Sunday, August 22, 2004

En Guarde

I'm scheduled to go fencing in a few hours, for the first time in about 2 years. I am very nervous, for a few reasons:

1. Although I've been working out in preparation for this, my quadriceps are going to be very unhappy about 8 hours from now.

2. After putting my quads through hell, I have to go into city center to cover a story.

3. The instructors are Russian and teach in Hebrew. I'm not prepared for that.

4. I think most of the other students will be teenage Israeli boys who are training for competitions. Meanwhile, I'm a 32-year-old, pretty out-of-shape woman from America who has never fenced epee before. Even in foil I wasn't so good. (My line, when people asked me how good I am, was always:
"Have you ever fenced?"
"Then I'm better than you are.")

So I'm getting in a little over my head. I think.

5. I'm annoyed with my fencing knickers. I had them made to order in the US a few months ago, but they got the legs a little wrong-- they are a little too long and don't fit snugly under the knee. I should have gotten them altered, but didn't want to invest more money into my fencing uniform until I saw how often I'd actually go fencing. It's kind of a bummer to have a uniform that doesn't fit properly.

6. I don't know how things work at this club. In my club in New York, I had a routine. I had a locker, I knew where the showers were, I knew where to line up to bout, I knew how to sign up for a private lesson, I knew it was possible to rent a towel and where to find them . . . Here, I don't know if there are lockers available, I don't know what the shower facilities are like, and I don't even know if they do private lessons. It might be a group thing. Will we do footwork all together at some point, or will it be all bouting, with people doing their own footwork on the side and getting private time with a teacher, in turns? Lots of things up in the air for me. It's uncomfortable to be in a new situation.

No one of these things is a major problem, and ultimately -- I keep trying to remind myself-- the whole point is to have fun and get some exercise. But I loved fencing in the US, and I want to love fencing here, too, so I'm worried about being disappointed in the club or in myself. For me, the stakes are pretty high. I really hope that the people are nice and that I don't make a total fool out of myself.

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