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March 1999
AS XXXIII

Back to Memoirs of a fighter

3/10/99 Loose torso

In a message dated 3/8/99 11:21:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, SPPKSP writes:
> Furthermore, I can see how belly dancing gets people in touch with their
> bodies and the way they move. It's better than remaining a klutz, and it
> supplements the way fighting is usually taught in the SCA. Karate also
> teaches people how their bodies move, but has the advantage of being more
> structured, and by attracting students who expect to have to learn "all that
> boring stuff" instead of just a bunch of flashy moves. Most SCA fighting
> students have to be hooked on the fun part before they get interested in the
> technicalities.

Sigh

This has been the most difficult aspect to teach, Mainly due to what you have stated. People come to the SCA mainly for flashy stuff, for the fun, but don't want to put the focus, practice into the technique. Some are Naturals. Their body's just do it. (argh I hate them) then there are those who actually (try to) create a discipline, for SCA combat. (I like to think that I am part of that crowd.) I have found that tying the students arm to their body helps to teach them hip movement, It also gets them to keep their elbows close to their bodies.

That is the main way I have been able to teach body awareness when fighting. Other times I have done the Ol' Karate 101 type of training. Taking them to a Mirror and showing them how things move when you do this or that. Showing the connection of the muscles and how each one works for and with each other. How Standing with proper posture helps the rest of the body move freely. how a "natural" stance allows you to move freely to another stance. Also How to go through the transition from step to step (Mostly by Crescent Steps)

I have always (Before I knew it was the "fashionable thing) Fought with left or Right foot forward. (I'm talking mostly about my Shield stuff, I'm a righty) I never new that I was doing it till someone asked me to teach them the Right foot forward technique that I was using. I said "The What?" "What do you mean Right foot forward." After that I started to figure out where it was most useful to me. I tend to use it in-between the A-B Zone and to turn the C-B Zone into my A-B. everything else I tend to do with my left foot. I get more power off my left foot and more reach (obviously) off my Right Forward. I feel that a combination of both is best... Again there is no one right answer.

But for teaching people Body mechanics in a couple days (which is the extent of the SCA attention span on this topic) I highly recommend the mirror and the Tying the arm to the body technique.

After that Mirror work for doing a shot properly and Pell practice by the numbers.

These 4 things have universally worked for the students that I have taught. Some have taken more or less time in each area, but over all it has worked.


3/10/99 Loose torso....

WARNING THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!

people with back problems beware!
I am Dead serious on this one.

OK Crunches most people can do and I highly recommend all of them.

After that I recommend standard sit ups. (This is the Caution part)

Standard sit ups tend to work the (Love handles) area, the sides and Lower back side of your back. They also work you hip flexors ... the muscles that go from stomach to hip... These can help in strengthening your Loose Torso...I have very Loose joints...

OK peanut gallery no jokes about Svan being Loose!

It is a genetic thing in our family, that is one contributing factor to my Knee problem. All my Joints are loose. But with work I have tightened the Muscles to make up for the long tendons and ligaments.

If you are physically able to do so I recommend sit-ups in the Roman Chair... If you can't get one of those things Lay on a bench with at least one person sitting on your legs and hang your upper torso over the edge of the bench... Now do sit ups. Yeah they hurt like a son of a gun, but it is worth it. It is a good Hurt.

OK Those who do have back problems can now Tune back in.

If you cant do either Crunches or Sit ups I highly recommend Swimming. You find muscles that you never knew you had and they help strengthen your back and stomach.

 


3/22/99 Choking in tourneys

I found that I fight best when amused.
If I am chuckling at something then I'm having fun and things are lighter.
When I'm not amused I tend to not fight as well.

 


3/23/99 Painfull grip

> Musashi tells us the sword grip should be concentrated in the last two
> fingers
> (pinky and ring finger) and that the other two fingers should be doing
> essentially no work.

Ok all I can say is DOH!
I have read Musashi and been in Karate forever. Sigh thanks for hitting me with what I already knew but had forgotten. Argh this is embarrassing. I dont use a trigger either, could never quite figure it out. I used one for a little while just trying to figure out what everyone was going off about but just could never get it. Then it fell out and I haven't wanted to put it back.
Sensai would have me standing with books in my outstretched hands for this error. Arghhhh I cant believe I had forgotten the basics on how to hold a sword..... Argh...
They are so simple one takes them for granted.
Sigh...

