Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"I Don't Care About You... I Care About Fencing"

Fencing is my favorite pastime. More than football, more than girls, more than just about anything.

The last person I had to explain this to was an 8 year old who wanted to take my club's beginner's class. Unfortunately for him, there was an Regional Youth Circuit (RYC) tournament going on... so he was the only one in the class. The kid never fenced before, and learned the joys of teaching your body to hold an en garde position. Anyone who has ever fenced before remembers that the first time hurts... a lot.

Of course, this kid didn't suck it up like most future successful fencers do, he decided to moan and cry. And he even got upset that his pain didn't bother me. Or that I freely admitted that I really could care less. Which was true... if he wanted to make an effort, I was more than willing to help him along. But I don't baby anyone, not even the little ones in my family. It's just not dignified.

On a similar note, I had a conversation with a cute girl from Houston the night before Men's Division III Epee qualifiers. She wanted me to assemble a crew and come and hang out with her and her friends. I demurred, because I had to be on the road to Statesboro in less than five hours. Then she said I could come alone, and I knew what that meant. And I still said no. That was the day fencing officially became my favorite thing to do.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

So Close, Yet So Far...

I did everything I was supposed to do. I had a rough start in the pools at the AFC Grand Prix (D and Under Epee), but I made the most of it. My record was 2-3, but my two wins were decisive (5-0, 5-1) which helped my indicator. I came in at 18th of 27 before the DEs, and I fought tooth and nail all the way to the semifinal. One strong high schooler kept me from the final round, but I should have been happy because I would have earned my D07.

But it doesn't always happen that way. Because most of the Ds got knocked out of the tournament before the round of 8, the whole event was downgraded from a C2 to a D1. So for me to win my D, I would have had to win it all. Not to say I didn't try to win it all anyway, but it would have been nice to have a new rating to reward me for the slogging I was doing all day. I will just have to settle for a third place medal.