So yesterday (the 14th) Mike and I went to a fencing tournament which we hadn't done for a very long time. The last tournament we went to together was sometime in October. We went to the tournament on Saturday (neither of us did well) and then Sunday we went to the Steelers game. But that was October.
Yesterday we went to an open tournament which in fencing terms means that anyone who was old enough to could participate. In order to participate in some tournaments that are "sanctioned" which means they were approved by the United States Fencing Association you have to be older than 13 years old. Also, at sanctioned tournaments it is possible to earn your rating which is really just an award for doing well at that particular tournament. Everyone is a U (or Unrated) until they do well enough. It's kind of confusing, but it depends on how many people go to the tournament and how many rated fencers there are, but some people as low ranked as 20 something-th could walk away with some sort of rating. They are letter ratings starting at A as the highest and E as the lowest (lowest above U anyway). Some tournaments are restricted, for instance, some tournaments only let E rated fencers and under participate (so E's and Unrated fencers) while some, like the one yesterday are open to anyone regardless of rating. So we had some A rated fencers and Us and Es etc.
Anyway, at the tournament yesterday because of the lack of high rated fencers, we had to place in the top 8 to get a rating. I placed 21st out of 37 fencers after the pool portion of the tournament (you are broken down into small groups of fencers and you have to fence everyone in that group). Then I won my first Direct Elimination bout (it is exactly as it sounds...you lose and you are done fencing for the day)....against the 9th place person!!! I was so excited!! I ended up moving to the top 16 bracket of the elimation portion. Then I fenced this kid that I've fenced before...and he's really good. He's been fencing as long as I have and he's been really working hard at it. Well the last time I fenced him he clobbered me 15-3. But this time....I really fought for those ponts..I wasn't going down without a fight. I ended up losing 15-8. If I had won, I'd have my E rating right now. Oh well. In the end, I improved to 16th place out of 37 fencers and I felt really good about how I did! I know it wasn't a rating like I wanted, but I did my best and I know that I am getting closer to my rating every time I go to a tournament.
Anyway, aside from doing really well, the other really cool thing about the tournament was that it was at the college I attended this last five years. My old fencing club hosted it. They had such a great tournament for having been the first ever open tournament they did (in the past we had restricted the types of fencers so it wasn't so overwhelming since we were a pretty new club). And then on top of that the directors they had hired remembered me from when I was the President and they all congratulated me on the success of my club and commented on how well it was run. They said I did a great job preparing my successors!
Also, several of the curernt fencers complained about the new officers being terrible which kind of made me sad since I picked one of them (the one they've been complaining the most about). They are all really worried about the two officers that will take over for the current President and Vice President. But it is out of my hands (which is not easy for me to say believe me). As long as they last the year under the regime I chose, then my job is over. Then the success or failure of the club is no longer linked to me and anything I have or have not done.
But several of last year's rookie fencers hugged me and said: "I miss you as President!!" That made up for it and that was pretty much the best part of the day! That and my boyfriend did pretty well in epee (a different type of weapon than what I fence...which is foil) and did better than most of his club even though they've been really stingy about giving him practice time on epee.
So it was great to get back into competing again since it had been over a month since I had done a tournament.