Saturday, September 8, 2007

Beware the Big Blue Bastards!

When I first started fencing at the Downtown Fencing Club, I was just one of a couple of adults in the class. I was not immediately accepted. That is no one's fault. They were mostly kids and I was big and scary looking.

I can remember the night Woody came to me and said;" The kids have accepted you. You no longer intimidate them."
My reply was a joking,"Well...Damn it!"

I looked at Sally and Cam and Woody as if they were gods in those days. I hung on their every word and action. Even this journal, came about because I read Woody's blog. Prior to starting in the club, I did not even know what a blog was.

Now in the space we use for fencing, there are big blue heavy gym mats on the floor. There are three of the damn things. In order to fence, you must drag these things a good ways and store them. As most of the class was kids and as you did not ask gods to help drag mats, I became one of the main people for dragging these awkward things at the beginning and end of class. It was no big deal in some sense, as they got moved on nights I was not there and before I joined the club. It was a little thing I tried to do to show respect/gratitude to my coaches.

Other than moving those mats and hurting people with an epee ( not on purpose...mostly because my distance was bad and my hand was moving at a high rate of speed) I do not think I did anything that set me apart from anyone else. The other possible exception to that was that I could pass for a responsible adult.

After a while at the club, I was looking at the club web site and saw that I was on the " Leadership Committee". This is a group of people that reflects the composition on the club. ( Vet,kids,parents.....That sort of thing.) Nobody asked me if wanted to be on that list. I was just there. No one even mentioned that I was on the list. If I had not read it,I would have never known. Nonetheless, I felt honored.

Time went on.

I continued to try and help out as much as I could. I am sure that trying to help out and pay people back that helped you, is some sort of work ethic that my parents drilled into me.

For some reason, while writing this, a phrase about Dwarves ( from the Lord of the Rings ) pops into my head.
" No friend ever did them a favor or no enemy a wrong, that was not paid back in full."

All this rambling on is because over the last month or so, I have come to see that I am one of the "leaders" in the club.
I am not an important leader. I am sure as hell , not the best leader. I don't lead the most. However, it has become pretty clear that I am one of a handful of leaders.

This totally freaks me out. I am not a very good fencer and my leadership style ( I am flattering myself there...I don't even have a leadership style ) is more like being a grumpy father.

I never wanted to be one. I still don't. I am more a " neither a collar or a crown" type of person.

So of late, I have reflected on how this came to pass. Where the heck, did I go wrong?

I know what it was now.

I drug mats.


ncfence004 said...

I just want to say - leader or not, you're still one awesome guy!  Sharon

woodycavenaugh said...

Each leader has a specific role which they fill.  You are the father type.  I'm the fool.  Cameron's the cute one who secretly runs the show.  Mario is the one everyone likes.  Henri is the one who protects everyone else from you. ;)  She is also lord and high mistress of the abyss.