Sunday, May 25, 2008

Over 50 ( Part Three) or The Quaker Fencer Speaks

The following is a comment on my journal from my friend Kathy, who fences in Nottingham , England. She was worried about being " mean" by posting this in the comments section of my journal. However, I am grateful for her post and will add it here. You can read more of this truly sweet and intellectual woman's thoughts on a blog called " Quaker Fencer".

"This is really good and useful.  I'll add one point for women over 50.  I heard years ago that, while women lack the burst of speed that men have, they have greater stamina and endurance.  (This was written in relation to marathon running and the author - I can't remember the full context - suggested that if the marathon course were ten miles longer, women would win every time.)  If you're an older woman, this will sometimes work in your favour.  I've even occasionally had the experience of beating or nearly beating a much better male fencer who has run out of energy while fencing.  This won't work against really experienced fencers who are good at conserving their energy and, when you're over 50, physical setbacks can cause knock-on effects for ages.  But it's worth looking at male opponents to judge how much energy they have left - if your male opponent seems to be running out of energy, it's time to draw on reserves and move a lot, as fast as you can, changing distance, etc.

Jim, I feel mean posting this on your blog.  But if, like me, you're a woman over 50 with no previous history of taking vigorous exercise, it's helpful to know that there may be a point in club nights and competitions where, eventually, you'll find you still have energy as the men around you are flagging.  Just as men use their greater strength and speed in mixed-gender bouts, women have to call on stamina and endurance.  "

Thanks Kathz

Now for a few closing words from The Gray Epee and it is for men and more importantly younger men.

I started to include my thoughts on the differences between woman and men that start to fence and are over fifty.

ANYTIME a man starts talking about the differences between a man and a woman, he is getting ready to screw up. ( Pay attention here younglings, these are pearls of wisdom.)

Fortunately, I am going to not delve to deeply into the subject here and I am posting a " GENERALITY DISCLAIMER " so that I might escape with only minor wounds.

Ladies: Please note that I attempt to broach this subject for the good of young males everywhere. I realize that I am dealing in a generality and that I am dealing within a sub-group of woman kind which is also so very, very varied that there is no way to accurately do this. Still I must try.

I continue.

I have known women from every area of our nation and many nations world wide. However, the women I come closest to understanding are women from the Southern United States. Please note that I said " closest to understanding".  There are things different about a Southern woman other than her accent. I think that the thing Southern woman have in common ( They are so varied ) are that because of a rural heritage they are closer to the earth. They are wilder and purposely unpredictable. But because of the common rural heritage and a need for information like this in the past they have always talked with each other about medical problems, child birth and menopause. I mention menopause as it goes hand and hand with aging. Women ( The women I know best) know what is coming as they age.

Young men, however, are pretty much clueless. Yes, they know that some men loose their hair and put on weight. they know that hair starts to grow where it never grew before. Some of them know that anyway, I suspect some are clueless. There are gross misconceptions on sex. I will stop there.

They are unaware of things like: After 40 you will start to gain a pound or two each year and through your sixties in most cases. Not all ( much depends on genetics). At the same time you will start to loose muscle mass in a similar fashion. If you are lucky, you have done some strength training in your 20's and 30's guys. It will pay off.

The very best thing you can do to learn and prepare for aging is to talk with your father, The odds are that you are a similar genetic copy and you might just learn something that will help you in the future. It could also help him. Knowing his medical problems would be of great benefit if he was hospitalized and unresponsive.

Think about it guys. Do it.

Gray Epee.......Over and Out!


pchilcoat1 said...

Kudo's Well Said...Have a pleasant Holiday

rdautumnsage said...

I beg to different on the generalization of Southern women...simply put if it's your experience doesn't necessarily mean it's everyones (winks - said with a slight smile) I lived a mere 9 years in the south and that was Fla. Dairy/Farm country. The rest have been lived here in NY and we tend to be well known for our strengths as well. It's easy to find those strengths living in warmer climates, to do so in the midst of ugly winters is astounding. Albeit Southern woman might be more inclined to care for their bodies with younger women with bare necessities for apparel running around.

Your right you did get into a small bit of crossing the line on the woman's side with that statement. I don't think it matters where we derive from...we all have the same kind of problems in age and endurance. It's not a matter of where you come from rather the choices you make to take care of yourself at any age. (Hope you know this was meant to bring a smile, not exactly to disagree)...(Hugs) Indigo

judithheartsong said...

Congratulations on your essay win this month, and I am glad that it has led me to your journal!

Judith HeartSong

rdautumnsage said...

Whoop!!!(I'm jumping up and down, I'm so delighted)....Congratulations on being the winner of the Essay contest my friend. That was every bit as worthy as the rest of us! (Hugs) Indigo