Monday 25th January 2021
One of the few downsides to big, diverse groups is that sooner or later, someone is going to do something that annoys or offends another person or section of the group. You’re never going to have a big group without some form of drama.
Sometimes the drama is quite small, sometimes it’s more serious. I guess everyone will have a different opinion on where on the scale any one drama sits.
HEMA sees its fair share of drama. On one side you have people who are working hard on being inclusive (I’m quite proud of the women – and some men – in HEMA have actively worked to ensure that trans women are not only accepted but welcomed into women’s competitions). On the other side you have these people who see swordfighting as part of some toxic masculine right – with emphasis on right.
I tend to stay away from a lot of the drama. I make my opinion know and will take positive steps to aid inclusivity, but I don’t really get stuck in when there’s a “big ol’ bun fight”.
But with lockdown all but shutting down HEMA across the world, the community has mostly been confined to posting old pictures and memes across social media… as well as looking quite jealously at people in countries where restrictions have been lifted and they can fight again.
However, there was some drama today. I don’t want to say it wasn’t anything major, because it was enough for some people to take some positive action. But on the HEMA scale of possible drama it was relatively low level.
For a couple of hours, there was a bit of buzz, not about the drama itself, but the fact that we’re all still there, lurking in the shadows… waiting for that time we can start fighting again. We talked, we chatted, and it felt good to have some connection beyond just liking a status post.
I’ve not been training myself. At the start of lockdown I had work issues that took up a lot of my time. And then I needed to some work before I could train again.
I’ve seen some friends drop out. We all know that when we exit this pandemic, old friends who we always saw at events, will have moved on. There will be new blood too. But it’ll be different.
I’ve kept myself in touch with HEMA. I dip in and out of the forums. I’ve ensured that websites I look after are patched and maintained (although there’s nothing to update them with).
I’ve always said to myself that lockdown was an opportunity. It was a chance to train, whilst others didn’t, to emerge from lockdown ready where others weren’t. It was a chance to get an advantage.
I’m quite jealous of those who’ve been able to work out ways to train at home. Whereas I could slip into working from home very easily, exercising from home isn’t something I’ve found easy, and like most of us, when I come back to HEMA there’s a long road before I’ll be at a level of fitness to compete again.
There’s still time, of course. I doubt we’ll see any real form of competition before the end of the year. But I need to find motivation, and this week feels like the wrong week. Everyone I know seems rundown and demotivated right now. I’ve identified that I need structure but I also need motivation to implement that as well.
One thing is for sure, I miss HEMA in a way I didn’t before lockdown. I even kinda miss the drama if today was anything to go by. If I can start to get away from just bumbling my way forward into something more regimented, then perhaps I can be ready by the time things start coming back.
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