hall, but without the temptation to eat entire trays of desserts.

Heather’s training includes a workout routine three days a week. She runs for a cardio workout the other two days. Photo Credit: USA Archery

The living arrangements are set up like apartments, with four athletes per suite. Two athletes share one bathroom in each room, with two rooms on each side of the suite sharing living-room space. Koehl’s current training group has six archers, which is twice as many as she had during her first cycle. “I feel like there’s much more of a team dynamic for this cycle, and I think that will only make us stronger,” she said.

Koehl is gearing up for the World Championships in 2019, where she’ll compete for a spot on the Olympic team. “I’ve been training harder these past few months than I did in my time training for the 2012 team,” she said. “I’m even more confident in my abilities leading up to the two goals we set for making the teams and doing well.”

She said the most important things she has learned is to have a faster shot sequence and to be strong and aggressive when finishing each shot. Having done an Olympic cycle before, she thinks she’ll continue doing different training techniques for visualization, distractions and strength.

Koehl has learned she must do everything she can while training, and have no regrets. “I felt like I had done a lot last time, but this time I know I won’t have anything to regret,” she said. “I’m definitely working hard this cycle.”

If you dream of shooting archery at the Olympics, training at this facility can help you get there. Photo Credit: USA Archery

She said archers who are eyeing Olympic training must have self-discipline. “Whether you have school, a full-time job, or little money to travel, you need to be determined to practice,” Koehl said. “You don’t have to attend all the USAT events to make an Olympic team. What you do need is the drive and resolve to get in the practice time and train as hard as you can. Then attend the Trials and give it your all. No regrets.”

If you dream of shooting archery at the Olympics, training at this facility can help you get there. Yes, you must be accepted into the Resident Athlete Program by USA Archery, but it’s not an impossible quest. With hard work and dedication, you could be shooting arrows at the Olympic training facility someday.

To begin your Olympic journey, visit a local archery retailer and get set up with gold-medal gear.

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Attention Archers: These New Year’s Resolutions are #Goals!

Each new year means fresh starts and opportunities to take on new challenges. Likewise, New Year’s resolutions are an annual tradition, as is forsaking most of them a month later. To achieve your goals, set them like an Olympian.

Top archers set goals as a powerful tool for achieving dreams. When Olympian Jay Barrs appeared on the Easton Target Archery podcast, he said his goal-setting strategies helped him make the Olympic team and win a gold medal in 1988.

Barrs breaks down his goals into small steps. First, he gets out some index cards and writes down the incremental goals needed to achieve his ultimate goal. Then he places the card with the current goal in a prominent location, like his bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door. Whether you resolve to make an Olympic team or simply practice more often, you can use Barrs’ proven goal-setting techniques to achieve your resolutions.

We chose four goals to inspire you in 2018.

Shoot on every day that ends in “day.”

You can start by shooting a few arrows in the morning or evening. You can also hit the range on the way home from work or during your lunch break. Photo Credit: USA Archery

Finding time to practice is difficult. By making time to practice this year, you’ll see how much it improves your daily life. You’ll feel so gratified by the exercise and archery practice that you’ll soothe your daily stress.

Start by shooting a few arrows in the morning or evening. You can also visit the range during lunch or on the way home from work. As you build your practice routine, increase its frequency until you’re shooting daily.

Try Competitive Shooting

Ask your archery shop about upcoming tournaments in your area or a local league. Then study the rules for the tournament and show up ready to learn. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo

Shooting just for fun is relaxing and enjoyable, but competition broadens your archery experience. It gives you more reasons to practice, and motivates you to become better. It also can take you around the country and introduce you to new friends.

Ask the staff at nearby archery shops about tournaments or leagues in your area. Next, study each tournament’s rules and show up ready to learn.

After you shoot in a local tournament, consider competing in state- and national-level events. Once you’re an experienced competitor, set your sights higher. Try placing in the top three.

Shoot a Personal Best

Reaching a new goal you set for yourself can be a wonderful feeling. Whenever you reach a new personal best, a reasonable next goal should be within 5-10 points of the next highest point total. Photo Credit: USA Archery

Whether you shoot scores for fun or competition, your goal is to steadily improve. Make 2018 the year you shoot a personal-best score. To borrow from Barrs, break down your goal into incremental pieces. If your goal is to improve your score from a 240 to a 270, try increasing your personal best 5 points at a time.

To achieve this goal, seek coaching and talk to your shop’s archery pro about upgrading your equipment. Then it’s up to you to practice and hit your marks.

Try a New Archery Discipline

Recurve and compound can seem to be a more popular choice. However, don’t forget where these more modern forms came from The traditional barebow is just as fun, if not more, competitive than the other two. Photo Credit: USA Archery

Do you love target archery? Then give 3-D archery a try this year. If you’re a compound archer, change things up and try a recurve. You can learn a lot by stepping outside your comfort zone.

Target archery teaches you how to maintain precise, consistent form. Likewise, 3-D archery teaches you how to trust your form and equipment to shoot under pressure.

Recurve and compound archery differ greatly, but shooting both makes you well-rounded. You’ll learn valuable archery lessons from both disciplines. Lessons carry over between equipment styles to make you a better archer.

You have 365 days to achieve your goals, so set them high and don’t abandon them by spring.

What are your archery resolutions for 2018? Share them with us on the Archery 360 Facebook page.

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