(16) on my guard

June Renew: Day 16

Weight: 234.2

I watched a few fencing matches from the 2012 London Olympics on YouTube today. It was the sport that got me into Northwestern. It was the catalyst for all my knee problems. I had fun with it. And watching the masters at their craft today made me pine for simpler days where I wasn’t so crippled by arthritis. I wished I could try fencing again, if only for a little bit. I thought back on some of my more memorable matches, but other thoughts of the disrespect I showed to such a graceful sport kind of took over.

I always felt like I was the best fencer around, even though I clearly wasn’t. I just wanted to be good without having to work for it that much. And I never was humble about it. I didn’t accept defeat in a sportsmanlike manner, and thought I didn’t need to work for any accolades I may receive. I had absolutely no discipline, and a sport like fencing requires it the most. You don’t get good if you don’t practice, and I just didn’t want to put in the work.

I think about this a lot, because even though I stopped fencing, the lessons of it remain. I need to be disciplined in order to get good. I need to keep swinging my weapon and practicing if I want to see any results. Instead I just stay arrogant and haughty, not thinking I need to learn anything else from what life lands on the strip. I have to accept that the person who put on the knickers, jacket, and mask all those years ago is still the same person. That I still have it in me to be as awful and ungrounded as I was. But maybe if I time my moves better and actually play the physical chess, things won’t be as hard as I’m making them.

And by the way, I keep my sabre by my bedside. You know, just in case.

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