SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS ) — “It tore me up pretty good, and I was in good shape,” said Steve Malone just five months after contracting COVID-19.
Malone was one of 16 million Americans to catch the virus in 2020. For the avid archer, the thought of losing his life quickly hit the mark.
“Your organs can start shutting down if you’re in your 70’s. I sat there for too long and didn’t go to the hospital. It just got bad, ya know. I never did have to go on a ventilator,” added Malone.
It took nearly 6 months and a lot of support from his fellow archers before he was finally able to pull back his bow. It was a tough road back to the range for the former state champion shooter.
“I’ve gained 25 pounds since then because I can’t exercise. Do you feel like you’re starting to get back to it now? Oh yeah,” Malone said.
The Red River Bowmen Archery Club was Malone’s sanctuary as he recovered from the virus. With each pull of the string on his bow he began to feel stronger.
His recovery inspired even the youngest shooters at the club. The group has been meeting at the 12-acre site in North Shreveport for more than 60 years and the group is more diverse than ever before.
Emily Coston, a member of the Red River Archery Club Member said, “We have world champions from here so it’s a pretty good place to learn. Everyone is willing to help you learn to so that’s good.”
Coston is one of several female archers at the Red River Bowmen Archery Club and she’s quite a shot. She strongly encourages other women to look into the sport.
“We got women from four years old all the way up to 80, almost anybody can do this,” added Coston.
So whether you’re looking through your sites for a natural way to rehabilitate the body and mind, or something just more competitive, a local archery club may be a bullseye for you.
“Just that accomplishment of that arrow hitting that spot down range, it’s intriguing and exciting,” said Malone.
The Red River Bowmen Archery Club is taking applications. An annual membership is $100.
For more information, visit the Red River Bowman Archery Club website: redriverbowmenarcheryclub.com
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