Monday, December 23, 2013

It Is More Than That or The Gods Envy Us

 Pictured  (in her whites) my friend and training partner Henri Gales. 5th at the Dallas NAC in Vet 60 WE. Her 3rd national medal. Like myself, a late blooming vet fencer.

In your life there are defining moments. Moments that set your life moving in a totally new direction. Many times these moments are by choice, other times not within your control. If you are a fencer and passionate about fencing (there are many of us) think about the time you first picked up a blade. That one moment that changed your life. It caused you to spend so much time and energy in the pursuit of a mastery that few of us will ever achieve.

Was/is it worth it? In my own experience, it is a resounding “Yes”.  All the time and money and travel are worth it.

I think back to that first moment that I held a blade.  I think of how the same action changed others. Coaches and people who make a living through fencing come to mind first. They are the most obvious. How wonderful it must be/have been for a person to have a career doing something they love so very much. But there must be many less obvious fencers whose lives were bettered by this sport. Ones that you have no idea how fencing changed their lives. Sometimes it seems to me that calling fencing a sport is incorrect. Often, it seems, it is more than that.

Perhaps I am over romanticizing my view on fencing. It is impossible to say one person loves something more than another. However, I think of the movie ”Troy” and Achilles speaking about the gods. He said, in essence, that the gods envied mortals because there time was finite. Because their time was finite, the beauty they saw and the passion they felt burned brighter than the gods could ever know. I think it is somewhat the same for a late blooming vet fencer. (One who found fencing later in life and felt the passion for it.) Our time is finite and perhaps. . . just perhaps. . . it makes our passion burn hotter.

Gods or mortals, not many will envy the battered knees and aching joints of a late blooming Vet 60 fencer.  We envy those who started young. But it may be that we get something few fencers will ever experience.