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

Friday, May 01, 2009

Fencing badly

Perhaps it's because I turned down the invitation to swim and trimmed the hedge instead. Plainly an hour and a half clipping at privet with shears doesn't constitute exercise. And I didn't manage a decent cycle ride either.

But I didn't have the excuse of tiredness. I've been sticking to my resolution to have at least seven hours' sleep most nights. I run up and down the stairs at work. I hardly ever have a drink in the evening. Surely my fencing should have improved, especially after last week's coaching. But it didn't.

I dawdled along the cycle path, not because I wanted to cycle slowly but because four boys ahead of me were strung out across the path, having an animated conversation as they rode. I didn't feel inclined to overtake since it would have meant ringing my bell and demanding they get out of the way. So I dawdled in their wake.

There were three other epeeists looking for fights - all men, all younger and taller than me and two of them left-handed. They're experienced fencers too. While they always make sure I get my turn on the piste, I reckon that sometimes I'm a bit of a nuisance - however hard I work, I'm not going to reach their standard. And even as I wired up for my first fight, against the Man man, doubt and pessimism crept up on me.

The Man man wanted a quick, easy victory. He got it. As he scored hit after hit, I wilted, knowing my stance was wrong, knowing I should attack but without the will or energy to put things right. As I tried, belatedly, to correct my en garde position, I found I couldn't quite remember how to get it right. What, I wondered, was the point. I lost, 15-1.

I fenced the doc, who went easy on me, so I managed 5 hits to his 15. But I was sure he was letting me get the hits. Then I fenced my teacher from last week, who had been watching despairingly. He tried encouragement but I couldn't do it.

I wanted to slink off home. Instead, I fenced them all again, trying and failing to muster the determination that would help me improve.

I pulled up a little. My last two bouts saw me losing 15-7 (the last may have been 15-8). But I wasn't thinking strategically any more than I was fencing aggressively, speedily or accurately - and I couldn't work out how to get it right.

I cycled home, gloomily, wondering if it's worth continuing with fencing. Sometimes I enjoy it immensely. And sometimes I feel a fool for even trying to wield a sword.

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Blogger katie said...

Of course it's worth continuing with fencing. Perhaps just not continuing to fence the Man man. Next time, just smile politely and say you'd rather fence with someone less patronising.

Do you really run up and down the stairs at work? I thought you were against running on principle.

8:55 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

I don't think you would consider it running because I don't want to draw attention to myself by undue speed or exertion. The young people might laugh.

9:13 pm  
Blogger katie said...

That would be very rude of them. I don't approve of young people.

10:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sometimes I enjoy it immensely. And sometimes I feel a fool for even trying to wield a sword."

All fencers our age that are late bloomers feel this way.

Only you know what is best for you.

I wish I could hop on a plane and come fence with you.

My fencing is in jeopardy these days as well.


1:21 am  
Blogger Kathz said...

I expect I'll continue with fencing for a while at least. Unfortunately the alternative - not fencing - seems even more depressing than fencing badly.

9:59 am  
Blogger sassy fencer said...

I totally sympathize with what you say, I often feel like that but I don't want to give up... Nice blog btw!

10:58 pm  

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