Monday 31st July 2017
I’ve been feeling pretty pumped today.
For some reason I’ve been watching some Olympians’ Youtube videos today and it’s got me super motivated. It got me thinking about my swordfighting and just how far it’s come on.
I was supposed to be super-frustrated right now but my world-ranking came in about what I thought it would be and as a result, I feel like everything is coming together ahead of schedule.
Now I’m sure I’m due a major setback in the latter part of this year. It wouldn’t be a journey without them. But just as the pressure of Swordfish seemed to force me to level up, so I feel Astolat has done that as well.
Sure, I’d like my rapier & dagger world ranking to be higher. I’d like to be in the top 100 before the end of the year, and I suspect Swordfish will work against me in that respect. But I’m really happy with how I’m fighting right now.
Tonight in training, I didn’t bother to try and calm down my excitement, and went in what we like to refer to as “super-aroused”. I know that when I’m excited and bouncy I can get a bit flaily, sacrificing control and technique for speed and aggression. But I didn’t. It might not have been as smooth as I would like and I certainly go for openings that are just not there but I do feel my fighting has stepped up a level.
I think others are beginning to see it as well, and I know that once I find that sweet point between asserting myself on the fight and retaining control, I’m going to be a far deadlier opponent.
We all just went for it tonight. Everyone gave 100%, so much so that when it came to free-sparring at the end, nobody had anything left. Everyone is fighting really well and it’s great that the school has got to the stage now that were there a competition at the weekend where we won a bunch of medals, I’d be hard pushed to guess who won. It seems like there’s a pack of fighters who are stepping up their game, and I feel right in the middle of them.
As a result, there are things I want to do to step up my training. I was looking at the bench presses these Olympic youtubers were doing and whilst it was more than I can do… it wasn’t that much more.
I need to improve my cardio and I need to be stricter on my diet to drop a bit of weight. I definitely feel that my jump in the rankings is just the start
I realised that in my fight with Jay at Astolat I was totally owning him at the beginning of the fight when it was purely a thrust-off. It was only when he changed his tactics to go more cut-orientated that he was able to claw back points and win. But instead of being pissed off about the fact that he used a different tactic and won, I like that I forced him to do so. If I learn to defend myself better against cuts, he’s screwed. And he’s a really good fighter.
Likewise, Matt is now ranked #28 in the world. As much as I joke that he’s easy points, he is a really good fighter who is having a great year. Yet… do I think he’d cream me in a fight? Probably not. I wouldn’t say I could consistently beat him, but I can beat him.
The net result is that I’m buzzing today. I’m so motivated for the next leg of the journey, especially as I thought I’d be at this stage of the year and be in a completely different mood.
Perhaps it’s the fact that the last 3 competitions I’ve done I’ve finished in the quarter-finals or better. That’s not a fluke. That’s not a case of missing fights with the good competitors. It’s a sign of my improvement. It’s a validation of all the hours I’ve been putting in.
I watched those Olympian Youtube videos and I see the same dedication, the same sacrifice. And most importantly, I see the end result. Now, I wouldn’t put myself in the same league as an Olympian, but there are parallels. As I thought to myself, the seeds to me winning have already been sown. They’re in the hours in the gym, the long drives to training and sparring. And they’re starting to pay off.
That same motivation has passed to my writing as well. By rights I should be pulling my hair out as I pull this chapter apart and rebuild it. It’s probably the most challenging work I’ve ever done. And yet, I know I can do it.
And instead of being overwhelmed by it all, what I’ve done today is identify the parts that my gut tells me need changing. I’ve not tried to change them yet. Instead, I’m working meticulously in stages, identifying the problem areas first before trying to identify what the actual problems are, and then how to fix them. It’s not the fastest of work but then I’ve never done something as difficult as this, and the fact that I’m doing it and making progress is the most important thing.
If Astolat gave me anything it was a confidence in myself and all the hard work I’ve been doing. Whether that be swordfighting or writing, the harvest has been sown and now it’s just a case of waiting for it to grow and reaping the fields when ready.
I should treasure days like today, because not all days are so easy. There are days that are a slog, where I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. But the answer then, just as it is today, is to trust my gut. It’s got me this far. It’ll get me the rest of the way.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
- Twitter: @figures
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianfaulknerwriter/
- Instagram: AdrianFaulkner
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