Friday, March 30, 2012

‎2012 Division Spring Annual Meeting

Tomorrow at the end of Divisionals there will be voting on amendments to the bylaws of the NC Division.

 One of the things to be voted on will be an amendment to exclude fencing clubs that are not USA Fencing members from being listed on the NC Division web site. There is a provision for college clubs, but I do not consider it to be understanding of most of the college clubs in the state. The NC Division will spring for the 40 dollars needed for a basic uninsured membership for these clubs, if they hold a tournament. However, it does not take into account the club would need 10 USA memberships. 10 college kids in a club coming up with 60 bucks is a lot to ask when they are struggling just to have basic equipment. Ever been to ASU; Wake; UNC Asheville; UNCG clubs? Or what about a unique program like NCFDP? Great program and has been good for fencers all over the state, but is it a college club? Besides college clubs, recreational clubs would not be listed either. This doesn’t sound like it promotes fencing in the state to me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time Will Tell

This was me, clowning around, when I was about 26. I tried to do this same kick a couple of weeks ago. Not only did I hurt my knee, but I looked like an eighty year old trying to do it. What the heck was I thinking? Once....I had flexibility and good knees.

I have two or three more tournaments before I turn sixty. I am already qualified to fence national events at Vet 60. However, I do not think I will be attending any this season.

I spent part of the last eight years just trying to see myself as a fencer. I thought I had to earn the title of "fencer". I didn't think anyone else had to earn it. I just felt like I did. As time passed, I came to see myself as a fencer. In the next decade, I will most likely see myself as "having been a fencer". I may repeat the process and strive to see myself as a coach. Time will tell.

I use to think people my age just let themselves go. I did not really think that,but I must have thought something like it. For a long time, I did not see getting older as a big deal. I gained some weight. My metabolism was broken. I could walk by cheese cake and gain three pounds. I got gray hair and hair started growing where it had no business growing.

It seems that things are changing rapidly as I head towards 60. Leg flexibility is almost gone. My coach often talks about my balance. I wonder if part of that is age related. I have a bad right knee. I have leg problems. They always hurt to some extent. My eye sight has diminished a bit.

Of all these things, my legs are what I would wish to have magically made better. I so miss running. Nothing in my life ever relaxed me like running trails through the woods.

There are things I wonder about. I use to be intimidating to some degree. By that I mean my appearance was intimidating. That was part of who I was. Now I wonder if when a person sees me, is all they see a heavy guy with long gray hair. I remember about ten years ago, a beautiful women friend of mine, told a friend of hers that I was harmless. What a hell of a thing to say to a man. I hoped I would never live long enough to be thought of as harmless.. But maybe I have.

I have friends my age that got old fast. Their physical impairments are greater than mine. But also, they just seemed to give up and embrace their age. Not only that, but I think that some of them have a small level of resentment that I fence and often compete against much younger people. They have never said as much. Yet, some how I sense it. If I am right, I don't get that. I am always proud of my age group when they best a young one. GO TEAM!

I may be making it sound to much like doom and gloom in regards to turning sixty. I have some things going for me. I am fairly strong. Upper body is good and even though the lower body has some problems, it is strong as well. I have a full head of hair. I even kind of like the gray color. My hand speed and reaction time is still pretty good. Over all, everything works just fine.

I would have loved to have fenced when I was 18. I hate I missed what that was like. I would have been such a better fencer.

I wrote all this trying to describe what it is like to become a Vet 60 fencer. The fact is that you cannot really do that. You cannot make anyone else feel what it is like and it will be different for every person. (At least to some degree.)

I will close this post on a positive note. I fence better than I did a year ago. I am improving. In my mind, improving and having fun are the main reasons to fence.....................and I am doing both.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fort Mill Fencing

This weekend, I fenced in a tournament in Fort Mill, SC. One of the things that made it interesting was that they were having a World Cup Pentathlon event in nearby Charlotte, NC. This was a Olympic qualifier event.

A dozen or so of these extremely fit young people showed up at the local tournament. They were from Argentina; Canada; Ireland and Germany. It drastically changed the mix of the local tournament. It was hard for anyone to stand up against the Germans.

I was mediocre in pools; won my first two DE’s and went out to a “B” fencer 13-15. I had the lead 11 to 9 and blew it. I am still kicking myself over that one. But I had a good time and it would not have done anything for my rating if I had won. The pentathletes and taken out all but one of the high level fencers and even though there were 53 people in the event, it became a “C2”.  I finished in the top 16. I was not to bummed about that, considering the pentathletes in the tournament.
It was a fun event.