Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Massacre on the Mountain
The picture above is from ASU's "Massacre on the Mountain" tournament.
Epee was on Sunday. I competed in an "E" and Under Event" (low level event), and the "Open Epee" which was an A1 (high level event).
My friend, Henri, and I tied for third place in the "E" and Under Event". I had
hoped to do better in that part of the tournament. I guess it makes me feel a
bit better that the two guys who took first and second also got their "D"
ratings in the Open.
In the Open Event, Nicole and I tied for 10th place. Again, that was kind of a
disappointment, but it is what it is.
(Note: I try to be realistic in my opinion of my fencing ability. If I sometimes
err by thinking it might be a smidge better than it is, I think that is
Some days you are Zorro....some days you are the evil California Governor's
The glass trophies presented at the tournament were very elegant. I was
Other than a rubber duck (long story), I have never had a real trophy in
fencing. I am working on a shelf to display it next to my small collection of
I need to review something in regards to reffing: I noticed a ref who would not
award a point to a fencer making a touch as their opponent passed by them, although the attacker's action started before the opponent passed by them. To me, this would be a "soft halt". I have never read about it in the rule book, but I have had it called on me by refs I respect, so I have always considered it to be
If I am correct, I would have thought that particular ref would have known better. This is epee. If you fence it long enough, you should know how to make most of the calls.
Over all, the event was pretty much fun. I am glad I went.
I also recommend the burritos at the Black Cat in Boone. Yum....mee!
I don't want to get my hopes up, but the club has a couple of promising leads on a new space. It is still too early to tell. The positive signs are due to the
efforts of Woody and Cam.
I have to bow out of helping my friends in the struggle to continue.
I have about half dozen major personal problems. I figure any three of them are enough to send someone into depression and some industrial strength "happy pills."
My job is hanging by a thread for one. I have the type of career that is very
specialized, and at the moment the need for it seems to be wavering. I have no
idea what I would do should I become unemployed. It is not the money I worry about so much, it is the health care for my wife.
While I have a job, I will also be spending every third week in Vegas for the
foreseeable future. Even though I loath Las Vegas, there are worse places a
person can be working. I have been to most of those.
Last week, I visited Charlotte Fencing Academy and took a class (sort of). They
do a lot of conditioning there and fencers give off a lot of heat.
I had been sick earlier in the week, so I was not at my best. The kids had been
at it for a while before I got dressed out. When I got dressed, I saw everyone
was doing stretches and I thought....."SWEET"..."I missed the hard stuff. Let me ease on in here and act like I did all that endurance building stuff." Not so
fast, Jim! After stretching, there is a really healthy dose of more endurance
stuff. It kicked my butt. Even if I had not been sick, I could not have hung
with the kids. That is a sad reality to face.
I did notice the time Kerry showed up and made a note of that for future reference.
Everyone was very gracious, and I enjoyed the visit. In particular, Kyle Barja was really nice to me. (He is arguably the best epee fencer in the state, and we had never really had a conversation before). He pointed out that even though we had been to a lot of tournaments together, we have never fenced. I told him that I had always wanted to fence him, though I knew it would not be a challenge to him, that I would enjoy it. He went out of his way to see to it that we bouted. Afterwards he gave me some tips. That was incredibly nice and mature of a young man like him to take the time to make an old guy feel at home. Most kids his age would not have done that. I will not forget it.
I went because I had thought about trying to train with them during the summer, or if the DFC was no more, I might want to see what the drive down there is like.
I will wait and see what the future brings.....or takes away.
At the "Massacre on the Mountain", I had three kids call me "sir". The first time this happens to you you are kind of taken aback. It was comforting to see young people with manners. But it was a reminder of my age.
Tonight we had a good group lesson with Coach Miller in Greensboro.
Prior to beginning, Tommy was talking to Nicole, and she said something that made him feel old. Tommy asked me if that was what it was like for me.
I forgot my response, but I thought about it on the drive home.
I know that I am slowing down.
But so far, when I am on strip.....just for that time....nothing hurts and I don't feel old at all.
It is one of the great things about fencing.