Friday, August 04, 2006


The topic of goals keeps coming up lately. I had recently read a couple articles about goal setting when I walk into the Salle this morning and Maitre asks me what my goals are?

"Make it past the first round of DEs," I say. "Finish painting my upstairs bathroom?"

I was serious on both counts, but as I've been reflecting on the subject in earnest, I find I am somewhat dismayed at myself. In the words of someone infamous (or perhaps not): If you aim for suck, you're going to get sh**. Obviously this person was not such a well-bred lady as I, but I hope the point is clear. I make a lot of self-deprecating jokes, which is okay, but I've begun to think that I don't see far enough past them. When I fought Scott O'Neal (A06) in the first round of DEs in my first epee tournament this year I smiled prettily at him and said "Hi, I'll be your speed bump this afternoon". (Indeed, he beat me 15-1.) It was cute, but I hope that next year, I am at least a curb to him.

Now my unharnessed imagination has a bit of trouble drawing a line between real goals and never-in-any-life goals. But I've tried to rein myself in a little bit and have come up with the following list of realistic, but tough, goals. With you (whoever you may be) as my witness to hold me to them:

  1. Go to an NAC this year and not make a complete fool of myself. Memphis would be great, but I haven't finished paying off Nationals yet. Maybe Atlanta in March.
  2. Get a rating
  3. Finish in the top 8 in a Virginia Epee event
  4. Successfully fleche in a competition (I did it at the Salle last Sunday. It could happen)
  5. Make my footwork feel more natural.
  6. Remember to use footwork when it counts.
  7. Write a book.
Okay, that last one is a little OT, but rounds off my lofty aspirations nicely.

The next list to make is what I actually need to do to reach these goals. Once again, I am committing these to virtual paper in the hopes it will make me adhere to the plan.
  1. 3 days a week - cardiovascular conditioning (not fencing) to lose weight and build leg power (running/biking)
  2. 2 days a week - stretching/strengthening routine (yoga/pilates)
  3. Fencing at least 3 days a week
  4. 25 bouts a week at least
These don't seem out of reach to me. The last couple weeks I have stuck to them nicely. It will be harder come winter, but not impossible. And at the end of the season if I have met one or more of the goals...well...