Is wrapping yourself around a fencer in a full body hug, pressing your body up against them as your legs ride up and wrap around them, just to stop them getting past you a sign that you’ve lost perspective? If so, I am lost, very lost. On Friday, after winning a bout against Gerald he started doing his ninja magic and I couldn’t get him, I couldn’t even get close to him. At one point, I lunged, he avoided the blade and ran past me, so I chased him down the strip and ended up wrapping my body around him, legs and all (that will stop him running away!). After I realized my position and sanity returned I explained to the guys watching with open mouths: “I’m sorry, my desire for Gerald overwhelmed me.”
“We all know that feeling” William comments dryly.
On Friday I came ready to lose, and started winning. When I thought, “Great, I’m winning!” I started losing. It starts to make me a little odd. Even after Gerald has gotten the point we keep poking at each other. “When you’re lying in bed tonight,” I tell him, “You’ll remember my touches....wait, that didn’t sound right.”
After my final bout and humiliation at the blade of Gerald I dropped to my knees. Trying to get the blade tip far enough around to rest on my neck I tried to fall on my sword. Not advised while still plugged into a body cord.
Friday had started so well, I got up, energized and went for a 4.5 mile run. However without Linda to pace me, as I passed people walking their dogs, vanity pushed me to run faster, and faster. By mile three I was a bit heat touched and tried not to vomit by the side of the road (so much for vanity!). I ended the run 20% faster than our previous run on Wednesday. Too fast. So for the rest of the day, my body took revenge. That night at epee I was wheezing and gasping, sweat pouring down me, two people came up to me to ask me how I was still standing (you know you are looking good when that happens).
Last night, I went early to practice lunges in the mirror as I felt my footwork was getting sloppy. “Too slow!” Mr. Ho yells at me, “You could practice 1000 of those but you are too slow!” Thus begins a lesson on lunging.
He pushes me out, he has me lunge as long and as hard as possible then grabs my blade with both hands and tries to drag me forward “Where do you feel it?” He wants to know. Front leg turns out to be the wrong answer. So he pulls some more until my lactic acid has built up to leg twitching levels. “Do you feel it?” Yes Mr. Ho, I’ll say whatever you want if you please let me get out of this extremely long lunge position. He finally lets go and I manage not to fall over. “No! You must snap back. Snap! Like an elastic!” More long, long lunges.
As Mr. Ho has the key to the equipment and his assistant can’t get his attention away from my problematic lunge, the entire club is lined up against the wall for 20 minutes watching as Mr. Ho shows me more things I am doing wrong. Everyone watching – check. Instructor shouting out my inadequacies – check. Am I naked – no. Then this isn’t a nightmare, it is really happening.
At least he doesn’t weigh me. Last Monday Amanda told me she was getting weighed and having her fat percentage taken by Mr. Ho the next day – she hasn’t shown up at practice since.
When we get fencing I am already a bit in the la-la land zone but trying to focus. I get frustrated with William always managing to win the close points when we are stabbing at each other. When he tries to run past me I stab him in the butt. When he tries to run past again I block him with my body, grinding my hips into his to stop him as he tries to push past. Linda was watching, “Uh, what exactly were you doing with William out there?” she asks.
“He needed to be stopped.” I tell her with a fixed look in my eye.
“Okay...time to go home.”
“No, I’m okay, they’re just being tricky!”
She lets me fence until I am standing in a pool of my own sweat mumbling to myself. Then she leads me home. That’s what I love about Epee; the dignity and grace of it all.
7 hours ago