27 June 2020

I am the champ

That's what I was telling myself yesterday-- if not always at the most appropriate times. I'll explain:

I adopted a policy-- suggested by another fencer-- that I not check the ratings of the other fencer before my matches. That is, I didn't want to know that I was fencing A or B rated fencers. It gave me an excuse to lose the match, if that makes any sense.

So my second match was really hard fought-- the two of us trying everything we could to win the touches. I finally won by controlling my distance as the other fencer threw a fl├ęche at me. I retreated, parried and threw a riposte right off the mask. Good touch. After we had saluted and unmasked, the rest off the pool gave me awed looks and kept saying things like: "Wow. Terrific bout, man." I thanked them, but wondered what the big deal was. Then another Baton Rouge fencer took me aside and murmured: "Dude, you just beat the pool's A fencer." I was, of course, stunned. And thrilled. This was the first A fencer I've beaten in serious competition.

Two matches later, I did the same to the (unknown to me) B fencer. At this point, the rest of the pool is wondering, "Who is this 'unrated' fencer beating up on everyone?" And in my head I was shouting something like: "I AM THE MOTHA@#$%ING CHAMP! WHO AM I? My name is YOUR DOOM! COME AND MEET ME!"

I promptly lost the rest of my matches.

To E-rated and unrated fencers-- all of whom I should have beaten, but who sandbagged me by using my innate impatience against me. And it worked. Julie and Lucy showed up just in time to see me lose my last bout of the day. But Lucy was a huge hit with the other fencers-- especially when she demanded "Knuckles, Uncle Richmond!" and hit fists with me afterward.

In short I fenced really well--better than I had anticipated-- and had a lot of fun. There's something there for me to build on.

The rest of the day involved lunch, wandering by the Louisiana in Words presentation party at the Maple Leaf, a couple of cups of coffee, and dinner at my sister's house. Not a bad Sunday at all.

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