If you listen carefully the next time you are inside The Rink, below the clang of the weights at the East Shore Gym and beside the bang of soccer balls on The Field, you can hear the twang of the bows at Ithaca Archery.
Owner Charles Rendleman opened the door to his 100-foot range in January 2018, aiming to build a local community of archers who’ve “established a stable skeletal platform that minimizes stress and reduces injury,” he said.Rendleman is certified as a Level 4 NTS (National Training System) coach in this “shot cycle” approach that was developed by U.S. Olympic Head Coach Kisik Lee.
He started shooting 12 years ago when his then-10-year-old son expressed interest in archery. Father and son began by training at the Bull Run Shooting Center in Centreville, Virginia, with 1984 Olympian Ruth Rowe.
Son became a state-ranked and Rendleman a nationally-ranked archer in their respective age groups. Rendleman re-focused his life on coaching archery, and they moved to this area in 2016.
“This method is not about aiming. It’s more about focusing on movement and the position of the body than on controlling the bow and the arrow,” Rendleman said. “We emphasize connecting the mind to the body so people are less likely to experience stress and anxiety. You can’t control the arrow – you can only influence it. You can control your thoughts.”
Jenny Kivisild was on one of the nine shooting “lanes” at the range. She is an Ithaca College-trained musician who teaches music at the Ithaca Schools and is a classical accompanist in the area. She has been shooting for 10 months now.
“I was watching the movie ‘Brave’ last January, and it just hit me. I wanted a bow,” she said. “Then, I found out that my husband had already ordered the one that I had on my Amazon wishlist.”
Her bowstring twanged, but no arrow emerged.
“Jenny is practicing with a shot trainer tool,” Rendleman explained. “This is designed to put her body under full control under the tension of the bow at full draw and to maintain and strengthen her core.”
Kivisild is at the range two hours a day, five days a week, shooting about 200 arrows a session. After 10 months (about 8,600 arrows) of “really amazing coaching,” she has been certified as a Level 2 NTS coach and has taught archery in the physical education classes at her school. But that’s not the main driver for her.
“Music and archery have a lot in common,” she said. “There is a mindfulness and meditative quality, a discipline that connects you to you. My goal is to be an excellent ‘bare bow’ archer.”
Kivisild was shooting with a 28-pound recurve bow (rather than the 50-pound bow her husband bought her). A bare bow has no sights, and there is no stabilizing weight projecting from the front where a regular Olympic-style bow has both. There are weights on both to minimize the vibration from the twang of the bowstring.
On Sunday afternoons, she joins a larger group of about 15 archers who gather to shoot 30 arrows each for score.
“My goal is to create an elite archery range and to build an archery community,” Rendleman said. “Archery is an individual sport, and that’s the reason I love it. Everyone who is interested in archery had their own reasons, and they want to get out of it what they want. I get to figure that out and then help them down their own path.”
Rendleman teaches a 90-minute introduction to archery course for those curious about the sport on Sunday mornings for $25; private classes are also available. Kids can try his summer camp scheduled for the last week of July and first week of August for $150 per week. And experienced archers with their own gear can take advantage of the open range evenings Mondays through Thursdays.
Beyond Seasonal Blues at the Library
Fall and winter holidays can bring mixed feelings of happiness and sadness and even loneliness and grief. How do you know when the sadder feelings need attention? And what if you are worried about someone’s well-being?
Join Deb Harper Ph.D., a licensed psychologist with more than 25 years of experience, at the Lansing Community Library Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. to learn to manage emotions, choose self-care and reach out to those who may need support. Space is limited and reservations are recommended.
The library will be closed Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
R.C. Buckley Family Game Night
The R.C. Buckley Elementary School will hold a family game night Jan. 31 in the cafeteria from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be Math Bingo with Mr. Larsen, a scavenger hunt, movement games with Ms. Pope and a book fair.
The Lansing Road and Gun Club will hold a fish fry Jan. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. A $10 dinner includes coleslaw and french fries. Pre-orders are encouraged. Please call 533–7711. Eat in or take out.
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