Friday, June 16, 2017

I Wish I Could Just Let Things Go

Last night at practice, I had a parent stop to talk to me. He was talking about his daughter and the upcoming State Games. He asked if I was going. He laughed. He asked me if I even competed. He laughed again. He laughed at me.

I suppressed my natural tendencies for the sake of young teammates around and he moved on.

The grandfather of the fencer  mentioned above used to make fun of my age and fencing for months and months. Every time I took a break, he commented on it. It was always some kind of reference to my age and being out there fencing. After six or seven months of that crap, I finally confronted him and told him I did not see the humor in his remarks. It stopped. ( Note: Grandfather is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I knew he thought he was being funny. This is why I let it go on for so long.)

Okay. If you are my age, you are going to get some remarks about your age. Mostly it is good natured. And I am sure there are other less kind remarks made about your age, but by ones wise enough not to say it to your face. It is the way things are.

I also note that many fencers are short on social skills.  Myself included sometimes. ( Note: Fortunately my friend and training partner more than makes up for my poor social skills. We are the Yin and the Yang.) It seems only natural that there are parents of fencers with poor social skills.

The father really got under my skin. I cannot seem to let it go. I always had trouble with letting things go. If it happens again, I am going off on him to what ever degree is needed. I will not be able to stop it. So...Is the problem the father or is it me. I wish I was the kind of person that could just shrug things off. Sadly, I have never been and I think it is bit late for any major personality changes.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Embarrassing Progress

I came to my journal today to use one of the links posted there. I ended up reading  some really stupid stuff I had posted years back. Goofy stuff. Things I thought, but they were wrong. Pretty embarrassing really. It makes me want to cringe, or delete a bunch of stuff. Maybe the whole thing.

On the other hand, the whole darn thing was meant to record my fencing journey, so I would remember it. Now that I am further up the path, my opinions have changed. I can see how wrong I was concerning some things . I can see the thoughts I know to be true.

Maybe that is why I started this journal in the first place. To keep track of progress.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

50 Years of Coaching

Last night I attended a banquet for Coach Ron Miller. He is head coach for UNC fencing. It marked his 50th year of coaching. I felt honored to be invited, as this was for his alumni that had fenced on his teams over all these years. My training partner and I had the privilege of being the only "current" students I saw there. It was rather amazing at how many of his former team members that we knew.

There were good stories. There were plans announced. I got to see my friend, Mrs. Coach.  I got to hear Coach speak.

At the end of Coach's speech (It really wasn't a speech, it was a request.) he said, " Go find jobs that you love. I am the luckiest man in the world."

Maybe he is, but I saw over a hundred members of his teams, and they all counted themselves pretty lucky for his influence. And I think they were.

This was really not a celebration of years or wins. It was a celebration of the man.

Monday, March 20, 2017


I think that if the world of fencing is soup, I am becoming a fork.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Henri Gales Takes Silver in Women's Vet 60 Epee

My training partner takes silver at the December NAC in women's Vet 60 Epee  . The term "training partner" seems less than descriptive when describing our friendship. I am so very proud of her. Go Henri Ellen! Top Photo: Henri and Coach Brian Toomey . Owner and Head Coach Charlotte Fencing Academy (who also medaled in Men's Vet 40 Epee.) Bottom photo: Coach Ron Miller Head Coach for the UNC varsity fencing team and celebrating his 50th season. I have been so lucky in having these coaches and I have been blessed to take this fencing journey with Miss Henri.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Short Random Thoughts

I am 64 years old. I have seen my parents die and my wife's parents die. Eventually you have to clean out the house where they lived and throw things away. Some of the keepsakes you toss would have great sentimental value to them. I am sitting in my man cave looking at fencing medals and such. I hope to leave them around, so my grand kids can find them. Perhaps they will think they are cool. I look at a nice 1st place one. They will not know that there were only 5 people in that event. I have a couple of coaching certificates and such hanging under the trophies. Other certificates with my fencing books and note books. If the kids dig through those books, they will find one certificate I got at an almost useless clinic. If you read the thing, it makes me sound like Zorro. Hope they find it.

Fenced in a tournament yesterday. I was seeded 7th going in. I was seeded 7th after pools. I was seeded 7th in the final results. It means nothing. I keep looking for meaning in epee results, but epee stats are akin to chaos for some of us. No longer looking for meaning there.

A couple of months back, my training partner got sort of conflicting instructions from our two coaches. As I remember, it had something to do with her stance. She talked on and on to me about it on the drive home. She was thinking out loud about it. After some time I stopped her. I looked at her and said, " You have 5 national medals, a couple of coaching certificates and you have been fencing for 11 years.You aren't a 10 year old listening to your coach. Your coaches are not petite 63 year old women fencers. Always listen. Occasionally, silently question advice. In the end, you must figure out what is right for you. You're smart enough to do so. Need to figure it out? The answer is always on the strip."

On a related topic: In fencing, often there is more than one correct way to do something.