and on to the next sporting season…… Fencing!!
Crafter Monkey registered for the big time a few weeks ago: she became a member of USA Fencing and will receive all the wonderful benefits that come with the illustrious membership AND registered for her first ever Super Youth Circuit fencing tournament..
So it was up to me to make sure we washed and packed all the important stuff like: body cords (2), knickers, chest protector, fencing jacket, underarm protector, socks, sneakers, electric foils (2), mask, foil lame, glove, extra socks, t-shirts, sweat pants, water bottle AND Her own personal tack box which contained: chap stick, hair brush, inhaler, book, iPod, hair ties, head band! This was all packaged in her fencing bag, which of course was kept close at hand for her matches, which of course weighed a ton.
Then I packed the important document folder containing: receipt of registration, birth certificate (I guess there are lots of older kids trying to compete in the younger event classes, perhaps this happens in more sports than gymnastics and little league?) waiver forms, and the USA Fencing membership card! Oh and I also remembered to pack: food (healthy coach-approved) snacks, more water, water bottle for me, camera, phone, wallet & cash, knitting (why did I even bother?), gum, ibuprofen and migraine meds!
I must confess this was the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever done with one of my kids. I could barely sleep the night before! We were both up by 5:30am the morning of the competition and very quiet and pensive while eating our high protein breakfast. As you can see from the pictures the CM was über focused and really intense (gee I wonder where she gets it from?? hmm) I have to give her so much credit because there is no way I would have had the self-esteem and confidence at ten years of age to attend a regional sports competition by myself (no teammates) with just my mom and coach for company. The CM knew next to no one there, but she did have one of the biggest cheering sections: Grandma & Grandpa, Mr. Monkey, Monkey Boy and Wee Monkey showed up in time for the DE’s (direct elimination rounds). I did mention ‘next to no one’ because the CM was thrilled that Tiffany, a fencer from Boston that visited the club last spring was at the tournament and sought her out to cheer her on and give her some comic diversion too.
As you can see though by the back grounds in many of my pictures, the fencers had to be very focused. Not only were there many simultaneous bouts taking place, but there were also lots of people constantly moving about, and the noise! The electronic scoring makes this high-pitched squeal/squeak – Oye – just what you wan to hear at 7:30am without much coffee or sleep the night before and a really good migraine settling in.
So amongst all this cacophony a 10 yo tries to focus on another 10 yo with a foil and their referee and coaches and sometimes crazy interfering parents ( I tried really hard NOT to be like them – saw lots of ’em though!) and with all of that going on, they try to score a touch while engaging in a rapid fire chess match using foils!
I must say I was very impressed by Coach C, he did shoo me to the ‘parent box’ a few times, but I did get the hang of it – gotta let the Coach, ‘coach’, besides that is what we pay him the big bucks for! (Well, some day maybe we can pay him big bucks). He was so great with the CM, getting her through the stages of competing in a big tourney and shaking off the nerves and taking each match one touch at a time.
After the CM’s matches I did have time to finally relax a bit and take some pictures of some interesting fencing equipment and scout around for cool fencing socks. I’ll have you know that funky sock combo’s have not caught on nationally yet. It was very hard to find a mis-matched pair of socks anywhere! Not like the last time.
I really think Absolute Fencing is missing the boat here. They have a large presence at the tournament selling all sorts of gear, perhaps they need to expand into fun socks with personality.
It was a long morning and early afternoon and the CM did not end up with anything in the ‘W’ column. I was disappointed for her, NOT in her. She gave her all. I asked her afterwards in the car trip on the way home how the tournament made her feel about her fencing…. and her reply went something like this: Mom, it makes me want to work harder and spend more time fencing and at the club. Well guess what the CM will be doing a lot of this fall, winter and spring?