quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, June 15, 2006

fencing in my sleep

In the big Scarlet Pimpernel omnibus I read in my teens, the third novel was Eldorado. Here Sir Percy Blakeney, though kept without sleep for days in an scheme to break his spirit, outwits Chauvelin (again) and rescues the Dauphin.

Such are his super-human powers that, even after months without sleep, the Scarlet Pimpernel could fight four epeeists at once and beat them all.

I lack those qualities.

It's been a busy week and work has spilled into the evening, night and early morning. I was down to three hours' sleep on Tuesday night. On Wednesday I began to wonder why I'd started a sport which needs its practitioners active, alert and awake.

Awake was the tricky one. Never did gym floor look so comfortable. My kit-bag tempted me to use it as a pillow. If we'd had to lie down in the any of the warm-up exercises, I'd have curled up and gone to sleep. Standing was a triumph, fencing an act of folly.

Opponents pounced like panthers. The air through which I waded had turned to invisible jelly. Somehow I won a bout against a beginner. It was a struggle. I won byf luck. Every so often my eyes would close. I'd launch an attack and fail to see where or if it landed.

Foil was hard, but epee .... My tall, experienced, male opponent was generous. He slowed down, giving me a chance to land hits. After each point I'd know where I should have hit. My point landed in the air, six inches to his right. Every so often I walked onto his blade or hit short.

My opponent slowed down - and down.

Suddenly I caught him on the wrist, far harder than I'd meant, with a judder that reached my sword-hilt and jarred my fingers. I'd have been delighted with that hit on anyone else. But he'd slowed down out of kindness and now he was hurt from the awkward way my blade had attached.

I know it's a violent sport but I don't like hurting people.

Mind you, it's a lot better than work. And I plan on a bit more sleep soon - in a week or two.


Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

If you are looking at your kit bag from which a green cloud is rising from your fencing glove and you want to rest your HEAD there - then sleep has started to effect your judgement.

Sorry you had a bad week and managed to injure someone in the process. I am happy you went though, because if you have to balance trash days and great days - now you have one of your trash days out of the way.

I really do hate hurting other people though, which is why I tend to apologize through most of the bout. Bummer.

6:47 pm  

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