I had many doubts when I started taking fencing lessons. Was I strong enough? Would I be able to endure? Would I end up injured? Would this happen, or that? After a few months of it, I’ve learned several things.
1: I’m not going to fail. Once upon a time, I used to do yoga. However, during the last 10 years or so, I was mostly sitting, so I thought I would do terrible. It turned out I did just fine. No, I’m not going to become a champion – but I am on my way to become fit, I have a lot of fun, and I’m learning a beautiful new skill and art, which is the point of doing it in the first place.
2: I’m not the oldest one (not that it matters). Many people in my group are younger than me – the youngest one is 11 (younger kids have their own group). However, some are older, and the oldest one is our fencing teacher. So, I’m not too old. There is no too old when it comes to fencing.
3: I’m not the worst, either. With so many younger people, I thought I might slow them down. It turned out many of them tired just as quickly as I did. Fencing takes a lot of effort, period. And you build up stamina in time, so it becomes easier, until you get to the more difficult part. Then you build up some more stamina.
4: Strength isn’t all that important. Holding a sword – for the time being, a foil – is something none of us was used to. The weight of a foil is about one pound. A child can hold it, so your strength doesn’t matter much. However, since you’re not used to holding it properly, your arm will hurt for a while. It’s normal, and it will pass once your body learns this strange new thing.
5: Body quickly gets into better shape. Our bodies were designed to move, not to sit all day. They were designed to have muscles and stamina. Once we start moving them, especially if we do something that takes considerable effort, the results become visible really soon. After a week or two, I got muscles in my legs. After a month, my waist was 4 centimetres thinner – and I certainly wasn’t starving myself. And I’m getting better and better.
I believe that all of this applies to other things in life. We won’t fail, at least not if we keep trying. We’re not the oldest (and even if we are, so what?), and we’re not too old, either. Nor are we the worst. Strength doesn’t always matter, and once we start doing something, we gradually become better.