Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No Title

I just returned home from a long weekend of doing repair work/yard work at our beach house. The last couple of days were all about relaxing. I got in some gym time and I worked on my "elbow problem" a little.

I return home to a great many e-mails and forum post concerning meetings and frustration. There are e-mails about miscommunication and people that are hurt and people that are offended.

I seem to be the cause of a part of this.

I re-read and re-read the paragraph in my last post that dealt with the frustration I felt concerning how things were going.

I seem to have offended Jen by writing this. That was not my intent, so I deleted that post. I may put part of it back at a later date, as I record things I want to remember. Like the post, titled "Jen" , which oddly enough is the previous post now.

I started to write more on the subject, but I think we may be having a meeting in the near future. I will wait until after that.

For the life of me, I cannot see how wanting to grow fencing in this area turned into a thing that frustrated and upset so many people. It seemed like such a good thing to do.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Tonight Henri and I met with Jen Cox. It was Jen's idea to meet with us. She seemed to have had a " Zen sort of thing " that she should coach us a little bit.

We talked. She asked us about our goals. We talked about fencing in National events. She felt us out a little bit in different areas. She offered us advice and perhaps a little guidance.

I am sure Jen would correct some of what I am about to write concerning her coaching style. I would say it is patient and relationship based. I would call it, "Coaching-Lite".

One of the things that I came to understand was that Henri and I are a team. I never really thought of it that way until this evening. Because we have the same ideas about fencing and are close in age ( Oh no...that was a misprint....I am MUCH older.) we coach each other. I knew that...and I did not know that....all at the same time.

I cannot remember Jen's exact words concerning this , but she lightly praised Henri and I for going the extra mile ( literally ) to take seminars and workshops and trying our best to improve our fencing. Jen said
we are ahead of the game of the average NC fencer for taking the initiative beyond what your club offers. I do not know if feel that is true. BUT, what I do feel like after hearing Jen's words were that I reached a goal. It is a goal that I wanted sense I started keeping my journal. I did not ever think I would reach that goal, because it kept changing. I had many requirements that I needed to meet before I reached that objective. Tonight, I find that I reached a goal and I did not even know it.

I am a fencer.  That is all I have wanted to be that for the last 3 and a half years.

I hope Henri feels the same.

So...we got some advice...some encouragement...maybe a little direction.

Jen said that no one ever calls her coach. They just call her Jen.

I will try to remember....just once in a while.....I will call her coach. She certainly was one tonight.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hard and Good Weekend. It Starts Again.

I went by Friday to say farewell to Tommy who is headed off to college. I was not going to fence. I had such an awful time at work last week, that I was just not in the mood.

I ended up fencing anyway. I did terrible. It was ho-hum fencing. The exception was when I fenced Tommy. I always like fencing him the best, because he is better than I am. I have to change the way I fence to give him a run for his money. Most of the time when I fence, I try to fence with out emotion. When I fence him, I increase the distance between us by about eight inches and I fence with a focus and aggression that I do not use on anyone else. He asked me why I fenced him like that and did not fence anyone else that way. I explained. He said that I should try other people that way and make it my style.

At dinner, I asked Cam about this. She said that it was a problem she had, because she fenced down to peoples level so often. ( words to that effect.)

My thinking is that I should fence to win at DFC. I have to temper this with age and ability, but I need to see if fencing that way has merit. More importantly, I need to see if the way I had been fencing there is without merit.

This weekend I went to a weekend camp at Touche Fencing. ( Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 3:00) I needed something like this to help jump start me into this season. It was a lot of basics and hard work.

He does some foot work a little differently than I am use to. ( Peter is from Hungary) It was fun to  try new things. I enjoyed the target work. I also practiced on a electronic speed target. ( It has lights that move randomly to give you different targets and it records your speed and accuracy. ) I always thought when I read about this item, that it just sounded like a high tech gimic that you could buy. However, after seeing how it can be used, I see it as a great training aid.

Saturday it was god-awful hot there. Coming back home and at home I had the worst cramping I ever had in my life. It was not just in the legs, but left hand and side as well. Not heart attack stuff, but pain caused from a lack of hydration. When I say pain, I mean PAIN. I almost went down in parking lot on the way home I hurt so bad.

I was better prepared on Sunday and had no problems, other that I am sore in a lot of places. (Which is what I wanted.)

I spent some time being coached by a 74 year old Russian fencer. That was an experience I will not soon forget. It would need an entire post to go into  it. I will only say that while "gruff" does not fully sum up his coaching style, it comes pretty close. None the less, I enjoyed it and would not trade the experience for anything.

I have some concerns that I was actually fencing better earlier this year. I wonder if it is because I have not been training as hard. Or is it that age may be catching up with me? Or could it be a lot of things together and I will work through it?

My plan is to try and train hard again and see where that leads. I will know better by Thanksgiving.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Friday evening, August 10, 2007 Mr. Leon Pointy, known to friends and family as "Mr. Pointy" passed away.

He fell victim to an old "S" curve and his blade was snapped in half. He was proceeded in death by an Allstar weapon. They were both 3 years old.

