Ready. Aim. Fire!

Escobar Kacie by Kacie Escobar

I’m not a morning person.  When the alarm clock rang before sunrise on a hot June morning, the first word out of my mouth wasn’t something I should repeat on this blog.  Our shoot for the flagship video of Curley & Pynn’s updated website would begin shortly after.  According to our videographer, Chuck Green, we needed to start early for ideal lighting.  Unfortunately for my sleep schedule, he was right.

It was exciting for this city girl to hear real rooster crows as I arrived at Central Florida Archery, the location for our shoot.  Tucked in the woods off Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando, the range offers a safe, fun and educational archery experience led by owner and coach, Hendrick “Rick” Gouws.  An archer since the age of seven, Gouws teaches compound, recurve, Olympic recurve and traditional disciplines (Who knew there were so many?!), and kindly served as our host for the morning.

When we explained to him that the firm’s work has been inspired for more than 30 years by a quote from Howard Hill, the most decorated archer of all time, Gouws knew exactly who we were talking about.  And, as we began to recite the quote, he finished our sentence:

“Unless you know your game’s feeding, sleeping and daily habits, unless you plan your hunt in great detail and follow your plan with precision, you are not hunting at all … you’re just walking in the woods.”

It’s no surprise competitive archers and enthusiasts alike flock to Central Florida Archery to train with Gouws.  If the South African accent doesn’t endear you, his storytelling will.  Gouws traveled the world as a soldier before moving to America, where he has raised a family and started a successful business rooted in his passion for archery.

While swapping stories and learning more about the sport, Gouws would occasionally interrupt conversation to coach Brian Hicks through the perfect shot.  Our model archer, Hicks was introduced to archery at Apopka High School and has been awarded at state-level competitions.  He’s now an electrical engineering student at Florida Polytechnic University, but confided he’d “rather be at the range every day” if he could.  We owe sincere thanks to Hicks for performing in this video and for continuing to hit the bullseye – even as his arms fatigued after shooting for nearly two hours.  We would expect nothing less from this aspiring Olympian.

I said this at the range and it’s worth repeating:  one of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to rediscover the world from unique perspectives of people like Gouws and Hicks.  I would suffer an early wake-up call for experiences like this any day.

We hope you enjoy the finished product as much as we enjoyed creating it.  And if you’re ever interested in trying a new sport, visit Hendrick Gouws at Central Florida Archery (7951 Sully Drive).  You won’t be disappointed.

Category: Kacie Escobar, Taking Aim Tags: , , No Comments

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