Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Emotion in Fencing

Fenced at another UNC tournament last weekend. I upped my rating. But that is not what I am writing about.

( Note: It took an embarrassingly long time to increase my rating. But as my coach has told me. I have had the worst luck in the history of fencing. He has also mentioned that I am never allowed to go to Vegas with him, due to that luck.)

Emotion in Fencing

You never read much about it, but it is always there. Apprehension. You may not do well. Nervousness, if you are new to the sport. Every fencer has known disappointment. Sometimes you experience joy and pride. If not for yourself, for others. Desperation; pity and once in a while even anger comes in to play.

There is a fleeting bit of emotion when a touch is scored on you. You shake it off so fast, you may not be conscious of it. I know, I have said, "Damn" under my mask more than once.

I know some people fence better when they are bit angry. Myself, I usually fence without emotion at all. ( Discounting the times when I say a bad word under my mask.) I prefer it that way.

My training partner is the most emotional fencer I now know. It effects her game in a huge way.
I say that, but I am male and most of us have the emotional range of a turnip.

So what are you getting at Jim?

During my last tournament, I had to fence a person I love. I have fenced with her since she was 12 years old.  I am friends with her mom. I went to see her play softball in middle school. I went to see her when she was on home coming court in high school and to her graduation. She graduated from college this year and was in the college fencing club where she was awesome.  My training partner and I have been to many a tournament together with this young woman. I remember so many times, we would talk about who we had to fence next. When ever we had to fence a really good fencer, we would always look at the most unfortunate one and say these meaningful and supportive words, " Sucks to be you." It still makes me smile.

It is hard to fence someone you care about. Harder for some than others. I am not talking about a coach/student kind of bout. That is a different animal.

We had to fence each other at this last tournament. It went 14 to 14 and then she got the last touch.
It was the strangest mix of strong emotions. Disappointment at the loss and pride in my friend/fencing daughter comingled until  it was hard to deal with. Don't get me wrong, I have had WAY more disappointing fencing experiences.

I did not realize or think about, that an even higher rating change was in the balance. I was just trying to make it to the next bracket.

 Now the disappointment has faded and all that is left is pride for my young friend/fencing daughter.

I wanted to win that bout. I wanted to make my coach and fencing family proud of me. No matter how old you get, you still seek out approval, That in it's self is a type of emotion.

I wish I was clever enough to write something meaningful about emotion and fencing. I wish someone would. It is a subject that now interest me.

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