My name is Grace Gilsdorf and I am 12 years old. I was first introduced to archery when I was 7.On a Sunday after church, my mom said that we should go to a Kids in the Kitchen convention. Idid not want to go because I was still in my church clothes and I did not want to go in my churchclothes! But, my mom insisted. An archery shop nearby had an archery trailer in the parking lot.I saw the trailer and was curious. I begged my mom to get in line with me. When I finally got tothe trailer, I shot and loved it. I got a bullseye, and won a free lesson.
I went to the lesson and loved it! I asked my dad over and over to take me back. I loved beingwith new friends and the coach. I started getting better and better. The first time I tried arelease, I was terrified. Release after release, I hit myself in the face when I drew back. I criedalmost every time. But then, I came across one that I didn’t hit myself with. I had found one.A year later, a friend was telling my dad about competitive archery and that I should try it. I wentto my first tournament and got 2nd place. It was the best day of my life! I started practicing moreand more and went to bigger competitions.
But then, like most people with a back tension release, I started not using my back tension andstarted using a twist of my wrist to get my release to go off. We tried to find a solution. We founda hydraulic release that worked great. I loved it! A guy was making them out of his garage.Every judge I met questioned me if the release was electronic or not because they had not seenanything like it.I realized I had some skill in archery and I wanted to keep working at it.Ever since that first day I tried it, archery has been my passion. I am getting stronger and betterevery day. Archery is the thing that will follow me forever. My life is archery.