Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Marx Clinic

About a week ago, I thought I would give up fencing, A combination of different things seemed to have taken the passion and love I had for it away. I thought I might just skip Nationals and take the money and invest it in another interest. A nice bow or canoe...or something. My training partner talked to me...punched me a few times and I decided I would go to the Micheal Marx Clinic I had signed up for and see if something there could rekindle my passion. It did. It did not not make the passion burn hot, but it was a spark, He told me one of my actions was beautiful. I have never thought that any of my actions were beautiful. It is amazing what just a few kind words from someone can do for your attitude.

The Marx clinic was a good two day event for me. I needed it. There were only around 18 people so it was even better than I had hoped. I have some things to work on both as a coach and as a fencer.

Another thing Michael told me was that, " Because I am strong, I am working twice as hard as I need to." I think that he means that that my "takes" or parries are to forceful. Could just mean some of my actions are to big.

He told my training partner,Henri, ( Henri Ellen...she is a's a Georgia thing.) that she has courage. I have often admired that about her. I often wonder what freakishly tall guys think when they fence her. I wonder if they think about what it must be to be her size and age and face them. Anyone can be confident when they know they are going to win a fight. It takes courage to fight someone when you know you have no chance. And yet you enter the battle anyway.

In a thank you note to Michael I mentioned that Henri and I started fencing after we had turned fifty. He said in his reply, that he did not realize that we had started so late. It just struck home with me. I guess few people would just guess that we are late bloomers. It is a strange thing to think about.

Michael also invited Henri and I to his Vet Camp in Bordeaux, France. If I had 5,000 dollars to blow on fencing, I would certainly be there. It has often been our dream.

A bunch of teenage boys ate my lunch fencing at the clinic. A couple are my teammates. They are around 14. I did okay with the older fencers,but it was bad news against the younger ones. Remember when you first started fencing and your coach would tell you to just get touches and don't worry about winning. Is that going to be the way it is for me again? Is it going to go full circle?  I will be 62 this weekend.

I found a couple of actions I want to work on at the clinic. One is a feint to the toe setup and one is a sort of an inquartata thing,parry 4 and come back to parry 6. The last one is a foil sort of thing. They are bending twisty fencers. I thought that it may have some use to compensate for my slow legs. My legs are strong. But they are slow and not very flexible, As my coach once told me," You aren't are sudden."
Thing is, it would take me getting hit a couple of hundred times to figure out if I could make either of them work.

I am also getting killed with kids that are able to draw my counter attacks or attacks into prep. I don't know what to do about it. That is my strongest action.

I also ran a game when I was fencing Henri n front of Micheal, that  I do sometimes. He said it was a good game. I may need to try and incorporate it into my standard game. At least it keeps my weapon hand moving and it is harder to hit.

Lots of things to work on and think about. Who could ask for more from a clinic.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

.8 Pounds

I am point eight pounds away from weight loss goal number three. I could cross the threshold today,but there is a dilemma deluxe. I need to have the energy to practice tonight. Just have to see how it goes at weigh time tomorrow. If I can hold it there and then go to the Michael Marx clinic and have a couple of good workouts, that should do it.

25 pounds over the length of time I have been working on this is not all that impressive. I am shooting for another 5 lbs. loss before Nationals. Not that it will make any significant in my fencing, but fencing is about control and I can control this. (I think. I am craving shrimp egg fu young.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

This and That

The Future of the Club

One of our coaches just had her second child. She said she would continue (most likely) to coach after a leave of absence. I am not sure that she grasped what having a second child  will mean. This and other factors could end or possibly change our little club. We have shut down for two months this summer, for a much needed break. We have not done that in a decade. I wonder if we have enough students to pay the rent when we reopen.

I am not worried about it. It we continue....great. If not, that is okay as well. We are all volunteers. We don't make money on the deal.   We kept this club going for ten years after it's founder left. We have had many successes; helped a lot of kids and introduced a great many people to fencing. We have had kids make NCAA teams and do great in college club events.  More important, we helped kids develop socially.We gave back to the sport and I am proud of what we have done.

We will just have to see what happens.

Money and The Marx Clinic

This month many things are in competition for my limited fencing dollars.
1. Saving up for Nationals expenses.
2. About 200 dollars for a Marx clinic.
3.150 to 200 dollars for new club warm ups.

Can't do them all. I will rule out the warm ups for now, as I am in little danger of making it to a podium at Nationals. I have been to one Marx clinic before and I did not get much out of it. It was geared for coaches and students. I went as a student and it was heavy on the coaching side. This time the out line shows a lot of things that look like they are of value to me and it will be about 16 hours of training I could really use. I need to decide on something soon. It is this weekend. I hope I can make it.

Nationals....I am going. Not sure why,but I am.


There is a lot of luck in fencing. I am not talking about lucky touches or easy pools. In fencing as in buying a house. it is "location...location...location." I live in a dead area of fencing. It has been so hard to improve and my best years for improvement are behind me. 4 hour drives to Charlotte once a week or 2 hour drives to Chapel Hill (both round trips) to train once a week. I so envy those who  have a good club near by and can train often. You don't grasp what luck did for you.

There is more to it than that, if you think about it. You did not make the part of you that is driven to train hard or the part of you that was gifted with athletic ability, anymore than you made the part of you that likes to eat to many cookies. It was luck. It should keep us humble.