Another fencing tournament; a medal; and another injury. Signs of aging.

Last Friday night, for the first time in years, I entered a fencing tournament to defend the honor of the Fleur de Lys Fencing Club. Well, maybe not the honor. There isn’t really much of that with a bunch of hackers like us. But to show the colors, at least. It’s been many, many, years since I last lifted the blade in competition. This fall, with us in Ballard and the club only 5 minutes away, I knew I’d never get away with not showing up. So I’ve been fencing again.

Most nights we do foil. That’s what all the beginners start with, and is the most popular blade in competition. I’ve been helping direct and giving pointers to young guys such as Nathan here.  Now I know he really just rolls his eyes when I’m not looking, but I really do want him to get better.  So I do my best to beat up on him when we do fence. Monday nights we toss in epee and on Wednesday we sometimes break out the sabers. All of which is to say, we don’t do sabre, my weapon, near enough to get the timing and skills back. But heck, it beats never doing it.

So when the club decided to host a spring tourney, and even include saber on Friday night, how could I not say, “Yes”? I took a medal for third place. Though honestly, I didn’t feel at all comfortable on the strip. No timing, no point control. I just felt off. To me it was clear that I’m going to need a lot more work to be as competitive as I once was.

But in the process of battling through to the semi finals…I aggravated my old rotator cuff injury in the left shoulder. Damn. I came back for more on Saturday, but with a hurting shoulder, I had no parry. As a result my foil stank up the gym. As I mentioned off the top, it’s a sure sign of aging. I feel fine, but my body is trying to tell me something else. 😉

So back to practice tonight, learning to fence left handed. Ugh. I tried it a little this past fall while I was rehabbing the right shoulder the first time. Let’s just say, my form was a little odd and I felt like a rookie all over again. God’s way of reminding us of the need for humility in all things.

Love to all. And as we say at the Fleur de Lys, Місце i битися! Which is Ukrainian for “Stand and Fight!”



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