Don’t Try This at Home: Handstand Edition

Are you familiar with the internet slang, “IANAL”? It’s an abbreviation for “I am not a lawyer,” and people use it when they discuss topics that could end up being legal issue. We want you to remember that abbreviation—well list it again: IANAL—because we’re going to use it a lot in this post.

Take a look here, and you might understand why:

So, first things first, and credit where credit is due: Orissa Kelly, you are a fantastic archer. No doubt about it. We've met people from all sorts of archery ranges, and we've never seen anything like this. And, more importantly, you clearly love archery, and it is our mission in life to support anyone who travels around the world advocating for archery. So before we get started, we want to be clear: we’re on your side, and we’re rooting for you.

But as folks who run an archery website, whenever we see something like this, we feel obliged to write a sort of "Won't somebody think of the children!"-type post…

…to remind our readers that even though IANAL you should never, ever do something like this, and try to discuss what we’ve just seen.

So, we have some thoughts, some observations, and… plenty of questions, including:

How Did This Start? At what did Kelly say to herself, "Yeah, I'm getting pretty good at archery, but could I be an effective archer standing on my hands, and shooting with my feet?" This is not how much people approach the sport. I’ve been doing this for years, and never once have I thought, “You know what? Let’s see if I can do this upside down.” But, hey—we all have our way of spicing things up. Some make more sense than others.

It's also a strange melding of abilities. Archery is hard enough; and, seeing as I have hard time walking in a straight line, gymnastics is pretty hard, too. Combining those skills—pretty impressive. At some point Kelly must have said, "You know, I'm really acrobatic. And I'm great at archery. I wonder if I could..."

But, listen... I'm love professional wrestling, and I love nature, but you don’t see me hopping into the swamp and putting headlocks on crocs. There are just somethings that aren’t meant to go together.

Bow Selection Must Have Been Tough. If you're buying a for your feet, how do you go about that? "Well, I use a 45# recurve, but that's when I'm shooting with my hands; for my feet, I'm at about a 20#..."

I'm guessing here, but that really speaks to her knowledge about the sport—even on the internet, where you can find information about just about anything, there probably aren't too many sites that instruct how to shoot a bow with your feet. Bow choice, arrow choice, and so on—she must have figured all that out herself. Pretty impressive.

Again… IANAL, But… As we mentioned, for, like the fifth time now, none of us here at The Complete Guide to Archery are lawyers, but having been around the block a time or two, we can tell you: if you're to shoot arrows at humans, you may want to have a pretty ironclad contract relieving you of any bodily harm that would occur.

And you know what else? If I got it in my head that I wanted to get on my hands and shoot as some poor dude with a bow and arrow, the LAST thing I would do is record it. As mentioned, nobody here at Complete Guide is a lawyer, but the words "plausible deniability" don't mean much when a judge has an Instagram video of you standing on your hands and shooting someone in the face an arrow.

Don’t Take Your Space for Granted. If you're a country boy, or even someone with a big yard in the suburbs, seriously, you should be truly grateful for the space you have. Take another look at table: it's got a chair on it! At some point, Kelly said to the guy, "Listen, I want to shoot an arrow at you, but we're gonna have to put that chair someplace." That’s pretty funny.

And you have to imagine that on the other side of that fence, there are a lot of birds lying on the ground with arrows stuck through them. And, while we're not questioning the courage of the guy holding that—what even is that? A pillow cushion? If you're going to stand on your feet and shoot arrows at people, at least have the decency to get them a decent shield.

That Fence... Take a good look at that fence. Are all those marks in the wood... are those misses?? Man, that guy is even braver than I thought. Can you imagine walking up to that fence and see all those holes from arrows that got shot high? "Ummm... these are old, right?"

How is That Shirt Staying Down? Every time I've ever done a headstand, my shirt it flips down over my head and I'm blinded. There's obviously a lot of archery skill here, but Kelly's t-shirt game is also pretty tight. Plus, that shirt looks a little like a long, flowing robe, which, as we’ve written about extensively here, is a bad idea.

So Much Going On. Really try to focus on her movements—this truly is a feat (a "feet feat," ha, sorry). To imagine how truly insane this is, consider this: when you stand on your hands, all of sudden, you're looking behind you. Kelly has to lift her head—towards the guy at the fence—to see him. That alone is insane. As a man who can barely touch his toes (OK, fine, I can't touch my toes), I cannot imagine that level of flexibility.

Those are Some Seriously Strong Toes. Have you ever shot recurve without a finger tab or a glove? It's agonizing (and we don't suggest you do it, because seriously—it’s agonizing, and you’ll get hurt). Kelly is shooting with her toes without a glove. I don’t care what your standards are—that's pretty hardcore.

Another "Credit Where Credit is Due" Mention. Kelly seriously is an amazing archer. Her bow arm in this image—or her bow leg, in this case—is unbelievably straight. Credit where credit is due.

Best Insty Ever? More praise: that Instagram account is a work of art. An athlete at the top of her game, acrobatics and graceful movements, exotic locations—that sure beats my plan for tonight, which was to eat leftovers and shoot my crossbow behind the barn.

To the Guy Behind the Target. First things first: a helmet, bro. Wear a helmet. Nobody-but-nobody is going to say, “What a wimp, wearing that helmet.” Wear a helmet.

[UPDATE: We have been informed that the person holding the pillow is not a dude, it’s Kelly’s mom. Which is even more insane. If I asked my dad to hold a pillow while I stood on my hands and shot arrows at him, he’d laugh so hard he’d have a heart attack.]

We May Being Seeing the Ultimate Friend-Zone. As someone in the Reddit post pointed out, if you're that guy holding the pillow cushion, and you're hoping to win Kelly's heart by "being there for her"... you, amigo, have been friend-zoned in an unbelievable way. Nothing says “sweet and reliable friend” like being asked “Hey, would you stand still while I stand on my hands and shoot arrows at you?” and answered, “Sure, no problem.”

Hoping the Answer is “No…” Are there outtakes for this video? I hope not. I don't want to see any outtakes for this video.

As a Side Note... Isn't the internet an incredible thing? I watched this video over breakfast. If you're past the age of, say, 32, you remember a time when feats like this were reserved for movies, primetime television, or the circus. And now I can watch it, again and again, at my leisure, while I have my eggs and toast. I'll never get over how amazing that is.

As Another Side Note… It was fun to come up with titles for this post. Alternatives that we were good but that we ditched were: Kelly, for the Last Time: Stop Shooting at Humans and Just Buy a Real Target, Kelly and Local Girl Not Welcome at Range.

Getting Back to Things... We kind of got off-target there (ha), but for real—here's the real point on this post: DON'T. SHOOT. AT. HUMANS. As concerned archers who write for a website, every time we visit YouTube and see someone doing some fun—but absolutely dangerous—with a bow and arrow, we feel like we need to get on the horn and warn the rest of the flock, "DON'T DO THIS. THIS IS DANGEROUS. AND STUPID. DON'T DO IT."

So, there—there's our public service announcement. We may be Nervous Nellies, but we just want you kids to be safe.

If Everyone Else Jumped Off a Cliff…? You see what happens? You start shooting bows and arrows with your feet, and then everyone is doing it.

Won’t someone think about the children??

By Caleb Anderson, Contributor