Saturday 24th February 2018

Today was my first swordfighting tournament this year.  It’s been a rough couple of months for my swordfighting.  I came away from my last tournament feeling defeated and ready for a break.  I was overwhelmed with swordfighting stuff from dues to websites and the net result was that I felt ready to take a break.  When it gets so busy that you miss out on entering events before they sell out, then it really is time to step away for a short time.
I did that for the rest of December, forcing myself to take some time away from training,  I think it was the right thing to do, I’d worked so hard that the disappointment of my performance in my last 2 tournaments threatened to make me resent swordfighting altogether.
I did, however, secretly enter a tournament that’s taking place next week.  That one’s for single rapier so whilst not my primary weapon, similar enough to be useful, yet different enough that I don’t feel I need to worry about the result.  Since then a space opened up in this weekend’s event and I took it.
And so 2018 started with me slowly trying to find my forward momentum again.  It’s been a really odd year this year as whilst I’ve definitely made progress it feels like I’m stumbling rather than striding forwards.  And so fingergeddon really couldn’t have come at a worse time.
It’s really arrested my forward momentum, and I’ve not been sure whether taking time off training has been a choice made out of common sense or a lack of motivation.  Has my absence from social media been because all the sword stuff on it reminds me I cannot fight, or a distancing myself?
I went sparring last week to see how I would fair in single sidesword and came away feeling solid but secure in the knowledge that I just cannot train right now.  And so it’s been come and go as to whether I’d attend this weekend.
I went.  If for no other reason, I paid my money.  But I decided I would just do the competition and leave.  Watching other people fight when I’m crippled is a little too much to handle right now.
Now despite single sidesword being a one-handed weapon, the offhand does come into play.  It can be used to grapple in close play, or pat the flat of the blade away, or even align your shoulders to make sure your thrusts are accurate.  I, however, had it in one of my huge gloves that have an endoskeleton underneath to help protect them.  Plus I kept it behind my back.
It meant that I felt slightly handicapped in my fights.  Also the lack of training meant that I could feel myself lose energy as I fought successive battles.  But I did OK.  I drew 2 fights, I narrowly lost another 2 and then got annihilated in the last – but that was against one of the top guys in the world with the weapon.  Considering that the pools were of international quality I really can’t complain.  I felt I did well considering.
But I hurt after fighting and so, given I had a 2 hour drive home, I left pretty soon afterwards.  I rewarded myself with a chicken takeaway with a friend.
Tomorrow is the sidesword and rotella competition and I’m honestly not gonna decide whether I enter that until I get up tomorrow.
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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