The most severe symptoms of spinal infections can cause paralysis, and can be especially dangerous in infants. This is what happened to a Utah State University student at four months old, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He hopes that archery will one day take him to the Paralympics.
“I am shooting every day, six days a week, about two hours minimum. I try to get at least 90 arrows in a day,” said Jack Charlesworth. Now in his early 20s, he is practicing to earn a world ranking.
His hobby of archery started out as a weekly date with his wife Kayla. Now Jack is now competing on the world stage.
“It was great,” Jack said. “It was a weekly date that I didn’t have to set up.”
As the competition becomes more intense, so does the equipment.
“This is a compound bow made by prime,” Jack said. “I’m pulling 47 pounds.”
When an archer pulls more pounds, the bowstring is harder to pull back. But it shoots faster, with more accuracy. Jack uses a micro adjust sight, which serves the same purpose as a crosshair used on the scope of a rifle, except this sight doesn’t allow you to see as far. The micro-adjust sight moves up and down for distance and side to side for wind.
“I shoot a long stabilizer. I shoot this because it allows the weight to get out further which allows me to be more steady, and it kills the vibration,” he said.
Professional archers don’t use their fingers to let go of the bowstring after it’s pulled back. Instead, archers like Jack use a small device called a thumb-activated release. The thumb-activated release isn’t actually released by Jack’s thumb. Instead, he uses his back muscles to fire the arrow to maintain consistency with muscle memory.
“The inner ring right here is ten, which is where you always want your arrows.”
Jack’s goal is to make the United States 2019 Archery team, which is a requirement to try out for the Paralympic games.