Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wildest dreams

Re my post yesterday; my inner doubting voices could not have been more wrong.

It takes a while to get by public transport from where I live in Chiswick all the way out to Brunel University.  It was raining when I got on my first bus, and I sat looking out at Ealing, Southal, Hayes and so on and feeling a kind of resigned calm with just a tinge of excitement.  But by the time I got off the second bus and walked up the road, the sun had come out.  I bumped into Alan, our club armourer (very nice older gent), who showed me where to go, and in no time I was registering with the judges and heading into the women's changing room to get my kit on.

I took longer than I should have done to get changed because I got right the way to putting on the last item, the metalised over-vest called a lame, before I realised I'd forgotten to change my bra.  Fond though I am of my favourite Wedgwood-blue embroidered net push-up bra, I do know it's not suitable for sporting activities (at least, not the kind carried out in a sports hall).  So I had to set-to and strip off again, to exchange it for the comfortable solidity of a Shock Absorber.

By the time I got down into the hall we were ready to begin; and I promptly won my first bout.

Altogether I fenced nine bouts in the first round, which is handled in groups called poules; we fought, then swapped round the groups, so that every fencer fights every other contestent in their poule.  Then a ranking is created from that.  I won two and lost seven, but I scored hits in all but two of the bouts I lost, and twice I only lost by one point.  I was immensely satisfied with this; it was far more than I had hoped to achieve.  That brought us to lunchtime.

Then after lunch the rankings were posted, and to my astonishment I had been ranked sixth out of the women.  I was through to the quarter finals.  Me.  This was beyond my wildest dreams; to quote a favourite movie line, inconceivable...

Yes, it was just an inter-club friendly match.  But it was a competition, and for everyone taking part it felt pretty serious.  Including me, astonished beyond belief as I was.

Quarter finals onwards are played as direct elimination, and I lost to the ladies' third seed; but I managed to land a few hits even on her, so my honour is more than satisfied.

Heck, my honour is in a delighted state of shock. 

I am now home.  I'm completely shattered.  I'm aching all over.  I have interesting new bruises.

And I am ludicrously happy.

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