Sunday, August 16, 2009


So, it's not directly related to eating vegan, but...

I've always wanted to try fencing. I've thought about it for years, but one thing or another got in the way. I was too poor, too fat, too old. There was no convenient place to learn. I could never work it in around work.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I saw a flyer for a group called Coastside Academy of Fencing. They were starting beginning classes right here in Pacifica. I wrote down the information and emailed them almost immediately, and was given a friendly invite to come and take a class.

Now, normally, I would have found a million reasons not to go, and I did feel too old, fat and in too much pain (what with my feet) to be any good. But I showed up anyway. Fortunately for me (as it turns out), no one else showed up to the class, so I basically got a free hour and a half lesson in the basics.

The Maestro is an older Polish man with a bit of a paunch, but he's fast. He was a three-time national champion in Poland, but he wasn't the least bit intimidating at all. He was sweet and supportive and completely non-threatening. I was just going to "watch", but in no time I found myself masked and suited and trying to hit him.

Now, I sucked. I'll be honest. And my feet are going to make it hard for me to be as fast as I need to be. But I didn't suck nearly as badly as I could have, and I actually felt pretty good at times. He pointed out that we normally don't go from "This is what a sabre looks like" to a 5-touch bout in 90 minutes, but he thought I could handle it. So I must have done well for a raw beginner.

I signed up for lessons through the rest of August, and after that we'll see.

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