Monday, March 27, 2006

Tourney Reflection v. 7

So my first impression upon walking into JMU's UREC for the tournament this past weekend was Holy crap, I so picked the wrong college. Not that I minded running along the cracked pavement of suburban Lynchburg sidewalks to get my exercise. But wouldn't it have been nice to go and play on a nifty rock wall on those rainy days instead of retreating to the dark smelly weight room in the basement of the LC gym. Oh well.

Honestly, I'd rather keep talking about the amenities of the building than talk about the competition. Out of three Salle Green women competing, we won a total pool bouts. But what can we say - none of us had even an inkling that we might be qualifying for Nationals and I think most of our competitors were hoping for it. So we were just beefing up the numbers to help them out. They can thank us later.

For me, four out of five pool bouts were well fought and well lost on my part. I was simply outclassed and thus hold little enmity for my opponents or for myself in this case. I hope that I will be fencing as well as certain other women in a few years. (Few years? Will I still be alive so far into the future...)

The need to put 18 fencers into a round of 32 made for a very small first round of the DE. It also pitted me against my salle-mate and frequent sparring partner. A Pyrrhic victory to say the least so I'm not really ready to check "Get to 2nd round of DE" off my to-do list yet.

The watchword is "Speed". This summer: how to get it, what to do with it when you find it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

In case lessons and practice,practice,practice are not working for you, turn to a source of real knowledge

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tourney Reflection v. 6

Well I tried to do what I had planned. Relax, be free and joyful and let the fencing roll out. Yet, it seems that it requires more than a conscious decision to override my tendency toward tension. I even let my back arm drop in hopes it would translate to more freedom of movement for the rest of my body. But I couldn't rid myself of all of it. It's not because I am nervous or scared of competition. On the contrary, I rather relish it, even when I'm losing (often). But I think it stems from want of surety of my own capabilities. I am quite concerned with executing everything properly maintaining proper form. If I weren't being watched by my coach, my husband, and several teammates, maybe I wouldn't worry about that so much. Maybe if I could distract my incessant concern with propriety by doing something else - like taking up that piste-bouncing that seems to be all the rage of kids these days. Maybe. (Insert look of skepticism here).

When my DE opponent (read: trouncer) approached me afterward with a tip for doing better next time I thought him both a scholar and a gentleman. But I wanted to lay a hand upon his arm and say, "My dear fellow: The position of my blade is but a drop in the bucket."

Again, competing served to reinforce what I already know about my deficiencies. But what was the real lesson learned yesterday?

  1. I think I would compete better at night, when I am feeling a little unbridled and mad anyway - that's what I was thinking on the way home from dinner at any rate - even though I was exhausted, I felt coiled, ready to spring.
  2. I need a new pre-tourney soundtrack, which I am working on as we speak. I'm thinking all Pink Floyd because it makes me feel sharp and taut all at once.

The really interesting thing was the conversation that ensued on the carpool up between Maitre and my spouse. Perhaps another day for that story.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I did not post my thoughts after the last tournament. It was nothing special and I did not prove myself worthy enough to write about. Many times I realize things that I need to work on. Harrisonburg only proved that sometimes we just have bad days.

Getting ready to leave for Charlottesville now. My partner tells me I must quit being so uptight and worrisome and just turn myself over to the spirit of the bout. He always has a poetic way of telling me what I'm doing wrong. But I'm going to try it anywhere. I'm just going to stop agonizing and bout like crazy....while maintaining my footwork as much as possible of course. News at 11.