Monday, June 29, 2009

Matching Expectations With Reality

One of the hardest things to do is fence someone you know as they improve. Their mistakes are obvious, but their adjustments and improvements aren't - especially in the middle of a bout. Which is how a 9-2 lead turns into a 13-15 loss with 0:01 left in the match. That loss was in the round of 16 at the latest Dunwoody tournament, and I was so exhausted after that bout there wouldn't have been much hope of winning the next bout in the round of 8. Part of the problem was my 2-2 pool record, mostly due to weapons problems - although I had a close call in my first bout. Coming back 5 unanswered to win 5-3 is impressive, but it's also symptomatic of the fact that I didn't warm up.

And even though I was angry enough to murder for the 30 mins after the loss (unless you are a close friend, clubmate, coach, or relative - do NOT approach someone right after they are knocked out of an event if you want to keep your teeth or your composure), I made the 16 which is an accomplishment - as meager as that seems. Since I earned my B in late 2007, I've competed in 18 local tournaments (22 total) in foil and epee - and in only five of them (A2 level) have I made the round of 8 or better. Two of the 18 were foil (Div 3 events) events and I made the 8 in both of them. If my interest is stacking up medals, it seems foil would be the way to go until I place out of Division 3 in that weapon too. Unfortunately, my interest is improving in epee - which means that my expectations should better match reality.

So while winning is the overall goal everyday, and touching without being touched is the immediate goal - the realistic stretch goal at this point is to at least make the round of 4/8 and to win enough pool bouts in every event to make the top 75%. It will be tough, but the good news is that I am have lately been hitting these targets.

Monday, June 15, 2009

On To Nationals

The GA Division Championships were last weekend, and well - yeah. I decided to not compete in any individual events this time around. The nice reason is that I haven't been to practice because of work, and wasn't sure I'd do well. The not nice and other reason was that I had friends in town all week and I knew I would be hungover if not passed out by close of check-in at 8:30am. These two reasons are also why I haven't competed as much inside Georgia as in the past. National and out of region events get on my calendar well in advance of any planned shenanigans.

And I sucked royally in the team events. I gained some weight because I haven't been to the gym in two months, and work stress has made it worse. Plus I haven't been to two practices in a row in the same period - so my distance perception was in the trash. I have less than three weeks to turn both those problems around.

The first step will be eliminating the shenanigans until after Nationals. That won't be easy. The good news is after I return from Austin, you will be able to find me at Mr C's. It's convenient to many of the fencing clubs in ATL - see you there.