Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Good Is Your Worst?

I am not a country music fan, but I think Toby Keith and I could be friends. The best part of frequent work trips to Oklahoma City was visiting the famous Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill. But of his many chart toppers, my favorite has a line that I really love...

I ain't as good as I once was
But I'm as good once, as I ever was

When thinking about fencing, especially since I have nine whole years before I age into Veterans competition, the question for me is "How good am I at my worst?"

Over time I've learned headaches don't bother me, shocks and shots to the groin hurt but don't stop me, and I can fight through fatigue. My stomach however is my Achilles' heel. In 2008 at the Dunwoody Southern Star, I managed to shake off the flu long enough to beat a Mexican girl who offered platonic friendship if I took a dive, only to lose in the round of 32 to a patriarch of Div I fencers from Florida.

Thanks to Jersey Mike's subs, I had a wicked stomachache yesterday morning at Dunwoody FC's May Melee VIII and was struggling in pools. When I fenced a Veteran from an area club and I couldn't land a remise, I knew I was in trouble. I won 5-4, but pools didn't go much better from there. A 3-2 pool record matched me with one of my private students in the 32, and it got ugly very quickly. I took some Alka-Seltzer and laid down much of the afternoon, so my student and I could have a better showing in the team event.

So, my personal best thus far is top 4 in an A2, and second place in a B1. When I am fencing my worst, I end up somewhere in the 32 at locals. If I am to reach my goals, my current best needs to be my future worst.

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