It was hard to write this post, because I was really hoping to have some good news for my next tournament after Remenyik. This time I can’t blame it on poor preparation or an injured ankle: going into the Cleveland NAC, I was a head case.
Leading up to the tournament I was working really hard to rehab my injury and feeling extremely stressed out by my coaching change. My new lessons are completely different from my old ones, and I let it mess with my confidence in the littlest things – how am I extending my arm? Can I make my tip land on that target? What’s the distance?
I was spending too much time thinking about those outside factors and not the bout in front of me. I think I put too much pressure on myself to get the result I am hoping for NOW. And this just after what I posted after the Remenyik Open – One good or bad result does not a good or bad fencer make!
In pools I rushed my first bout, with Ella Morgan of DFC. I was a little jumpy, maybe a little cocky, and I won the bout by 5-4. A victory is a victory, right? Wrong. I felt like I “should” have won by more, and I got upset that I made some mistakes that I know I have made before – and after one bout, one bout that I won, I already felt like the whole tournament was not going my way!
In my second bout I fenced Lindsay Campbell. I always admire the fencers who are older; I can appreciate the effort and sacrifice that goes into training as an adult when you have to hold down a job! She has probably been on the world team more seasons than I have been fencing total. I was in the wrong state of mind before the bout even started; I rushed and lost 0-5. And then the same thing in my third bout with Ally Micek from Alliance, 3-5. Then, fencing a little better, a 4-5 loss to Helen Jolley. Now my record is 1-3 and I am not hoping to make the top 32 anymore, I’m afraid I won’t make the cut!
I got a little mad then, instead of scared, which was what I needed. I got my act together, gave myself the space I needed, and won my next two bouts handily. The damage to my pool record was done, though, and I lost focus again in my DE. A disappointing finish to be knocked out in the round of 128.