Welcome to my Sabre Fencing Blog!

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Hello!
This picture represents just how crazy life can be and how you can never really plan the direction it will take. 10 years ago, I never imagined that I would be the co-owner of Cutting Edge Fencing in North Richland Hills, Texas with my husband David. I was single, 40 pounds overweight, working long hours in a stressful job, and letting circumstances dictate who I was. Then I discovered fencing…

Fencing is a sport, yes. An exciting, tradition-based, dynamic, fast-paced sport. But for those of us involved in it, it is so much more.

For me, fencing represented an opportunity to discover who I really was and who I really wanted to be. I didn’t like what I found at first: a diehard perfectionist who hated to lose. There were some pretty ugly moments during my first couple of years of classes; plenty of moments I’m not proud of. Tournaments where I would storm off in anger after a defeat. Lessons that ended in tears (although, admittedly, this continues to happen). Repeated failure (as I defined it) after crushing failure.

And then one day, it started to get better. I started feeling more confident about my body and my abilities. I was getting into better shape. I started winning bouts at tournaments. That felt good. Really, really good. I wanted more. So I trained more. And learned more. Talked more to other fencers about how to do better. Watched YouTube videos. And competed every chance I could, gaining more and more confidence along the way.

So much confidence, in fact, that I just couldn’t do that old life anymore. I wasn’t the same person anymore and didn’t want to continue in those shoes. David and I decided to take a risk. I quit the security of a full-time teaching position for the risk of two part-time teaching jobs so that I could devote more time and, more importantly, more energy to growing our fencing club. This is our third year in that journey. And it’s starting to work. OMG. It’s working.

Sometimes when practice is going on, I just stop for a moment and marvel at what I see. Because I don’t just see kids and adults learning about this sport I love. I see a myriad of opportunities to help other people better themselves. Ways to help them discover who they really are and, if they don’t like what they see in that mirror (like I didn’t 10 years ago), to help them find the strength and confidence to bring about change in their own life.

Now when I look in the mirror, I see confidence and determination. Fencing helped me learn how to overcome adversity, how to think quickly, and how to set goals and reach them. It’s even given me the confidence to believe that I can, one day, fence on the world team and represent the United States in international competition. Right now, I want to build up our fencing family and to help our members develop the skills they need to achieve what they want to accomplish in life.

I’ve told you what fencing has done for me personally. Please add in the comments what it has done for you. I’d love to hear your story.

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8 thoughts on “Welcome to my Sabre Fencing Blog!

  1. That is an incredible success story. You truly are a great person and I admire the fact that you are confident enough to display your feelings through your fencing journey. For me personally that is very helpful. My original goal was to just get moving. I had no idea if I would like fencing or if my body would support it. I have ridden horses all my life but because of the wear and tear on my knees I sadly had to let that go.

    So my fencing journey started only about 6 months ago and although I have no ambition to compete at a high level at this time, I do find myself struggling with my goals. My original goal is/was to exercise and have fun doing it. And that, I am really accomplishing with fencing. However, I find myself getting more frustrated about not doing things correctly and not scoring the points.

    So I now find myself setting another goal for fencing. I struggle with this one as I didn’t set out to take fencing very serious. And I find that I need to control my competitive side and remind myself why I started fencing. Here I go again. Never in life do I seem to be able to things halfway.

    Given my competitive nature I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I know that I am super competitive in everything I have ever done. My riding experience has been a great preparation for fencing because like fencing, competitive riding is a very subjective sport. So I probably get a lot less frustrated with refs and opponents then most of the other fencers. My riding instructor would remind us over and over “Maud it all comes out in the wash. Sometimes you win when you shouldn’t have won and sometimes you lose when you shouldn’t have lost”. I hear her voice when Niki doesn’t get a point that I think she should have or even when we just bout at the club.

    I do find myself frustrated with my abilities to fence correctly. So although the struggles Kate had with anger have for me been resolved a long time ago in the riding world, my feelings are more those of disappointment in myself. Disappointment that I am not fast enough or can’t remember all the new skills I have learned and apply them when I need them.

    Therefore it is good to hear your story Kate and your frustrations along your journey. It seems I have some of the same struggles even if they are for different reasons. And I see many others with the same frustrations. It is nice to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on your new blog! Thanks for sharing your fencing story – you’re truly an inspiration – especially to one young lady I’m very familiar with!

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  3. Great blog, Kate. I don’t think I EVER saw you as overweight, though. Perfectionist, yes…

    I think most women struggle with the perfectionist thing.

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  4. Great idea for the blog! Of course, I started on strip the same time Maud did, but I’ve been involved in the sport since 2009 when darling daughter took it up. Of course, there are few things more fear-inspiring than having same darling daughter barreling down the strip at you with a big ugly stick in her hand.

    Long/short, I’d been looking for some sort of competitive outlet for all the working out I do. I used to be a cyclist way back when, but have just worked out for the sake of working out (mostly running and gym equipment). It has kept me from strangling a few people over the years, I have to say. Returning to cycling, running 5Ks or longer, and most team sports really didn’t interest me, though I had considered them.

    The fact that fencing is (usually) an individual sport, but with the camaraderie of a team sport, really appealed to me. I am also more inclined to push through when I hit a difficult patch in either a workout or a bout than I would have before. I know this sort of discipline tends to spill over to other aspects of one’s life, as well (not that I’m especially undisciplined to begin with).

    In any case, thanks for beginning this blog. See ya at the bronze class tomorrow!

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