Monday: I went to foil. Small class and I got some footwork in.
Thursday: I went to UNC. I fenced twice. I fenced a C fencer and a nice young man that I would guess has not been fencing a long time. ( When you fence at UNC, no one keeps score. As best as I can determine, it is done until someone is ready to stop. Guess which person is the one ready to stop in MY bouts. ) Mat Cox was there and had Kathy and I do an epee drill and kept an eye on us. It was a a second intention sort of drill. I had a nice PL with Coach Miller. The PL is good. It is real good, but it is most likely going to take a lot of them for me to become more proficient. Part of my lesson was concerning a beat attack. I have always beat the same way I do in foil. Coach Miller told me to use the bottom of the "V" to do my beats. I want to make a note of this so I can ask him why. I would guess that it gives more spring/speed to the attack, but that is a guess on my part.
You knooooww.......I am doing the things I think I should do to become better. I head to UNC. I fence better fencers and take PLs from Coach Miller. I fence in tournaments every week it seems. I go to foil and epee nights in Greensboro. But I just do not see how this is going to make me better. Okay...I learn some good little things from Coach Miller. I pick up a move or two at tournaments and fencing the guys better than I am. (Or just watching the higher rated fencers.) But HOW is this going to make me better? When I fence in tournaments I am largely fencing my same old game. Am I just reinforcing my old habits? I fenced poorly this weekend, but I did change the way I did a beat attack and it was successful. IF I improve will it be by such small increments that I don't see it? Or it could be that you really can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Friday: My wife broke her good foot. My wife (Anne) has been a juvenile diabetic sense she was around 13. She wears an insulin pump now. She broke her right foot more than 2 years ago and it went to hell. She must wear a brace and a boot to support it all the time now. Thursday night she broke a bone in her left (good) foot. She X rayed it at the vet office where she works and has an appointment to go in have it looked at on Monday. She told me to go fence epee Friday night. I went, but I felt like a low life and I helped set up and went home.
Note about my family: My wife and kids have been very supportive of me fencing. It helps me with stress, which means I am less likely to grump at them. They are FOR that! It gets me out of the house to get a little exercise and thus frees up our best TV so my wife (and the daughters come over) and they watch these TV programs I care nothing about seeing. They fear that if I were home I will want to switch the TV to the SiFi channel or something. They are probably right. So...They are supportive, though as Kents and women, they have their own agenda as well. They want me out of the house some nights! Sam (my 18 year old son) is at college most of the time, so he does not factor in as much.
My wife may end up being unable to walk (or only hobble a short ways). It could be that I will have to cut back on fencing. It may be that I will have to give it up. I always knew a day like this might come, due to Anne's medical needs. You must sacrifice the things you love sometimes to be a father and to be a husband. I hope it does not come to this, but it may. I will know more on Monday.
Saturday: I skipped CALL and went to fence in Raleigh. There were around 17 people fencing epee. There was much double striping and people shuffling back and forth from foil and sabre to fence epee. I finished sixth in pools, which is right where I hoped I would be. Then I went stupid. Okay...I fenced 4 tournaments in the last month or so. I have been pleased with my results in the last two. I was due for a screw up.
I drew tiny Nora our Div Chair. She was ranked 12th after pools. I had already started looking at the tree to see who I would fence after her. Yep..I was sexist and I underestimated her. I knew she was a good foilist, but I planned to kill her with my height advantage. Not so fast Jim!
Oh well. I felt bad for being away from home and not being at the CALL class. I was riddled with guilt and I am glad I went home early. Now...I would like to say this is the first time that I have seen I was fencing a small woman/girl and did not take it seriously. It is not. Okay...I am a slow learner who was raised on John Wayne movies. In time I will get this, but I am just going to have to work on it.
There were kids from ECU and State fencing clubs were there. The State club has improved. I fenced a guy that I beat easily last season and I had to work hard to beat him this time. They aren't pretty...these kids...but they can get some touches. ( Note: I would like to be a pretty fencer. There are a couple of 14 (a guess) year old boys that fence at UNC. Their posture is so good when they fence. Their footwork is smooth and athletic and their blade actions and crisp and perfect. I know that my big old heavy body most likely cannot move like that. It is beautiful to watch. Perhaps I can change a little of me to look like that. )
While on this subject, I wish to make an announcement. SOME PEOPLE did NOT get the memo!!!! I am supposed to work hard and improve, while every other fencer in the world stays JUST the way they were the LAST time I fenced them. If you think you have mislaid this memo, it is the same one where all of you other people will seem to age, but I am supposed to remain largely unchanged.
I am heading to the stereo and putting own some T-bone Walker and some Josh White. I need to hear some blues.