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

Monday, May 03, 2010

Enjoying epée

I finally got results from the medical tests - I do NOT have osteoporosis.

I didn't think I had - the doctor thought it unlikely and the tests weren't high priority. Still, it's a relief to know officially that there's no serious underlying problem. My back still hurts but at least I'm not likely to fracture it again.

Even before the results, I've been less careful at fencing. These last two weeks I've been tired before setting out and had to force myself to walk to the leisure centre - I'm still not cycling with a heavy back-pack. But on both occasions I felt better when I arrived than when I set out, even though there was a sad shortage of epéeists.

My opponents noticed the difference. "That's good - you're being more aggressive," one said. Another commented that I'd become more accurate. I've been working on accuracy but didn't think I'd achieved much. I lost bouts against much better fencers at 15-9 and 15-10, which seemed almost as good as a victory. Mind you, we were fencing steam so the scoring was a little uncertain - it's hard to tell if a blade has really attached and some of my opponents' hits may have been too swift to notice.

Fencing on the box, I took on the Chinese fencer who visits in university vacations. He's way better than me and, as we wired up, I wondered if I'd manage a single hit.

Perhaps he was a little out of practice at epée - he'd been fencing foil all evening. On the first point he lunged towards me, misjudged his distance and began to lose his balance. I closed in and, in what seemed like slow motion, hit him on the toe. It was a point I should never have won and we both laughed with the absurdity of it. I lost most points - there were a few doubles - but I won more too, including a hit right to the centre of the mask. I left the piste ridiculously pleased with myself.

I'm definitely fencing more vigorously now, even though I pay for it in increased back pain for a few days afterwards. Occasionally I take a small Jura malt to help me sleep - it tastes so much better than co-codamol. I think it's time to go to the doctor for more advice - I fear she won't let me have single malt on prescription, however.

Meanwhile I'm looking forward to the next episode of Doctor Who. It's set in Venice and seems to feature fencing vampires.

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