This was a tough one. I was slated to compete in Div I and Div II Men's Epee, with a new coach and new larger lungs fresh from Colorado. The only difference between this event and the last NAC is that I knew exactly what happened this time.
On Saturday, I got to the venue early - stretched, warmed up, and wasn't hitting anything in practice bouts. My first bout in the event I won 5-4 with some slippery dodges paired with counterattacks. Apparently in the other bouts I lost touches because I would retreat with the parry, and retreat again with the riposte. Apparently I lost my bulldog freight train edge.
On Monday, I got to the venue early - stretched, warmed up, and was hitting a lot more, but was having trouble avoiding being hit. In the event my bouts were mostly even - 5-4, 5-3, 5-3, 4-5, 4-5 - and I lost in DEs to some kid who was fast but not interesting. My first thought after the embarrassment subsided was "I used to be good at this."
Unfortunately, even though I work part-time in a fencing club, I have not trained as much as I have in the past. I also work as an accounting TA and am a fulltime MBA student. While dropping an average of 2lbs a week is extremely good for my current and future help, it might be affecting my fencing as well. The point being - I really don't have time to fully prep for success at an NAC with all this going on, so I am going to walk away from them for a while. Next season (2011-2012) I will be traveling for school and interviewing for full time jobs, as well as trying to graduate - the incentive to spend $500+ for another NAC without some probability of success is insane.
I will still fence locals, and I may travel to tournaments like the Remenyk Open in Chicago or even Georgia Games in Atlanta, but I am done with huge fees for a while.