The Battle Of Waterloo – The Climb #273

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The Battle Of Waterloo – The Climb #273

Saturday 21st October 2017

Sometimes you just have to put in the work.

After Wednesday left me feeling like the worst fencer ever, I knew I needed to put a load of effort in before my competition next week.  I mean,  I find the feedback really, really useful, but it’s also been a little demoralising to know just how many things I need to perfect.

It’s a bit like receiving a rejection for a novel or short story.  You appreciate all the feedback that you can use to make yourself better… but it still sucks.  As I said on Facebook, Wednesday’s session was like having your novel ripped apart by Stephen King and George R R Martin.  It’s both a wonderful opportunity to be given guidance by the best, and absolute horror as well.

So I decided I needed to go up to Waterloo and the sparring session they hold up there So I could get in some extra training.  Sometimes it’s those little sacrifices you make that result in the biggest gains.  And so after picking up the car yesterday, and booking my train tickets,  I left the house super early this morning.

I drove up to my parents’.  I needed to be up there around 8:30am.  The plan was to leave the car there and then take the train.  Thank goodness I have my sportube.  It makes travelling so much easier compared to the scabbarded sword, bag, suitcase and sword bag I normally carry around with me to training.

I got dropped off at the station and after a lot of swearing at the ticket collection machine and the gates, I got on my train and travelled up.  Bad weather had been forecast and, as a result, disruptions so I was glad to be travelling on an earlier train than planned.  I then walked a slightly convoluted route to get to the training centre.

I got there early but a friend was already waiting outside so we spent the half hour chatting.

There was a good turn out of rapier & daggerists.  Normally Waterloo is longsword heavy but I guess because we all knew we were going up, the R&D crew was representing.

Again I had a lot of fights with Pim and Sasha.  Again I got hit a lot, and given plenty of Russian feedback.

One of my big quandries is getting my head in the game.  At both Fightcamp and Wessex League Bristol I was ill and performed well.  Given how sloppy I was on Wednesday I felt I’d been far too excitable, and that maybe the reason I’ve done well in my last few tournaments was because I locked it all down.

So I started out trying to do that and then got shouted at by Sasha for being too passive.  So I switched it up, trying to take on the points from Wednesday and the additional ones he gave to me today.

I feel like I’m trying to climb a mountain, but then I remind myself, that I’m the only one (beside Fran) who is giving this level of commitment.  I could have easily stayed at home today and justified sparring tomorrow as my training.  But no, instead I’ve stepped it up.  As I often say, I can’t outskill anyone, but I can outwork them instead.

With fighting over, I then went to the Pub with some of them for the largest burger known to man (I’d earnt it, alright?).  We then went on for coffee / hot chocolate before all heading home.

It was something like 7pm before I got back, and I was exhausted from the travel alone.  I felt I fought better today than I did on Wednesday but I think this came more from listening to Pim & Sasha and trusting in them.

I normally fight much more defensively, and have felt that over the last year I’ve been more offensive in my attacks  (I have to otherwise I’d get no points, right?).  I think what upset me so much about Wednesday was the fact that I was told that I wasn’t being offensive.  It felt like a slight against my whole year.

Of course, that isn’t true.  I need to be more offensive, and whilst I felt I got hit an awful lot, I do feel like I’m taking the comments on board and trying to improve.

Because, if I want to do well next week _and God knows there’s a lot of great fighters attending – I definitely need to put in the work!

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.

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2017-10-22T19:21:36+01:00October 22nd, 2017|Swordfighting, Travel|0 Comments

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