Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sit. Stay. Parry. Riposte.

Maitre asks if I feel like I am improving. I admit that I feel like I have reached a plateau lately. He is reassuring of course and says it is hard sometimes for the fencer to notice their own improvements. It is a kind response, but not altogether convincing. I cannot seem to pull off certain moves when it comes to a bout and the basics deteriorate when I lose focus.

So where does one look for inspiration in times like these? Well to her puppy of course. Where else? She is a stubborn thing and I fear, at times, not the sharpest tool in the proverbial shed. But when she learns a new thing, she seems to learn it all at once. (Last week she learned to bark at everyone who walks by our house and isn't that grand.) Like how we worked on "Lay" repeatedly, day after day, without the faintest glimmer of understanding. And then one day, she just did it, like it was no big deal. Now she does it all the time. She just lays down and looks at me expectantly, looking for the treat that she thinks should come with such a feat.

Perhaps this is how it will be for me. I see snatches of advancement sometimes. In extended parry exchanges, I always think "indirect riposte" but the connection from the brain to the arm never seems to make it all the way through till its too late. But it happened Sunday, and I was hardly even thinking about it. And I got the point. And a congratulatory pat on the shoulder. Which is almost as good as a jerky bit.

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