 


 

3/24/99 "Choking" at Tournaments

The thing that amuses me most in a fight is when your opponent starts to try to sucker you with something you haven't fallen for in years. This happens quite a bit with me. I get very amused at the thought that they really think they can tag me with that crap.
That is what I get amused at. That and Noticing that my opponent cant beet me with what he's doing and so he changes tactics... Very obviously. i.e. Telegraphs from Timbuktu!
I take fighting Very seriously for it is the only marshal art that I have now. I fight with all my heart and soul and give the proverbial 110%. But when I know my opponent is trying to "Get" me or "Catch" me I have to keep myself from giggling.
It took a long time for me to notice those things so a part of the amusement is simply me feeling good about noticing that particular tactic.

Svan
Who has been Amused, Humiliated, congratulated and scolded among other things


 

3/28/99 Attitudes and Goals

How we shape our goals with our attitude shows who we are.

Some goals others need to know about, others you should keep to yourself.

My outside goals are to fight better in general, become a better unit commander, build up strength in arms and legs (not something that comes easy to me) I have been lifting for years but my muscles just refuse to cooperate. Argh, so this one has become a goal of, I will beat this thing. I also want my endurance (stamina) to get back to where it was before I was diagnosed as being Hypoglycemic. i.e. low blood sugar. In order to accomplish these goals I am fighting 3 times a week and doing mirror work. I still as of yet am unable to set up a pell in my apartment. Sound caries and I do not wish to disturb my neighbors. SO i use 3 nights a week and possibly tourneys as my pell practice. As far as the health thing goes I have been researching how to handle this problem, mostly because the doctors don't care about it. But I do ... for example... One time in a tourney at pennsic as I was throwing a blow my opponent changed colors and I blacked out, Got dizzy and couldn't fight for the rest of the day. Well, Now I know I have to basically OD on Protein. That is what balances me out. The strength issue is a problem that I have had to deal with since I was 8 and found out about it. So I fight a lot, and just keep plugging away at building up my arms and legs. As for becoming a better unit commander... I fight in melees try to work with the commanders, Start to figure out strengths and weaknesses and learn from past mistakes and successes. I also read a lot.

My inner goal are for me to know about. But the actions I must take to meet them are very similar to those above.

We all have dreams but it is what we do that makes us achievers or dreamers.

I am a dreamer trying to become an achiever. It will take time and effort, My husband and I both know this and he understands why I want the things I do and he supports me by not complaining when I am at practice more then I am at home. I still cook and clean and he helps with the housework. We are a team. He is my sounding board for a new shot that I thought of, or a new technique that was shown to me. He also know better than to be the one to teach me. But he listens and nods or shakes his head, depending on what is appropriate. Points out things I didn't see or asks me to explain things further.

The nights I don't want to goto practice I remind myself of what I tell my students when they say those things. If you want it you have to work for it so get off your butt and go practice. I have found that the nights that I have the most difficulty getting myself to just want to be there, those are the nights that I get the most out of my training. I may not fight well but I learn a lot.

Someone stated earlier in another post that they would never pressure someone else into going to practice. There are always good reasons that should be remembered. Such as kids, home, work, and illness. But if the reason is basically just not feeling like it, then I believe in kicking that person in the but and getting them to practice. Normally it is just a form of depression that makes you not want to go. You can never succumb to that. That is a force that must be fought. Believe me I know!


 

3/28/99 Tuesday night practice in Caer Mear

SighÖ at practice Tuesday night a knight was working with my staying in my B zone instead of his B zoneÖ

I naturally want to stay outside till I can pounce on inside. But it rarily works out that well. So he was trying to get it working. OIY

So we finish our bout and he gives me the pointers of moving with my opponent and not staying in their zone. Then he goes off and brings back the smallest (Shortest) Lilí sword I have ever seen. I laughed and thanked him. He said "Give it a try for practice, but if you truly canít stand it thenÖ" I said that I would definitely try it. Or at least that is what I was thinking. So I go out and fight and warn my first couple of opponents that I am using a sword that must be a foot shorter than what I am used to. (In actuality is was probably only six inches shorter).

