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A Practice of Slingshot

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

People seem to understand why I enjoy slingshot target shooting so much, once I explain myself. Getting more accurate is an important goal for me, yes, and hitting the target is fun, but there’s more to it than that. After you’ve committed form to muscle memory, I think hitting the target becomes more useful as a feedback mechanism to gauge how well you’re existing in the present rather than as the end in itself. This has become my primary goal when training and, when I’m settled into myself, the target tends to be struck more regularly, almost as a secondary matter. In this state, the mind isn’t distracted by the tugs toward or away from this or that potential threat in the environment, but patiently situates these matters in a holding area. All good things in all good time. This describes a key part of what’s known as mindfulness.


Wait! Where are you going?...hear me out!,



this is not some esoteric mumbo jumbo, I promise, but rather a recognition of the fact that we’re tied to our mammalian biology in beautiful and challenging ways. Beautiful because in slingshot, the mind/body is called on to marshal the biological systems into the harmonious balancing act of striking the target from afar - an actual possibility. And challenging due to those incessant tugs on our attention from the environment and our own internal dialog. But, when we succeed, there’s an immediate biological payoff...an endorphin rush and it’s - Hello Euphoria - THAT FEELS GOOD! And we want to do it again. That’s the payoff for the casual slinger, and that’s certainly enough.



But, there’s another benefit waiting further down the road for the committed slingshot practitioner. And I believe this requires a practice of slingshot. What I mean is that the daily practice of mindfulness through slingshot builds muscles not found on anatomy charts. With time, repetition, and a sort of effortless effort, it becomes easier to quiet the noise (with genuine commitment to attending to its components in time) and exist in the present. It involves a sense of calm and contentedness. The practiced internal dialog sounds something like: “I see you sneaking in, self-doubt, but please be patient. I’ll be with you in a moment.” One cannot be tense and succeed. You must relax. And after a while, you spend less time attempting to find the present and more time existing within it. And the spinner spins when you ask it to.


Be well.


Andy

Owner - Fork Plus Band Slingshot Target Sports



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