Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lessons From Fencing Class

Hello blog reader people! Hope your day is going well so far. Man, this shorter week (because of Labor Day) has sure gone by a lot faster than I was prepared for. At least we are rushing toward Saturday--my dear friend is getting married then! Woo-hoo!

But, I figured before celebrating with champagne and ... uh ... champagne*, let's reflect. Weddings signal the beginning of a life united together and in Our Lord. I remember when planning my own wedding, it wasn't difficult to get carried away with things like decorations, or food, or the infamous dress. However, it is most important to remember that a wedding is about the marriage with that person you love very much.

Being married will be hard, challenging, frustrating, and, at times upsetting. But instead of fighting, abandoning each other, or taking to bad habits, you and your partner should always choose to work together to fix the problem.

Or, you could do what we do to keep the marriage going: sword fight.

That's right everybody! It's time for lessons (and a couple pics) from fencing class! Get excited!


-If you are thinking that you have run out of gift ideas, try something unexpected. I bought Stephen and I fencing lessons, and he totally loved it! I was the cool wife. I had everything going for me. Great anniversary idea, ladies.

-Wear clothes that you will want to keep outside afterwards. Fencing makes you an unusually powerful and deadly ratio of sweaty-to-smelly. Either do laundry immediately, or regret it.

-Fencing swords hurt. Not a lot, but just enough so that every time I said "oww" from anticipation of someone poking me, I lost a little bit of that "cool wife" thing. Don't do this. Wait to actually be poked before saying oww, and try to be in actual pain. And, definitely don't say oww when you are only trying to put the face mask on. You lose major cool points there.

-The fencing jackets have a built-in, thong-like adjustable strap. Make sure your fencing jacket fits just right or is a little big. I'll let you figure out why.

-Face masks: also surprisingly sweaty. Prepare yourself with a bandana, as you cannot wipe the sweat off your brow at any time without knocking the mask off. You especially cannot try doing this during a match.

-If you happen to have a young whipper-snapper of only 16 as your teacher, try not to take offense when he mocks that hardly anyone in the adult beginning fencing class can touch their toes. He is young. He has no idea what's coming.

-Chest protectors are VERY important. Don't forget to wear them.

-Chest protectors only protect the chest.

-Listen carefully to the type of sword you will be working with. It affects your fighting strategy. A foil is like the sword the Three Musketeers use, and is meant to poke people in the torso only. You also have what is called "priority," which means that once the person who makes the first move is blocked (or "perried"), they can't get a point until the other person tries to make a move and you defend yourself against them. Sabre is the second type of sword. It is like a pirate sword, and your arms and legs are a target. These fights tend to go faster, as it is more "free:" anyone can poke anybody else at any time. Lastly, an epee is a bigger (and heavier) foil, and is good for tall people like my husband to repeatedly win matches against smaller, weaker individuals that he might have to drive home with.

-Be aggressive. The best fighters seem to be.

-Take out all of your anger at fencing. You can barely see the other guy's face. Sticking your tongue out at him while fighting is a total possibility, and I would dare say encouraged.

-Footwork is crucial to staying balanced and moving in the most powerful way. It will also be the source of major leg cramping about 36 hours after your first class. Prepare yourself with ice and stretching.

-Enjoy your moment of shining glory when you beat your husband in a match. He will claim it is because of the type of sword and fighting, but you will know it is because you couldn't lose 'em all.

Posed picture time!

Where we took our class

Me, post match. You understand the sweat thing now.

Stephen and me at the end of class. Awwww.

These lessons are certain not advice for marriage or for working through problems, but it was definitely a lot of fun to share this experience with the man I love. We recommend it!

Plus, my husband can never take that win away from me.

*What else do you celebrate with, really?