I went to a fancy grade school because my parents believe education is the most important thing. They were both teachers who spent some real cash sending me to private school. I thank them for that. It wasn’t my choice but I appreciate the sacrifice. One of the strange perks of private education is off-the wall Harry Potter-type classes like fencing and archery. I took both. Because weapons. There wasn’t any horse riding or anything, if you were wondering. It wasn’t that crazy rich. As a kid, I was fascinated by all movies and anything with swords or armor. So the idea of an elective where I got a blade seemed like a very easy decision. But fencing was nothing like I thought it was going to be.
There are so many rules. I was so young and all I wanted to do was swing the sword around like a pirate. That is all very illegal. Fencing breaks down by blade type. We, the novices were at foil. Other classes with different rules are saber and epee. In foil, you and your opponent must stay on a fixed line. Meaning you can advance and retreat but no side to side movement. Plus you can only score points by hitting the torso, neck or groin. No arms or legs. And you can only have a successful hit with the tip of the foil, no slashing or using the edge. Once a point is scored, play halts and you reset. Very stop and go. Not exactly the swashbuckling I’d hoped for.
You have to wear that almost-straight jacket looking thing and the coat has this strap that goes between your legs. I don’t like that. It’s a onesie. Knights shouldn’t rock onesies. Then there is that awful mask. Am I a warrior or a beekeeper? And the swords don’t have real tips (for obvious reasons). Why is everything white? I’m sure there is an explanation but all white is a hard outfit to pull off for most folks.
I was super bad at fencing. It broke my heart. I assumed I’d be great because I cared. No luck. My main problem is that I never wanted to play any defense. My parry sucked and I’d thrust and lunge every chance I got. Even a semi-patient player could easily beat me with simple counter-attacks. It made me wish I was in another class like saber where you can slash or epee where you can score hits on any part of the body. But I was never going to get to those levels. Even if I had seen Willow twenty times.
I stopped things like fencing before middle school so I could really focus my energy on my soccer career. You all will be happy to hear that I will be joining Lionel Messi on Barcelona next season. In all seriousness, I haven’t kicked a soccer ball in four years and the last time I did, I think I rolled my ankle stepping on the ball. So yeah, should have stuck with fencing. What if I’m in a bar and some baron insults me? A duel you say? Pistols at dawn? How about sabers, now.
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