2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington

2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington
Nicole Martini


I got invited to attend an adaptive archery workshop in Puyallup with Adaptive Recreation, a group of people with “disabilities”. 
I’ve been shooting archery from the age of about 8 yrs old. When I was in my early 20's I took a break from sports altogether.
When I was 16 yrs. I competed in a national competition in Tempe, Arizona and won 2nd place in my division.
Anyway, finding Skookum Archers proved to be a bit of a task. I, once again, attempted to take the bus there. Krystal was with me, but neither of us knew how to get there. We were going to two different locations. Krystal went to the fair while I went to shoot archery for the day.
 I asked the bus driver how I could get to the archery range, but unfortunately he didn’t know either. All of a sudden all the people on the bus started helping out by shouting out routes and ways to get to my location by bus and cab. The bus driver even took extra time to call in and see if he could get correct routes to the range. I felt a little overwhelmed that so many people would take the time to help me, it was so humbling and amazing. I am SO grateful to the bus driver and the group of people who helped. Everyone went above and beyond to help me.

After that, while still on the bus, I ended up getting a pretty bad panic attack!! I don’t know exactly what triggered it, but “luckily”  I knew how to handle the situation since I've had panic attacks since the age of 13 yrs old.
Feeling, lightheaded, disoriented, hyperventilating, heart pounding , shaking and thoughts racing a mile a minute I got off the bus, pushed myself across the street to a mini mall to take a taxi, but first I got a bite to eat incase it was caused by low blood sugar. The bus dropped me off only about a mile away so it didn't take long.

Once I Finally reached Skookum Archers, still having a pretty bad panic attack, I met another great bunch of people/fellow archers!! As much as my body was in “fight or flight mode” and telling me not to shoot, I had to fight like hell and force myself to shoot. I didn’t go there to sit back and watch everyone shoot. One of the men there is an amazing traditional archer and he let me shoot with his bow/arrows for a round!! It was such an honor to shoot using his bow/arrows, which were beautiful!! Shooting for 4 hours felt SO great despite the stupid panic attack, which lasted about 4 hrs. I believe because I kept trying to suppress it, it kind of made it worse!!!
I would LOVE to shoot with this group of archers again. My goal for archery is to get back into competing again. What a wonderful way to end a fun filled adventurous few days!! I loved every minute of it. I will Never forget this experience. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH to EVERYONE involved in this adventure, Pierce Transit, and the people at the STAR Center who also helped me out in figuring out my exact location so I could call a cab.