Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I know I have not had a lot of original content lately. In preparation for Miami, I'm trying to avoid any over thinking or dwelling upon new ideas. The routine of the last few practices (and those yet to come) has been basic.

1) Bout till exhaustion
2) Fret about what went wrong in bouts
3) Repeat

I'm trying to hone and sharpen the basics and not add new things to the mix. You wouldn't believe how many advance-lunges, with and without a beat, I did in bouts last night. And a whole lot of them worked pretty well. If I can be fast, smooth, and on-target with that one thing, then it will be at least one small victory.

The Rallying Cry

And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.
The host is rushing ’twixt night and day,
And where is there hope or deed as fair?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Club Sweet Home

The big news at the club is that They are looking for new digs, very fancy digs in fact, announced at last night's meeting. It is a grand vision, but one hard to come to grips with. Inexplicably sparkling on the horizon - like flying across the desert and seeing Las Vegas rising in the distance. The problem is, when you actually get to Las Vegas and see it up close, it is overwhelming and a little terrifying.

Full disclosure: I get comfortable with things. I get attached to otherwise mundane things with a fierce sentimentality. I don't like change. While I have not yet become attached to my current club like I did to Tacoma, still the idea of such sudden transition leaves me a little shaky. Keep my (mostly irrational) "quirks" in mind during the following.

A world-class facility - it doesn't seem unreasonable given Charlotte's steroidal growth rate - but such a facility demands an income stream to maintain it. That means lots of fencers. Here lies the source of my greatest apprehension. One of the reasons that I enjoy fencing so much is that - unlike fitness clubs, soccer fields, and the like - practice time does not resemble a droning beehive where one earnest little bug cannot be identified from the next. During the meeting, grand tales of other national clubs were told where fencers wait in line to fence at one of sixteen strips for hours every night. And that's what we want to emulate? Alas...

In all sense I realize that even if this level of success (for success it would be for the owner of the club) could be achieved, it is probably a couple years down the road and that my rationality and common sense could grow along with the fencing population. Just spare me a moment for consternation - that is one thing I am comfortable with.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Flying Kites in Hurricanes

92 in D2WE.
101 in D3WE.

What is one little girl amid such numbers? One little heroine facing such an army?

As per usual, there is a small voice at the back of my head, trying to make me wonder if I am going to be in over my head. But my established (shakily proven) routine has been to not even think about what the result could be before a tournament. As I tell myself in moments of both elation and panic: One touch at a time. And remember folks, fencing is fun.

I have bad nights at practice of course, but normally, even if I am not in top form, I leave practice in a bleary sort of delight. I find myself laughing aloud during bouts when a particularly exciting or well-timed move is pulled off (even though it's usually by my opponent). I tell you that I've had a few bouts in the last couple weeks that were long and hard-fought and that I did not necessarily win, but when I got done I wanted to wrap my opponent in a great big sweaty bear hug, because I just love fencing so much. I love to feel myself on that edge of possibly being able to overcome, but having to wrench every beat of it from my struggling mortal frame.

My best wish is to make it through that figurative hurricane of epee-wielding women at Nationals clinging to the string of my little kite of jubilance. I want to hack my way through a couple rounds of DEs and finish with the same sort of elation that I am going in with.

Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit the evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
- Epictetus

PS - I didn't come up with the image of flying kites in hurricanes, but I can't recall now where it comes from. Fair's fair.