Monday, January 30, 2006

Boy, was I in a bad mood last time. I know I'm not supposed to self-censor, but I did anyway, because it was such an immature post.

Frustration has become the name of the game since the last tournament, but tonight it is a frustration tempered by a bit of calmness and an attempt to work through my issues.

Lessons recently have been difficult. My stumbling block is long exchanges so that is what I have been practicing. I feel like it gets no easier.

A couple weeks ago I went skiing in Vermont. I'm not a very good skier either, and it had been a couple years since I had been (conditions last year in Washington were abysmal). However, by the end of two days of skiing, I was nearing that lofty plateau of confidence. There were two things I learned about skiing during this period.

  1. Perseverance solves problems: That is, if you feel yourself beginning to fall, you can push your body extra hard and actually remain on your feet.
  2. Falling in fresh powder doesn't hurt. It's even a little fun with the right mind set.
I spent many a long lift ride pondering how these lessons might apply to my fencing. Let me tell you, I didn't get far. There is one guy at my Salle whom I fight over and over, several times a week, and I cannot beat him. I cannot even get more than a couple touches on him before the bout is over. So perseverance....out the window.

And even though I don't fall too much on the piste, I do find myself losing control of a bout and it seems like the same thing. But it does hurt in fencing. It is easy to pinpoint my failings. And when you fail - and you know why you fail - and you can't fix it so you keep on failing....Well, that does hurt.

Does it mean I am giving up? Hardly, but I must find other reasons currently to remain upbeat. Comraderie? Good ol' fashioned exercise? Looking good in tight pants?

Whatever works I guess...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tourney Reflection v. 5

One day later, slightly tipsy, so I think, rather objective. Viewing yourself in the third person; it isn't pretty, but someone has to do it.

Good grief, what is wrong with me...I won two bouts but only scored 11 points in the entire pool? Okay, usually I try to be upbeat and optimistic in these posts, but let's be honest. That's not a good record. The simple thing is to blame it on taking a week off: lovely vacation, good for the soul, bad for the tournament. My bad luck the two were scheduled so closely together. My bad luck my brain doesn't work fast enough to figure out what my opponent is doing. How to fix? Hard to say. Okay, truthfully, at the moment, a little hard to concentrate on typing. But I got points right? And that's the whole reason I went in spite of being tired and having no practice the week before. At least my coach is a diplomatic man, doesn't rub it in.

Next post, I promise to have my faculties fully reined in.
Frustration drives the conversation tonight.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Tourney Reflection v. 4

This post comes late and as such I am a bit removed now from the tourney. Perhaps this is good as it makes me more objective, but probably it is bad as it makes me more apathetic. In brief, I won 2 out of 5 bouts in the pools, which I am quite satisfied with given the size of the event and the quality of the participants. But the bouts I win are close and the ones I lose nowhere near close, which is not a good trend. The DE, to be perfectly honest, was humiliating and I really wanted to cry when it was done. I wanted to go off by myself and cry (but I didn't do either). Yeah, I'm a girl.

Several of my Salle-mates were there, not to compete, but just to watch, which was rather endearing. However, given the fact that I was the only one competing, it also made me a little self-conscious. And then I found out that one of them was taking pictures left and right. And now those pictures are spread out all over the office. I want to hang a big sign that says "THE LAME ADDS 10 POUNDS".

See, the thing is (warning: digression ahead) my shoulders are way too broad for a girl. And while this was helpful during the stage in my life when backstroke was my main focus, it does not serve me well in the fashion arena. If I'm going to buy things (like fencing jackets) I have to get them big enough to be able to move my arms. And this means they're way too big for the rest of me. And with the lame spread out over that... I've thought of having my jacket taken in, but that means I'd have to give it up for several days and then what would I do?

Back to the topic at hand, I did come away with some solid, easy to digest experience points.
-> Slow down. Three minutes is longer than it seems.
-> Land on your heel. Pictures make for damning evidence.
-> When they said be more aggressive, they didn't mean quite this aggressive.