For those of you who don’t know, I have two little brothers: Matt and Isaac. I’m four and six years older than both, but we’ve always been very close. In fact, I stayed home a lot in high school because that is where my brothers were and I loved spending time with them. I might’ve missed out on a lot of fun with friends, but I don’t regret it.
Our childhood was always happy and full of outdoor activity. Our woodland home was the greatest playground any kid could ask for. We made forts, shot grasshoppers with BB guns, pushed down dead birch trees, and eventually turned the backyard into a paintball course after receiving our first markers on one particularly awesome Christmas.
My parents followed suit because that is what my parents did. Everything we tried, they tried as well. My Dad bought his own marker and then picked one up for my Mom as well. Eventually our friends found out and began to matriculate over to join the fray. A weekly five-on-five match was fairly common at the Viau house followed by ice cold Coke and EXTRA sloppy joes.
We did everything together and had a very hard time leaving home as a result. In fact, doing so is still difficult for all involved. We’re spread across the country now and don’t get together nearly as much as I wish, but when we do it is evident that things haven’t really changed. We still do everything as a family, only now the “everything” is archery.
What began as an activity in which only Dad and I participated in, eventually assimilated my Mom as well and eventually peaked the interest of both siblings. One evening, when both were home for the weekend, we gave them bows and took them into the woods for a round of stump shooting. Both took to their weapons immediately and were shooting extraordinarily well, after only a few hours afield. Shortly thereafter Isaac, my youngest brother, bested me at the local techno-hunt and Matt recently came home for the 4th of July weekend and proceeded to shoot a respectable round of 3Ds despite not taking his bow out of the sock for an entire year.
Whether they are exceptional or I’m just an exceptionally bad shot, I don’t know, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that archery is in our blood and I’m fortunate we discovered it when we did. It has and will continue to keep the Viau family together and I cannot wait to pass the tradition down to my girls. Hopefully, they’ll have kids of their own, and will do the same.