Thursday 7th December 2017

As suspected, I’m feeling a lot better today.  The flu symptoms seem to have disappeared as quickly as they came.  That probably means they’re going to linger and strike me down properly in a week or something but as long as I’m fine for Saturday’s tournament I don’t really care.

I’m looking towards Saturday, not so much with excitement or worry, as I am with relief.  I’ll be glad for it to be over.  I’m so done with tournaments right now.

I think part of the problem is because I did so well on the first one.  It was great to get silver but I didn’t feel I fought particularly well.  It made me second in the overall league.  And since then I’ve felt that I’ve had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

It’s a new kind of pressure and one I’ve really struggled with.  I’ve found myself becoming more and more frustrated as the tournaments have progressed.  I feel I have to get a medal, that it’s somehow expected of me.

In the back of my mind is a mental note that tells me that this is how I will feel about book 2 if book 1 does really well.  Indeed, in trying to deal with my swordfighting frustration I’ve tried to tackle the problem as if it was concerned with the release of the book I’m currently editing.

But no matter how much I tell myself that this is all part of the learning experience, that I can’t expect to always do well, that I must have to occasional off-day, I feel myself getting tenser and tenser.

And with London looming on Saturday I’m trying to get my head into that perfect spot:  where I’m motivated enough to go forward, to take sensible risks, to go on the offensive; but that I’m also not putting so much expectation on myself that I crumble the moment one point doesn’t go my way.

Of course, the location doesn’t help.  Fighting requires a lot of kit.  There’s not only your sword & dagger plus spare tips and screws and the like, but there’s all your armour as well.  I usually carry several bags with me in addition to my sword.

But Saturday’s tournament is in London and despite assurances otherwise, I’ve been unable to find parking on Google maps that isn’t limited to 4 hours.  That means going in on the train.  Gah!

Luckily I do have my sportube.  I might have only had it a few months but it has already been essential for travel to Romania and Sweden.  My plan is to load all my gear into it and then cart that across London.  It might not be as cumbersome as multiple bags, but it’s still not what I would call easy.

My friend was unable to come round to watch the final episodes of Dark but in many ways that’s worked out for the best.  It’s allowed me to try and rest ahead of Saturday.  I’ve tried to make sure I get a lot of sleep, and plan to go to bed very, very early on Friday.  After all, that worked for me at Swordfish.

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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