Last night, I made the type of committment that well-educated men like myself should know better to avoid in their middle years — I agreed to begin training for competitive fencing tournaments. While this decision isn’t completely unprecedented (I’ve been taking recreational fencing lessons for the past two years, and I did compete in fencing tournaments as a high school student), it certainly feels odd to be twice, in some instances almost three times older than the people I’ll be training with, and to enter competitions knowing most of the opponents my age will have years, decades more fencing experience.
Why, given the above reservations, am I doing this? The credit mostly goes to curiosity, the suspicion that by pushing myself to fence competitively I’ll enjoy the sport even more than I do now as a recreational fencer. Perhaps I’m wrong, and this experiment will blow up in my face. If so, well, that’s what experiments are all about. And unlike other experiments undertaken to ease the angst of mid-life crises, this won’t make my insurance rates go up.
Today, I start another perhaps ill-advised committment, that being to start this blog as a record of this journey into competitive fencing. It’s another nod to curiosity, as well as a means to keep myself honest.
And so, with no clear idea what I’m heading into, I take this lunge into the dark.