Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I have always wanted to learn how to fence. So last week I finally decided that if I am ever going to do it, I better look into it now. After all I am not getting any younger. I was hoping that I would be able to find something in town instead of having to travel to Victoria or Nanaimo. It just so happens that there is a lady who lives right here in town and she offers classes at the community center.
 My first class was last night. I was the first one there. Then the teenagers started to arrive - my biggest fear - that I would be the oldest one. At this point I started to panic and I wanted to run from the room as I realized that I probably looked like I was 100 years old to them. I had asked the instructor before hand if there were any other students over 30, and she told me there was, but I could not see any. I gathered every ounce of courage I had and I stayed. 
The instructor (who is over 30) happened to be waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me since she knew it was my first time and she wanted to show me the way. She finally came up along with another man (over 30 as well), at which point I felt a little better. Georgia is her name, and she has been fencing for over 30 years. She was born, and raised, and learned to fence in England. It may seem silly, but somehow that makes it all the more authentic for me. 
After Georgia helped me suit up (you really have to wear a jacket, and gloves, and a mask) the class began. Georgia took me aside and worked with me for half the class and then said, "I think you're ready".  Ready? Ready to what? To have a bout? I don't think so! That is what I thought, but what came out of my mouth was, "o.k!?" So I fenced my very first opponent. He, of course, went all to easy on me.
 When we had finished I went back and watched as Georgia coached someone else. A few minutes later a teenage boy came up to me and asked me if I wanted to watch or if I would have a match with him. All at once I was transported back almost 20 years. I felt like I was 14 again and I was asked to dance for the very first time. I told him that I didn't know what I was doing, but that if he wanted to I would. He stared out really easy and me and then after I told him not to hold back, because I actually wanted to learn, he went for it. If we had been fencing for real in the olden days I would have died several times over. He was so sweet though and very chivalrous. He, and another guy who watched us, would critique me as I went. It was very fun. I loved it. I am glad I stayed. I look forward to next Tuesday so I can do it again.


  1. Wow! I had no idea of your interest in fencing! That's really cool!

  2. You are so cool! I am very impressed Shelli way to be bold!

  3. So honest, and so funny. I would feel the same way. Gutsy!! Good for you.

  4. Very Exciting...so glad you stayed.

  5. Shelli ! You are so courageous ! Good for you !