Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Random Stuff

September is Fencing's Spring

This is the time of year when you look at AskFred and give a heavy sigh. Nothing to look forward to in fencing unless you are going to a camp or Nationals. I am doing neither. Sometime in September, local tournaments begin to pop up like Spring flowers. I look forward to that time.

Weird Things I Keep Thinking About From the State Games

My training partner received a call from a ref for covering target. She was fencing epee. That is all I need to say about that.

There was an unusually high amount of maladjusted obnoxious young people fencing epee. (Or maybe I just had the misfortune to be around these people.) One of the worst bell guarded a tiny female vet fencer in the head. He went back to the en guard line, rolled his eyes and made no effort to apologize or see how the petite vet fencer was doing as she lay on the strip. I could hear snotty things being said by his teammates. To think, I once tried to help these people. Damn!

USFCA Testing

I am taking my last shot at certification through the USFCA. I emailed Jen (Fencing master in the state who can do certification.) She said she would do it, however working out scheduling with Coach was needed. She asked me to talk to Coach and see when he could help with a weekend clinic.
I have not done that yet. He has done so much for me and the Division of late, I feel like I am taking advantage of him.

Coach is an unsung hero. There are a couple of other folks I can think of in this Division that also fit that bill. Maybe not to Coach's level, but still unsung heroes. I though a couple of times about trying organize a Divisional banquet and honor some of these people in some way. However the reality of how that would turn out has kept me from pursuing it. I can see people there being petty and thinking they have done more than so and so. And the truth is that there are  a lot of people that do things to make stuff happen in this area. You might just miss someone that deserves recognition. Just a pipe dream I guess.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Maestro di scherma, maestro di vita.

American Fencer

I finished reading American Fencer" by Tim Morehouse this week. It was a good read on several levels. One thing in particular that I found interesting is that we share the same struggles. I certainly do not mean that I share the same problems and have the same talent as an Olympic fencer. But most of us have problems with time and money. We question ourselves and the sport. We learn ( hopefully) from defeat. I see the book as having a sort of an everyman perspective. I wonder if the author sees this. It is such a personal story for him.

Good luck this summer Mr. Morehouse.

The State Games

I did fairly well in the State Games yesterday. I finished in the top eight in a field of 29 fencers. There were a goodly number of veterans this year  and I took the bronze metal for vets. They give out medals for all kinds of things in this event. One of my students and teammates had three different medals from this one vent. She looked like a Christmas tree.

I did not do well in pools, but won my first two DEs and lost the third 15-14. Another wiffer for the rating. Always a bridesmaid....never a bride. I did not deserve to win the last bout. I was stupid. I blew a 6 point lead. He adjusted and I didn't. If my teammates had not coached me, I would not have seen how he adjusted.  I am not sure if this was stupid or not. My teammates advised me to open up the distance and wait. I did not see that working. I was only scoring when I attacked. So I did not listen to them. I made my own decision. Right one? I have no idea.

A pretty young girl who is one of my teammates and a sabre fencer got her"C". I was so proud of her. My "Christmas tree" teammate gave a lesson in humility to someone who desperately needed it. I have never been more proud of her. There were lots of lessons in humility given. I got a couple myself.

One of the best things about the games was that Coach Miller was there. He was slap worn out from camp this week, but brought all most all the scoring equipment for the games and stayed the whole time. It was a god-awful long event. Coach was hurting, but he gave so much. Awesome guy. I hope he gets some rest today.

The best thing at the State Games was that Coach watched me fence and was proud of me. He rarely has time to spend at local tournaments. He must focus on his team. But yesterday he was there and I did not disappoint him badly. I am thankful for that. It meant a lot to me.

( Note: Mostly likely a ton of mistakes in this post. However,my legs and I are worn out and I don't care. I will come back and fix it later.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Off Topic

I just hit sixty. For some reason, it was a heck of a lot less traumatic than turning fifty. Except for leg flexibility and not being able to run, I don't see any major problems as I step across this threshold. It isn't a big deal.

I have decided to depart from just posting on fencing related topics today in celebration of my birthday. no particular we go.

I like steam baths. The gym I belong to has a very nice steam bath. I use it as a reward for working out. More than the sauna or whirlpool, this is a slice of heaven. I have no idea why. I have read about the benefits of steam rooms on line. One or two seem like bull poop. If you have lived to be sixty, you have seen things like eggs and aspirins change sides on the "what-is -good-for-you" list many times. It makes you a bit skeptical when you read about the benefits of anything. When ever you see a steam room pictured on TV or a movie, it is often full of fat old men. Maybe it calls to us on some plane. I just like it.

I like to see girls with ponytails run. I think this might be sexual and at my age...a little creepy. But I don't mean it that way. It is the hair flipping back and forth. But it is also the grace of the run. I love the way some women move. More and more in this country you do not see it. But it is still there in Europe. Women that move with a feminine grace. Not feigned. Or if feigned, feigned so well that it appears natural. It is hard to explain....this movement. It could be anything from a tilt of the head to a way a woman moves on strip. I love feminine grace.

I love my two year old grandson. He is beautiful and brilliant. I am not just saying that because he is my grandchild. He is. At two, he can read all the numbers and most of the alphabet. He knows shapes like trapezoids and hexagons. He knows half the planets in the solar system by sight. It goes on and on. He is my pride and joy.

I hate people that park right up next to a store entrance in a fire lane. Handicapped people don't park that close. One day, I will snap when I see these lazy inconsiderate bastards. It is not going to go well.

I don't understand  young people that can't communicate. I can cut people my age or older some slack. You need to be a little tech savvy to communicate these days and some of them just don't have the skill. But you young people! What the hell?  You have some sort of communication device with you at all times. Many of you are so addicted to it, you have to check it every ten minutes. ( I am being kind there. Ten minutes may be too much.) Yet you can't answer a communication or let someone know when you will not be somewhere. I just don't get it. Maybe it is me or people my age. We had to work harder to communicate for most of our lives and understand the courtesy that should be involved. It was a lot harder with snail mail and phones that did not move or have voice mail. I should mention, that this does not apply to all young people.

I love people that try to help the future of fencing in this country. I want to yank a knot in those that are harming it.

Done. Moving on now.


Tuesday, I plan to have dinner with a couple of  fencing coaches that have over 90 years of  experience between them.  I have wanted to do this for a long time. When I was learning that which was my career, I learned a great deal from listening to the old guys at work talk. It is my hope to just be quiet and listen to these experienced coaches talk fencing. I might learn something! I think this will be so great. Can't wait to see how it goes. One of the coaches is my friend and mentor, so if it does not turn out like I think, I will still enjoy it. Also there will be fencing afterwards. Yay!