Wednesday 14th February 2018

I have a swordfighting tournament in 10 days, followed by one the following week.  I’ve paid, although I’ve not booked a hotel for the one in Bradford yet.  Which is just as well, as I have to ask myself if I can even compete.
The finger is healing slowly, and it’s not healing neatly.  It looks like it’s reattached itself at an angle.  The finger is numb with an internal pins and needles type feeling that intensifies whenever I brush it.  And no wonder:  I did nearly sever a quarter of the tip off.
The fact it’s reattached at all is a bit of a miracle to me.  But I’m really feeling the lack of utility in it.  Editions of The Climb have been late, in part, because it’s not easy to type.  I can’t use that finger.  Driving is difficult as I can’t bend it and then keep stabbing the dashboard whenever I go into 1st or 3rd gear.  That hurts!
Strength has returned to the hand, although that took some time… but I still find it difficult to use weights at the gym.  I can balance (such as in a squat or lunge)  and push… but I’m not sure I can grip yet.
I’ve been pretty good at letting it take time to heal.  It’s been frustrating at times, but I think the severity of the damage frightened me enough to take a step back from everything.  And you know, what’s a few weeks if it means I can use the finger again.
I have to remind myself it is healing, and it just needs time.  But I have things to type, and I have tournaments.
Theoretically, all 3 of my upcoming fights don’t need that hand.  I could wear my ultra protective gauntlet style glove and keep it out of the way.  But, the golden rule in swordfighting is that the one thing you don’t want hit will get hit.  And I’m not sure how the shocks I feel when brushing it would feel if I got hit in the hand.
So I’m considering pulling out of the tournaments and wondering whether I’m doing it because of the hand or because I just seem to be in this lazy mood at the moment.
I’ve told myself that I’ll go sparring on Sunday, fight in the styles these competitions want… and see how I fare.  I’ll then make a call on these tournaments.
But at the same time, I do think the tournament disappointment that I suffered last year (and forced me to take a break over Xmas) is playing a small part.  Perhaps I’m using it as an excuse.  Perhaps I don’t want that disappointment any more.
I find myself asking if I enjoy it and wondering if I’m driven by the destination rather than the journey.  I’m finding I’m asking myself that about a lot of things of late.
Maybe this is the stage of my life where my ambitions become less about being a hobby and more about being a job.  With that comes a slightly different mindset and whilst it’s not better or worse, maybe I just need to adjust my thinking around my aims.
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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