Life Outside Spring 2018 - 26

"It's definitely a goal of mine to make the Olympic
team when it debuts, but if it doesn't happen,"
Merritt explains, "then it's not a big deal since I'm
still competing professionally; I'll have a career with
or without the Olympics."
For Merritt, it's "not that big of a deal" because
he has a single goal: to perform well, no matter
the circumstances, in the sport that he loves most.
Take, for instance, his experience in Argentina
in 2016 at a World Ranking Event, a high stakes
international competition, where his bow was lost
en route by Delta.
"My bow traveled to more places than me," he
recounts. "It landed in Sao Palo and then Delta
sent it up to Atlanta, it flew back to Brazil, and
then to the wrong place in Argentina, and finally
to where I was."
Merritt's bow, of course, is tailored exactly to his
specifications-something that can't be re-created
on the fly. Amazingly, his ex-girlfriend, Mackenzie
Kormann, the sole U.S. entrant for the women's cadet
(under 17 years old) compound division, was able
to share her bow with him. The two traded the bow
between them during the competition, switching
out the sight each time, and Merritt managed to
win the bronze medal in the cadet division, bringing
home one of three total medals for the U.S.
Reaching this level of competition requires an
immense amount of mental and physical training.

26

Spring 2018 \\ LifeOutside Magazine

From the age of three, when Merritt first shot
an arrow, archery has been the focus of his life.
Although he grew up in a family of outdoor
enthusiasts who exposed him to fly fishing, hunting,
hiking, rock climbing and hiking, archery proved
to be a natural fit.
"When I was ten, I shot with my first compound
bow and something clicked. I realized then that I
wanted to do this at a higher level."
When I pushed him to ask if he ever felt forced
to become competitive, he didn't even pause to
consider it and replied, "I've always shot for myself."
So what does the day-to-day look like for Archer
Merritt? Although he originally attended Staunton
River High School in Moneta and practiced after
school, in order to accommodate a more rigorous
training and competition schedule, he now takes
classes through the Bedford Science and Technology
Center which allows him to complete his high school
requirements either on campus or online. Mornings
are dedicated to strength training, whether at the
Staunton River High School weight room or with
a personal trainer.
He then heads home for lunch and generally
completes any schoolwork he might have in between
shooting rounds of arrows. Since his coaches live
in other states, he regularly Skypes with them
regarding his training and spends the majority of
his time honing his skills on his own. When not

INSIDE A BOW SHOP
Inside of Spring Lake's shop,
mementos from Merritt's
competitions frame a full-on
archery outfitter.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Life Outside Spring 2018

Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover1
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover2
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 3
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 4
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 5
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 6
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 7
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 8
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 9
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 10
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 11
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 12
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 13
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 14
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 15
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 16
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 17
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 18
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 19
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 20
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 21
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 22
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 23
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 24
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 25
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 26
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 27
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 28
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 29
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 30
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 31
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 32
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 33
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 34
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 35
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 36
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 37
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 38
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 39
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 40
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 41
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 42
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover3
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Spring_2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Fall_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Summer_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Spring_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Fall_2017
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