I fenced during my sophomore, junior and senior years at college. During the summers, I found a studio near where I was working so I could improve my skills and by my senior year I was also going to tournaments around Ohio and even Canada to feed my habit. Oh, I was winning too.
After college I moved to Denver and I joined a club there. I fenced in the club almost every night and went to meets all the time. Basically it was work during the day, fence at night. I was good enough to go to Nationals twice (I made it to the quarter finals one year) and because it was the early days of women competing in sabre and epee (I also fenced sabre) I went to the Western Womens Conference two times as well. I was constantly wining or placing in tournaments.
One year after nationals, I was selected to go to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for some workshops. I was being told that I could go far… and right at this time I had the opportunity to move to California for a better job. So what did I do, as I had to choose between my engineering career or fencing.
I chose my engineering career. And where I moved to did not have a local club. There was a club but it was over 2 hours away, so I stopped fencing. That was 1980 and since then, every once and a while I search to see if there is a club nearby where I can start fencing again. I had access to some when I worked down in San Diego but I was into running and triathlons at the time and fencing was not on my mind. Even now I still consider myself a fencer and every four years when the Olympics are on, I will watch the little bit of fencing that they broadcast.
Two weeks ago (and not due to the Olympics) I did some googling to see if there was any fencing salle (French word for studio) in the area. And there it was; a new once had opened in MY TOWN. I could hardly believe it. So I wrote to the coach about who I use to train with and how I wanted to start again. He did reply and I was disappointed to find out that the facility was for home school students BUT the adult club was only 20 minutes from where I work – and that is a possible for me, after work even though it is in the opposite direction from home.
So tomorrow is the day, well night actually. I have no expectations about how good or bad I will be since it has been 30+ years. I know I will be sore on Thursday. I hope I have fun.
Tonight, I pull my fencing gear out of the closet; most of the uniform won’t fit but I do have my weapons and masks and for me, that is good enough to get started.