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        2021 is Fully Booked for Archery Lessons - Prebook for 2022

        Hello Toronto!

        Bad news if you wanted to book archery lessons in Toronto for August, September or October of 2021. I am already fully booked and am no longer accepting new students for this year.

        I am currently accepting new students for 2022. If you want to book for 2022 you should contact me now (if you know what your schedule will be like in the coming year), or if you're not sure what your schedule will be like in 2022, then I recommend contacting me in February or early March if you want to get your preferred time slots (before things start booking up).
         
        I am expecting 2022 to be a very busy year for me.

        If you have any questions feel free to ask.

        Have a great day!

         


        Limited Archery Time Slots Left / My Writing Career

        Due to COVID I am going to be restricting how many students / time slots I teach this year during August, September and October. It isn't a matter of time constraints, I am available, but I am putting a limit on the total number of archery lessons I am willing to teach this year.

        So my advice is that if you want archery lessons between now and the end of the season you need to contact me sooner rather than later and hope that there is still time slots available and I haven't reached my "quota" for the year.

        Basically the point I am trying to make is that this year, due to COVID, I am setting a quota for the maximum number of lessons I am willing to teach. So if you want archery lessons in Toronto then you should email me today and start booking.

        If you wait too long you might have to prebook for 2022.


        My Writing Career

        In related news, my book sales during 2021 are expected to triple my 2020 book sales, which tripled my book sales from 2019, which in turn dectupled my 2018 book sales... So if you can do math that means my book sales are up by a factor of 90 in the past 3 years.

        If my book sales continue to triple annually I will be able to quit my day job (teaching archery) and focus on writing books sometime in 2025.

        Now don't get me wrong, I love teaching archery. Absolutely love it. But there are days when I would love to just sleep in, spend more time with my wife/son, and focus on writing instead.

        Teaching archery, and being good at it / able to make a living doing it, has given me the freedom to pursue my writing career during the cold winter months when very few people in Toronto ask for archery lessons.

        Becoming a full time professional writer is the dream of pretty much every writer. I love archery and I love teaching it, but I foresee a time when I will just jack up my prices and only teach on 1 or 2 days per week so that I can focus my energy on writing.

        Or quit teaching archery entirely and focus solely on writing. In addition to getting an annual tripling in book sales I keep getting 4 and 5 star reviews, so that's always a nice feeling to know people really like my writing. Cannot complain about that.

        And what is the content of my writing? I mostly write heroic fantasy featuring, you guessed it, archery.

        You can find my books, available in trade paperback and ebook formats, at amazon.com/author/moffat. I expect to be releasing audiobook versions in 2026 if my book sales continue to go up at the current rate. Hardcover versions of the novels are also expected sometime. If you have the paperback ISBN numbers you can order my books from your local bookstore.

        5 Frugal Tips for your Dream Home Gym

        5 Tips to Build your Dream Home Gym without Breaking the Bank

        The pandemic made most people find creative ways to do the things they love the most, including working out. If you’ve missed the gym but aren’t ready to go back into that atmosphere quite yet, it’s easy to build your dream home gym without breaking the bank.

        Here are 5 simple tips.

        Keep it simple 

        Don’t go overboard, building a killer gym overnight. Not only will you likely buy equipment you won’t use, but you’ll go way over budget. Instead, start small. Think of the workouts you must do that aren’t non-negotiable in your mind and budget for those pieces of equipment.

        Aim to buy one piece of equipment at a time to see how often you use it and if you’re seeing the results you desire.
        Get creative with household objects
        Just because the gym you belonged to had all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean you can’t improvise at home. Think about objects around your house that can double as workout equipment.

        Chairs are great for bars for balancing or even a spot to sit to do sitting exercises; paper plates can replace sliders, and gallon water bottles can replicate 8-pound free weights as a few examples.

         



        Figure out how you’ll work out
        Will you come up with your own routines or will you stream workouts from a gym or streaming service?

        This will add to your costs, so figure it into your budget. If you don’t want to use some of your budget on streaming workouts, check out YouTube, they have millions of workout videos you can use either to get you started or to keep you structured.
        Pick one room in your home to create the gym
        If you want to make sure you use your gym equipment, pick a room in your home and dedicate space for your home gym. You don’t have to build a new area or renovate – just clear out an area of a room or an entire room if you have the space.

        Some people add small pieces of equipment to their family room or office and others use garage or basement space that they use only to collect clutter.
         

        Use a cashback or rewards credit card to buy equipment

        When you’re ready to buy equipment, use the most beneficial credit card to make your purchases worth it. Cashback or rewards credit cards pay you for your purchases. Loo for the credit card that will pay you the most as each credit card pays different percentages of cashback and/or rewards based on the category you’re buying in.
        Final Thoughts

        Start small and build your home gym carefully, being mindful of your budget and also the benefits of having a home gym. It’s a big switch to go from working out with a group of other like-minded people to working out on your own.

        Don’t go overboard right away – improvise with household items and buy only the equipment you know you need to have an effective workout. As you get used to working at home and you save enough money or have the right credit card to buy the equipment, you can build up your gym to make it your dream gym.

        Traveling to see the Tour de France / The Virtual Tour de France

        The Tour de France cycling competition ended a week ago, but it isn't too early to start thinking about visiting France in 2022 and watching the massive cycling competition in person.

        This year's competition lasted from Saturday June 26th until Sunday July 18th.

        The event is a huge cash cow for cyclists. Each stage they manage to win is worth 11,000 Euros, and the person who wins the entire competition gets 500,000 Euros...

        Which is chump change compared to a tennis tournament or a golf tournament, but in the world of cycling that is the biggest prize cyclists can hope for.

