Saturday, July 29, 2006

Doubles

Last night was epee night. As usual, it is a happy day. We fenced doubles for the first time in a long,long time. ( Doubles is where two fencers fence two fencers on the same strip at the same time, by specially rigged body cords and two reels on each side of the strip.. When one is touched it leaves you to fence two fencers all by your lonesome. That seems like the odds are truly stacked against the single fencer.....and they are. But when you win against two fencers, you get this TOTAL Zorro feeling!)
 
It is great training. The truth is that I have no idea if it is good training or not, but it is awesome fun.
 
I learned something of interest last night. I generally think of it as two people against two people. There is more to it than that.
 
It seems that most of the time when teams are formed for doubles, I get the new little kid. I don't mind that. In fact, I kind of like having to take care of someone on the strip. The downside to fencing with a little kid as your partner is that your evil and vile club members are also smart. They try to take the better fencer out first. It is interesting no matter who your teammate is. There are strategies we use. Stay together. One fencer drops back and the opponent follows him in, his partner hits him. When it is two against one, one of you goes high and the other goes low seems to work most of the time.
 
What I learned last night, but did not master, was that if you can break off from the two people you are fencing from time to time, you can almost feel when your partner is going to attack. Last night was different, as I had Mario for a partner and he is a full grown guy! That was very interesting. I also found an interesting thing in that when Mario and I were fencing one person, you could use an epee ploy in a different way. It is very common for an epee fencer to wait to get someone coming in on the attack. Inthis situation, you can wait for your opponent to attack your partner..and do something totally foreign to epee. You can parry!! Then if your partner is on the ball, he touches for you. To cool!!!!
 
I always like testing myself one on one in fencing, but it is so refreshing to do doubles. To some extent the winning becomes less important and the fun becomes even greater.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Foil

Monday was foil night. Once again and no miracle occurred.....I still sucked. In fact, I think I might just be the worst foilist I know. ( All things considered.)

I use to beat myself up over this. I don't anymore. At least not real bad. I cannot believe I am going to coaches college to study foil. That truly "weirds me out " sometimes. Have I brainwashed myself into some sort of place where I will never improve? Do I just stink at foil and should I just except that?

I love epee. I just feel so at home when I fence it. I do not think I will ever have that feeling with foil. It will always be foriengn and an effort....rather than a joy. I hope I am wrong.

I am a bit concerned that they will laugh me out of coaches college. Okay...more than concerned. Stupid...stupid ....slide and forward checks! Sorry..I need to vent. It is better now.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Topsail Island and the Lazy Epee

I just returned from a week at the coast. ( Vacation )  As this journal is devoted to fencing, you might ask how this comes into play.
 
I had a list of things I was going to do for fencing during the week. I took a foil and an epee. I took a glove. I took the rule book and" Foil One" notebook. I took fencing instructional videos.
I planed to eat right and work out every day. ( Weights and Cardio.) I planed to study fencing rules and foil one everyday.
 
This is how it went down.
 
The "eat healthy" part did not even make it a day. I really did not have high hopes, but I thought I would do better.
 
I did work out everyday but one. I did well in that regard. My workouts were around an hour and a half and very balanced.
 
I read part of my rule book and "Foil One" book twice I picked up a foil and practiced once. I picked up an epee once, but that was to chase Sam my eighteen year old son. I did not poke him hard and I only did it once. He had it coming!
 
I did foot work twice. I did not get my slide right or my forward check. That was part of my goal for my vacation. I did not really think it would all happen, but I hoped for a little better.
 
On the bright side, I am well rested and browner. I also visited a North Carolina winery and sampled a lot of their product. I had a nice relaxing time.
 
I am off for two more days and I shall work on my slide and forward check. I swear it!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sabre

Yeah...I know I said I was setting sabre to the side for a while,but I went. I could use the footwork practice and I am moving and fencing, so that may aid me.

I went early and set up an elaborate test for my new wickedly cool LP foil. It worked fine. It was either...me...or a tiny club lame with a lot of dead areas. I am happy my foil is working. I want a new epee just like it. Sadly, I need some fencing shoes first.

I have not been working out hardly at all over the last couple of weeks. Sickness, heat and extreme laziness have hindered me. Next week at the beach, I intend to devote the trip to going the gym...eating fairly healthy ...and studying my fencing manuals. I hope I can stick to that!

Boring post....sorry!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Departure

Last night was foil class. It was also a small farewell gathering for Sally. She begins (to some degree) a year sabbatical on the West coast.  There was food. There were gifts. There were fencers returning from Nationals with their tales. I enjoyed hearing them and look forward to hearing more when the UNC camp ends. It was a small group, but a good time. I did not tell Doc good bye as I will see her in Colorado. I will think about it then.

My ultra cool LP foil Henri brought me from Nationals does not seem to be working correctly. I think I may need to take the tip off and stretch the spring. I will do a test Friday or Monday. It is one pretty weapon, working or not.

On that note, the evening was marred by a GROSS and uncalled for action during a bout with Henri. A woman who has only done her best to elevate our decadent epee population with her dedication to foil. A woman who with a single word could have had me disqualified in our bout for a gross infringement of the rules, yet honorably held her tongue. I mocked her on strip. If I could, I would black card myself. Oh, what a poor example I set for our young fencer. I shall live with the shame of imitating her "victory jumps" for the rest of my wretched life. I shall not ask for forgiveness, I do NOT deserve it!

Editors Note: Woody made a comment to the effect that the two kids that were fencing were veterans. High five Tink! What better compliment!

Okay...I know some of this does not make sense to you. It seems cryptic. Yet..it is my journal and it makes sense to me! I am going with it!

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Week of July Forth

Foil: Best of all classes. We did not even dress out. Only two fencers besides my self showed up. We yacked;ate and went home.

July Forth: Still feeling under the weather, but ate like a pig.

Entire Week: Followed the results of our fencers at Nationals. We had some that did very well. They met or exceeded their goals.

Epee: It was fun. I fenced okay. I found myself leaning a couple of times.My forward check still stinks and my slide bites as well. Must...practice! I think I have a new move. It is a beat and go from the other side, finished with a glide down the blade. I will test it out on some other fencers before I add it to my list.

My little pal Jordan told me that the young people are intimated by me. I find this so odd. I have cultivated being that way. It has kept me safe a time or two in my travels and it has helped me in other ways all my life. I find myself a little to gray and fat to be intimidating these days. Perhaps others do not see it. It can't last much longer. I told Jordan and one of the twins, they should not feel that way. All they have to do is wait. They will be in their prime and I will be in a walker. I see it all so clearly. They come for a visit after college to the club. As they leave, they whisper," My, Jim has aged! His hair is totally white." That is not a pity thing, it is just a fact of life. I can remember being their age and seeing this happen to others. My turn.

So "kidlinks" if I get lucky fencing you or if I have a day in the sun, fear not, your time is coming and mine will pass. Besides, I have many of those bad days already.

Monday is a Bon Voyage party for Sally at the club. It is covered dish. I need to go suck up to Anne. Jordan and I will also plan our club outing to "Pirates of the Caribbean" that night.