Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A thought

My literary quote of the day struck me as particularly applicable to fencing. For someone (me) who is struggling to define realistic but respectable goals, I think this is a fine one. And from one of my favorite poets no less.

"The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things".
-Rainer Marie Rilke

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Me: Made to Order

On an orphaned coffee cup in the break room: "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." While I find this a little heavy to be considering over morning coffee, it was a provocative enough apothegm to keep me occupied on the way back to my desk to write this.

If I were going to create the perfect me, what would that be? Master gardener, able chef, world traveler, carbon neutral, 15 pounds lighter? Naturally, restless heart that I am, the list could go on for quite a while, but being that this is a fencing blog, I will narrow the scope a bit.

The coach that I currently work with most often thinks that I ought to be training like I am on the path to the Olympics: 1500 target drills, 1000 lunges, strength training, 30 bouts...did I mention these are recommendations for a daily regimen? I hate to disappoint him. I meekly plead my case of having to provide for my small family in lieu of international fencing fame. But to be honest, I don't even want international fencing fame; that's not the kind of fencing self I want to create.

Considering... Simply ecstatic upon receiving my E, I quietly covet the vaulted C that a few fencers at the club have. I like to be competitive at state tournaments, especially with the other women and currently I'm not looking much farther afield than this. I am looking forward to Div II/III events at Nationals this year, but have not as yet set any goals for final placement, and I probably won't. Hopes were made to be dashed. Two nights a week is about all I am willing to surrender at this point to training, though I would be glad to give up a Saturday morning were it an option at this club. More likely, that's when I should be doing those drills.

Having considered... I present to you the carefully molded fencer I would create: An able C epeeist, consistently finishing in the top eight at divisional tournaments and regular in attendance at Div II/III NACs and Summer Nationals. Strong and fast with excellent point control. Witty and intriguing contributor to club life. Thoughtful and eloquent blogger. Still 15 pounds lighter.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More quotes

My collection has grown to acceptable post size again, so here's another installment of quotes that, to me, relate to my fencing life:

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
-Anais Nin

Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.
– Mahatma Gandhi

I loathe the expression "What makes him tick." It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.
- James Thurber

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.
- Samuel McChord Crothers

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe
And love itself have rest.
-Lord Byron