Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Imagine this...

I don't get angry when I lose - certainly not. I get angry when I lose because of my mistakes instead of my opponent's merits. That seems reasonable right. Because what I love is the discipline and the finesse and if I get skewered in the chest because I'm thinking too hard about something else - well that's just frustrating.

And that's the other thing, I haven't decided yet if I think too hard or I don't think enough. Last night I tried to quiet my mind in a bout by drowning out my thoughts with a bit of upbeat music (Glad Tidings by Van Morrison, if you must know). Well, that didn't work either. It's finding that balance.

Finding that balance is everything. Physical balance, I'm pretty good with - thank you yoga - but my mental balance is equal to that of a bloated hippopotamus on rickety scaffolding. I cannot find any quiet in my own head. I lay awake last night well past midnight thinking of everything, but mostly fencing. I try music, I try praying, I try visualization, but I can't shut my head up. (I haven't tried drugs yet, but I've heard good things.)

Oh yes, visualizing. That's a term I've heard repeatedly in any sport I've done. "Visualize the entire race - decide where you'll start your kick - see the other runner's sucking wind in the last 200 meters." "Visualize your shot - feel it leave your hand - watch to the hoop - get the rebound!" And now, for fencing, visualization is also touted to be a helpful as well. So I try it - I begin a bout in my head. I execute some fine disengages, breathtaking lunges, but eventually my rabid, untameable imagination takes over, which means the bout usually ends up in a fist fight or even in a more heated engagement, the details of which are not appropriate to discuss in mixed company. I mean, because, let's face it: fencing is sexy.

So - visualization - that's something I'll have to work on. Along with keeping my toe pointed straight, more striking lunges, distance, tempo, strategy, parries *here, the orchestra swells and we cut to commercial*

The point here is that I am very aware of my limitations and what I need to improve upon. But I still need to find a way to improve upon them.

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