        But for a little added excitement, you can also go there in the off season (when it is NOT currently the Tour de France) and then cycle the same route. Just start in Landerneau and copy the route of the Tour de France, from beginning to end with extra bits between the individual stages, until you end in Libourne.

        For convenience sake I suggest doing the Paris section of the race after Laval instead of leaving it to the very end.


        Will you be able to do it in the same amount of time the professionals do it in? Nope. Definitely not.

        Counting the extra distances you will have to cycle, it will be about 5000-6000 km you have to cycle. So you will probably want 4 weeks to do it in.

        But if you succeed, you will have spent 4 weeks cycling around France and seen some amazing pieces of scenery.

        Three Hot Travel Tips

        1. If you book your plane tickets months in advance you can some a good chunk of money.
        2. Book your "cycling vacation" during the off season, so the tickets are even cheaper.
        3. Book via Air France, as they often have the best rates for traveling to and from France. As Canadians we can get some pretty inexpensive tickets for flights from Montreal to Paris or flights from Toronto to Paris for relative little.

         Also you should decide now whether you want this to be more of a fun journey, or whether you are being competitive about it.

        Two, you should decide whether you want to do the cycling version of "Glamping" (Glamourous Camping), or whether you prefer the idea of actual camping. Because sleeping in a tent and cycling every day is not for everyone. Even professional cyclists usually try to stay in the best hotels when doing the Tour de France.

        Staying in a nice hotel to me sounds so much better than having to pitch a tent (and carry it with you on the bicycle!) for 4 weeks.

        Assuming the route you choose is 6000 km you will want to spread that out over 28 days. But that still amounts to 214 km per day, which is a lot! If you are fast (30 kmph) it will take you 7 hours of cycling every day to reach your destination.

        However...

        You could just take a train from each stage of the Tour de France to the next stage. That way you are only doing the 3414 km that the pros are doing. True, it means you are spending a chunk of the time on trains (and may feel like you are cheating), but whatever. You are saving yourself a lot of time and effort.

        That 3414 km divided amongst 28 days is 122 km per day, which suddenly feels a whole lot easier. You could cycle at a more leisurely 20 kmph and still be done in 6 hours each day.

        Or... How about this idea?

        Skip the Tour de France, visit a bunch of places in France that you want to see... And buy a cheap used road bike from someone when you arrive, and if it breaks you just buy a different one.

        Personally there is a list of places I would like to see - mostly along the coasts - some of which a bicycle would kind of useless in visiting.

        Eg. I would love to visit Mont-Saint-Michel, and just looking at it you know a bicycle will be rather useless there. Good place for hiking up and down lots of stairs... Not so good for bicycles.


        Another place I would visit is the Alignments of Carnac, which is essentially a big graveyard of huge megalithic stones - beneath which are tombs of prehistoric kings. Very rocky terrain. Again, no point taking a bicycle there. Good place for a hike however.

        Honestly France has lots of good places to go hiking. Pick a place and just go!

        Horsebows and Poundages


        The bow in the photo above (and below on the right) is a Samick SKB horsebow (sometimes also called a shortbow).

        Learning how to shoot a horsebow is trickier than learning how to shoot a traditional recurve, although they have many similarities in design. There are some additional challenges, which is why I recommend that students take 3 lessons of traditional recurve before progressing to shooting horsebow, so that they have a good grounding in proper form in that style before proceeding to a more challenging style of archery.

        (Same goes with anyone wanting to learn how to shoot Longbow or Olympic Recurve. Definitely study traditional recurve first, then make the transition.)

        There is an issue concerning the matter of the poundages made available by the manufacturers.

        Many manufacturers who make horsebows do not make low poundages: 20 lbs or less.

        This phenomenon of manufacturers not making lighter poundages is not limited to horsebows either. Some manufacturers who make longbows and the higher end traditional recurves also limit what poundages they produce, knowing that their target customers are adults (and mostly men).

        The Samick SKB horsebow shown above (and on the right) only comes in 25 lbs to 55 lbs (with 5 lb increments). The bow I purchased was 30 lbs, which I felt was a good poundage for my needs as an archery instructor, and knowing that most of the people wanting to learn horsebows usually have an end goal of purchasing a horsebow that is in the 30 lbs to 50 lbs range.

        This consequently creates limitations on who can potentially be using the bow. Eg. Most children won't be able to pull it properly, and many people who are complete beginners really should not be using a 30 lb bow.

        However someone who has done 3 archery lessons previously, and proven that they can handle 18 lbs, 20 lbs and 24 lbs, and expressed an interest in learning horsebow. Well, then we can discuss the matter as they might be capable of pulling 30 lbs.

        Otherwise they will need to purchase their own equipment - which is usually the standard situation when it comes to anyone who wants to learn how to shoot horsebows (or compounds, or Olympic recurves), and archery in general as the goal of most archery students is to eventually buy their own equipment so they can practice on their own.

        Someone who is petite in size will find a difficult time finding a quality horsebow that is sized correctly for them and offers a poundage they can use properly. There are a few manufacturers who make children's bows (and youth bows) that offer lighter poundages, but the issue of quality means there is a gap in the market for well designed bows that fall into these age categories. In some cases they simply don't exist, and what does exist is slim pickings.

        The big name manufacturers simply aren't interested in making certain types of bows aimed at children, youth and petite adults.

        Still, that doesn't mean a person cannot do archery. It just means they are limited to doing traditional recurve (or potentially longbow or compound shooting) because there are bows being manufactured and sold which are aimed at children, youth and petite adults.

        The market is there in my opinion, but nobody is making them.

        Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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