The Lessons I Learn While Holding a Foil

Fencing has become one of my great pleasures in life. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge, the competition and learning in general. The side effect is an exceptional, sweat-soaked workout.  However, these are the superficial effects. The real litmus test for me is not so much whether I can parry a strike or have quick foot work, the real test is does this activity improve my life?

Some people meditate. Others fast or spend countless hours in churches or temples to get in touch with their Better Self. Movement has always been my ideal vehicle.

It cannot be movement for movements sake but rather, movement with a purpose. I have little concern about getting a metal or winning a competition or throwing around a bunch of weight mindlessly. My focus is  accessing the hidden jewels inside – the lessons that make life better for self and those I can be of assist to. My last class was one of those instances when a hidden jewel was exhumed from my Better Self.

After sensing my frustration and impending implosion during my recent fencing matches, my teacher took off his mask and said:

“Stop trying to score points. Instead just learn how to fence. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Some people really know technical skills.

Others teach lessons that last a lifetime.