Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So, about this fencing lark

As I mentioned in my last post, I have taken up fencing! But before you get any ideas of me coming back from England wielding a sword and spouting witty repartees, please bear in mind that this is me that we're talking about, wholly uncoordinated me who manages to hit her own head while learning how to serve in tennis. Please remember that.

What I wish I looked like VS. What I actually look like.

Now, I do a beginner's foil lesson with the Oxford University Fencing Club (founded in 1891!) once a week. Each session last about 90 minutes and I invariably walk out of the cricket grounds (don't ask) exhausted, sweaty and thinking "OMG THAT IS SO COOL". Have I mentioned the exhausted and sweaty part? Because, wow, all that padding and protection sure make for a LOT of sweating. Which ends up back on said padding and protection again. It's like a vicious, smelly circle of sweat. (I'm not convinced they wash the equipment all that often either.)

As for the exhaustion, well, I'm not the most in shape person to start with, so I really, really feel all those footwork drills. Case in point: as I write this it's Wednesday evening and my legs are still dying from Sunday's session. Going up and down stairs has been...entertaining. For others to watch, that is. It feels even stranger because in fencing, one only does steps and lunges on one side, according to the sword arm. The end result is that not only I have different sore muscles in each leg, but I've been hobbling around Oxford like a limp limping thing for the last three days. I'm seriously considering pretending that I'm left-handed for the next practice.

The Iffley Sports Center, where my weekly self-tortures take place.

So in short: fencing is difficult and sweaty but I'm having tremendous fun. I will try to keep at it for as long as I can, so do be en garde about a whole slew of fencing-related (bad) puns coming your away. After all, you wouldn't want to foil my plan of (badly) punning away all year, now would you?

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