Monday, March 22, 2010

Never Give Up - In Fencing or In Life

I have been busy with work and life - both fencing and blogging have fallen off a bit. But, I will be back soon. Until then, here is a classic from 'Tales from the Dark Side" I hope you will enjoy.
This past weekend I helped referree a tournament for the Georgia High School Fencing League. Mostly this involved wearing a jacket and tie in a hot and humid gym, and looking mean and cross as I directed bouts. That was pretty easy because I was wearing a jacket and tie in a hot and humid gym. During the DEs one thing I noticed that pained me was how a lot of the kids seemed to give up in the third period when they were only down a few touches. It's one thing to get murdered, or to try something and fail. It is quite another to give up hope. I firmly believe if you give up hope in sports, you will give up hope in real life. Even if you know you can't win, you play for pride - just so your psyche remembers to hold on when it really counts.

It reminds me of my first official date in Indianapolis, back in 2001. She was a pretty petite blonde, who was introduced to me by her identical twin sister. I was excited about our date, but I also didn't want to screw up the golden opportunity to tell the story of the genesis of our relationship six years later. The plan was for her to meet me at my place, and I would drive us downtown to Palamino's in the Indy Circle Center.

Things got hairy when I was looking for street parking for about five minutes, and Ginger got tired of waiting. Just at that moment, I saw a space right across the street from the restaurant. I eased in front of the space, and as I prepared to back up to execute the perfect parallel park - Jerry Seinfeld started directing. Yes, a late model yellow Corvette pulls halfway into the space, just stopping where I am halfway in. Sonofabitch.

I make motions telling him to move on, and he flips me off. Personally, I was ready to just give in - I was hungry too - but then I heard Ginger speak. "You aren't seriously gonna let this guy have this space, ARE YOU?" You see, this is why women are responsible for all the violence in the world. If one of my guy friends said that, I might brush him off. But on a first date with a hot girl who wants a manly man, there is no way I am giving in to some douchebag in a penis car. So I start honking, a lot. Then I flip him the bird - with both hands. And for good measure, I back into the space at speed, at the same time. He is driving a brand new sports car, I am driving a company car that I was gonna wreck sometime anyway. Guess who got the space?She smiled lovingly and tossled her hair when I executed the best parallel parking job of my life.

Honestly, the rest of the date was wrought with bullshit (racist waitress who kept giving her wine in a soiled glass, neighbors who ambushed Ginger when she got back to my place - eliminating any chance of a "nightcap") - but I doubt I would have dated her for a year if I gave into that yellow Corvette.

Sometimes you gotta know when to fold them; but if it is time to hold 'em, you fight to the very end.

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