Monday, May 04, 2015

About That New Season Plan


Well, if you have been keeping up - Portland wasn't pretty. I didn't fence badly, but there were too many points where I couldn't make an action come together. I literally see what the opportunity is, what will work, and I know what it takes to make it happen - but my body refused to execute.

Since then, work has gotten crazy, I am spending more time with my girl, and I find myself getting tired so easily. All that stress equalled less time at the club, less time working out in general, and yet another disappointing showing.

At the Colorado Divisional qualifiers, I had one goal - qualify for Nationals. Winning would have been nice, but qualifying  is all one must do at a qualifer. What that goal broke down to was a decent showing in pools, and winning two DEs. That's it. Nothing to it, right?

I nearly lost the first one. To a new fencer.

It has been so long since I competed, I was beating myself. Thankfully my coach was there to tell me that, and I won 15-14 by just sticking my arm out like I should have been the whole time.

The second DE was more difficult, but I fenced better. I had a solid two touch lead until I felt my legs just SLOOOOOOWWWW DOOOWWNNNN. It was horrible. Actions my opponent couldn't make work in the beginning worked beautifully now. My legs felt like dumb logs, and my sword hand cramped and throbbed as I struggled to keep my en garde credible.

Losing because of fatigue is the worst way to lose. There is no class you can take on fatigue, no pill. it's all on you - and the lack of discipline, training, determination, grit, TheRockness, all those qualities that seperates the badasses from the candyasses.

So, Nationals ain't gonna happen this year. Nor should it have happened, because the last thing I need is a beatdown with a four-digit pricetag (air, hotel, car, registration, food, obligatory rounds of booze with which to celebrate or drown my sorrows). I do have one more decent sized tournament this season, and I am determined to crush bones not my own.

More importantly, this is it. I am sick and tired of complaining about my body and my endurance. I love alcohol, but I can live without rich foods and such. I may not compete every weekend anymore - Colorado and its youth friendly schedule takes care of that - but I can still make the most of everytime I do. My new goal is to remake myself physically into something I can be proud of, so I can cherish each win, and lose with ablomb instead of with pity.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Season, New Post

It has been a while since I posted. The good news is that I got 2nd place in the tournament I mentioned earlier. The bad news is that I still have a ways to go to gain back my endurance. My precision is returning, and I am able to manage the bout with my feet... for a while. At my age it is so easy to gain useless weight, but hard to get rid of it. I am limiting my red meat, and i am trying to work out in the club at least 2-3 nights a week. I have a tournament in Portland, OR in October and I think I have a chance to do really well. We will see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coletrain is slowly, BUT SURELY, coming back

A coworker and myself before fencing at DFC
So it has been over a year since I lasted posted. But there is a good reason! Soon after last year's post I was offered a great job here in Denver! Yay! But I would have to start right away. Boo! But I will be making more money sooner... Yay! But I was too close to the end to drop everything, so I had to continue all the activities below until I finished in June. BOOOO!!! But, money! YAAY!

Once June rolled around, things slowed down - and yes I have been able to compete more. And lordy, did I start sucking... Oh my. And it is not like everyone else is better - my body just refuses to do what is necessary to get touches. Things that my body could easily do two years ago.

Worse, I am in another ratings fiasco. If I don't renew this year, I drop down to a D and lose my eligibility to fence Div I events! I have competed in three events this year, and all I am doing is learning the true extent of how much I have lost by not competing. My strength is still there, but my timing and precision, as well as my tactical decision making are all rusted through.

However, I am fencing a tournament this Sunday at my home club - so wish me luck!!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ugh, It Has Been A While...

Fencing at Akershus Festning - Oslo, Norway

Well, I kept my word... it has been a while. Graduate school, the second year, has been insane. Tons of classes, papers, presentations, exams, plus working 9+ hours a week as a TA and graduate assistant, and on top of all that - teaching fencing. In what little free time I get, I ski and enjoy the Colorado weather.

Competitive fencing has unfortunately taken a back seat. I strip coach for my club, referee for the division - all of which pays more than competitive fencing for a poor graduate student. However I was able to compete once, so far this season... the Goering Open at Denver Fencing Center. The event ended as well as one could predict. I got my butt handed to me in my first pool bout by a mid level local fencer. Then I had it handed to me again in the second bout. After that dose of reality, I started remembering I used to be good at this and won the rest - ending the pool 4-2. After winning my first DE, I lost to the eventual winner - 15-12. Not bad for over a year off.

The good news for me and you is that I graduate in June... and once I start working full time, I will be able to afford to compete more often. Coletrain is coming back.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Fencing in Oslo

So, for the first time in ages I am missing Summer Nationals. It kinda sucks, except for the fact that I am working in Oslo as a marketing intern for the summer. Eventually I will post pictures of where I am fencing here, but there won't be any competition based posts until well into the 2012-2013 season. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Colorado Updates

It feels awful. I have been present at three mens/mixed epee events (Colorado Cups and Georgia Games) without fencing them. The first was a mistake. I was supposed to be in Vail skiing for Race & Case, but there was a last minute change of plans - so I coached a fencer to the medal round. The second two I was refereeing - which paid well and helped me earn a higher referee rating.

Last season I competed almost every weekend trying to re-earn my B or get an A. I always fell short by a couple touches in the necessary round. This year, the few competitions I fenced were difficult - and I am trying to get better. I am lighter and in better shape than last season, but my timing is a bit off, and the events in Colorado are less top heavy.

After reviewing my top ten goals for my life (last updated in 2005) on there is the goal of becoming a champion fencer, what ever that might mean. I don't think I have it that goal yet, and while being in graduate school it is difficult for me to pursue. I suppose I can try practicing more at the apartment, but I also need to carve out more time to study. There is a conflict between one thing that is very important to me and costs money, and another thing that is very important to me and in which I have already sunk a huge investment. These things shouldn't be in conflict, but I really like sleep too.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Aside: How to Live Life Part I

In business school you get a chance to see how the men are separated from the mice. How smart people react to bad grades depends on: a)if they had ever gotten bad grades before, b) if they have ever had anything bad happen to them worse than bad grades. I am a pretty smart guy and a and b have both happened to me. So I have a lot more perspective than some of my peers, and I am gonna share that here.

1. Commitments matter
In school, fencing, life - commitments are like currency. You use them as you see fit, and if those commitments are broken you feel like you were robbed. You should never make commitments in haste and without deliberation, and if you do make a commitment you consider it like you would a contract. If you make commitments and don't keep them, you are like the guy who tries to buy a subway sandwich with monopoly money.

2. Solve someone else's problem once in a while
Here at DU you are asked to do community service as part of class. You are meant to use your business skills to help the organization be better - which is a nice way of saying solve someone else's problem. I apply the same principles to helping a sexy bartender figure out how to use her bachelor's degree. I am not wedded to the outcome, but I put all my mental faculties to the solution just the same.

Fencing Foil at South Denver

I am not a foil fencer. I don't look like one.


I don't act like one. But if I can't beat my high school aged foil students in a tournament, I am gonna be in trouble. I ended up in 6th place (out of 17) in an in house tournament. Mostly because I like to attack, am annoyed when I am parried, and my response is to drive forward rather than recover-retreat-counterparry-counterriposte.