He is survived by his owner, Jim Kent of High Point, North Carolina.

In an interview, Mr. Kent stated, " This is the way he would have wanted it. To go out in a friendly bout and not to lay in a case, slowly rusting away." At this point, Mr. Kent was overcome with emotion and could no longer continue.

Mr. Pointy was an organ doner. Many of his parts will be passed to other lesser epees. His bell guard will be a memorial.

Flowers are appreciated, but the family would like to ask that contributions be made to the Leon Paul charity, " Replace Mr. Pointy Fund."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gosh, I Love Woodchuck on Draft.

Last night we had a coaches meeting McCouls.( kind of an Irish pub ) I think it is the perfect place for a fencing meeting. I slurped down a picture  of Woodchuck cider. ( This is a wonderful drink on a hot summer night!)

We are/were trying to bring some higher level coaching to our club; still keep it OUR club ( Meaning we are the leadership) and do the "Y" , the community and our students a service. ( As well as the outside coaches and ourselves.) It seems like a good idea and a good thing to do, but it is ripe with political intrigue. All of it hinging on money and control. ( At least that is what I see...maybe I am wrong.) It is just a little club in a part of the state where there aren't much in the way of fencing clubs. It is just a little band of people that love fencing that are trying not only to keep fencing going, but improve it. It seems like people would want to line up to help and not try to hinder or take advantage of the situation.

We left with three plans:

(A) Modify the schedule and the first plan and try that.
(B) Modify the schedule and the people involved in the first plan and try that.
(C) Modify the schedule and coach it ourselves. Try to improve ourselves over time and hope a nice high level fencer or two moves to the area and wants to help.

It was a good meeting and good company.I feel better knowing we have a plan, no matter how the chips fall.

Henri and have talked about it and we will continue to head down to UNC and study with Coach Miller and fence people that beat the crud out of us....well...mostly. Getting the tar beat out of you isn't fun, but it may help us improve. In truth, I often wonder if we will ever be any better than we are right now. Courtney said that things will be organized into a more class like environment this season. (Sounds good). The main negative is getting back home so late at night. We should be able to suck it up one night a week though.

No matter what happens,I think the club will be okay now. And no matter what happens,I will find a way to work with Coach Miller. Things may not turn out perfect, but everything will be okay.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sam and Jaime

Cork; Sam and Jaime

Anne and Sloth

Anne ( wife) and South American Critter

Fencing Break

I try to keep my journal about fencing, but as there is not much fencing going on................ here are some pictures of my family.

Picture of Abe and Jaime at our beach house. Abe just asked her to marry him that weekend.

Courtney oldest daughter...Sam  and Jaime at beach house.

Anne and critter from recent trip to Columbia to meet future son-in-laws family. Not that there aren't a huge number of them here in the U.S..

Jaime and Sam

Sam is the youngest.....19.  Jaime is 21. Courtney AKA the oldest.....25.

Daughter Jaime and Future Husband...Abe

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Last night we fenced "doubles epee" for the first time in a very long time. ( Two fencers fence two fencers on the same strip at the same time. This is made possible by having two reels and a special device made from old body cords. Once a touch is made, this leaves one fencer to fence two fencers.) I would like to say that it has training benefits, but I have no idea if it really does. It is however, swashbuckling fun. Should you fence two people and win............just for brief get to feel like Cyrano or Zorro....or one of those "O" people. Maybe I should become Jimo next season.

Henri returned from Coaches College this week and Friday night was her first night back. She scored a 97 on the written part of the test and a 91 on the practical. We are all proud of her. I got her to model her black Allstar coaches jacket last night. It made her look very tall. ( lies)

Mario , fresh from Epee I, at Coaches College lead the class last night. We are proud of him as well. With both he and Henri wearing black, the term " Sith Lords" came up.

I did a little "coachy" stuff and helped Scott ( Will's dad)  pay his dues. I think I did it correctly. Close enough. I noticed only he and one other person had paid dues. Tommy was there and is heading off to college in a week or so. I did not bring up the dues thing for the other people as he was there and I felt like he had done enough for the club to get a couple of weeks free. (A small fare well gift for him.) Plus..I like fencing him. I will leave it for next week and talk to the coaches.

Cam and Woody are doing the " 48 Hour Film Festival" this weekend. When they are rested, I think we need to have a coaches meeting some place that serves beer or Woodchuck cider. We need to talk about next season and figure out some things.

Cam is suffering from a bad burn and I do not know how she is doing. I assume she is doing better, as she is helping make a movie this weekend.

I enjoyed fencing doubles last night. I enjoyed fencing epee. I can't wait for next season to start.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August...Stupid...Stupid August.

As I shaved today, I realized that I do not have a single bruise on my body. I cannot remember the last time it was like that. If you fence epee, this is a bad thing, or you can parry to beat the band!

August...Hot...not much fencing.  Nobody has even posted much in the way of upcoming tournaments.

If it was not for trips to the coast, and homemade ice cream...if it was not for eating watermelon outside and washing off with a garden hose....I would be in favor of skipping August and heading right into September.