Thanks to a Count at an event this past Saturday in Aethelmearc "Ice Dragon" I found out that I was getting lazy with my shield and dropping it about 2-3 inches from where it should have been. Argh So during the tourney and on this past Tuesday night I started working on getting it back to where it belonged. Man are my arms sore now.

I hadnít realized just how lazy I had become. So hiking the shield up so the corner is in line with my opponentís nose I go out and try to stay in my B zone. (Just a little to work on). The Short sword makes this interesting. I started fighting in a little closer than normal and then realized that I had to yet get in closer. As I did this I also started working on some new shots that I had been practicing. Things were starting to come together. I wasnít winning bouts but "things" were making sense. I notice that having to move in just a bit closer made me more aware of my Zones. My C zone was much smaller and well inside my opponents B zone. Basically the exercise made me notice distances. YEAH about time I did that!

So I fight for a while and the others ask why Iím using something so much smaller than Iím used to. I explain that Iím trying to work on my range and zones and they help. It was cool!

So next I get to work with another Knight. He is the first one to comment about size and how to work with it. So far in my 9 years of fighting I havenít been able to find something that works with my build. I have always been instructed by people (ok Guys) much larger/stronger than I. So I just can't get enough of what he is telling me. "Raise your arm up and punch through" I have known for years that you must punch through your opponent I get that lesson when I was 8 and in Karate. But this actually was making some sense. With some effort my body was starting to do what it was instructed to do. So Iím thinkingÖ. This is cool. Now Iím mixing the Zone thing with the shorter swords and now throwing shots differently along with remembering to keep my shield up where it belongs. ARGH So I focus pick my targets and go for them. It worked when I did it right. And well we just wont talk about how it went when I did it wrongÖ It was sloppy to say the least.

So now I get to look forward to this knight working with me on throwing shots and movement. YES finally I get to learn how to move around my opponent. I know the theories but my legs just are stubborn.

I fought for about 3.5 hours that night and didnít notice the time. But by the end I felt like I was just going to melt into the ground. My arms were dead tired and my legs were just about as bad. I had been leaning to one side or another while ducking to wrap a leg or to do a rising snap shot. OIY I worked on a bunch of things that night. Letís see what happens tonight?!?


3/29/99 I was stagnant

Lets first figure out what went right last nightÖ

My backhand when I could get the angle right hit like a ton of bricks. It seems like the throwing over my head is working for that shot. I was blocking most shots that came to my right side, and Upper Leg wraps were being caught by my shield instead of my legs.

It seems that I am lowering my shield just when my opponent is going for a leg shot. This is causing them to OFTEN hit me low. Right around the knee or lower. I know that they cant be aiming that wrong that often so I must be doing something to contribute to it. This is all that I have come up with so far. I know that Iím not lifting my foot off the ground when they are throwing their shot. I have spent a long time working that glitch out of my style. So it must be my shield. The other thing that could be happening is that Iím stepping out of the shot as it lands. This would also account for my being hit low. (Something to think about)

OK lets start with the first boutÖ

I felt stagnant. There was no Bouncy Viking. I walked straight in and Blam! That accurately describes my first bout.

After that Knight 1 tells me that Iím not bending my knees.

Bout 2: I try to keep my knees bent and throw from the hip with my arm elevated to the new style of hitting that Iím working on. I move in and try for angles and manage to get a shot or two in. But I notice that my shots are lacking power and that my right foot is forward WAY too often. Ok so I go into my third bout and try to move in using angles, keep my knees bent, and throw from the new spot and not fire so much while my right foot is forward. Iím getting frustrated.

I go out and fight Knight #2 he has his round and I havenít fought him much so I want to do well and have some fun. Iím still stagnant and he stops the bout and mentions it to me. Aww Heck I toss most of what Iím working on out the window and bounce on in to fight him as I normally would. I am keeping in mind angles and footwork in general. This bout goes much better; I even almost had fun. He sees me bounce and calls out "thatís it" So I know that things are working just so long as I continue to be myself out there.

As the night goes on I fight a few others and fight them like I did Knight #2. Things are looking up. Iím not getting the Kills but things are feeling a bit smoother. Except that I keep moving in on my opponent and as I get there my right foot is forward. Argh! Ok I take a break think things out and go and play with the Chux. Just being out there and trying to not get killed I have fun. So I go and fight one last guy. Iím trying too hard, trying to Make things work instead of letting things flow. With out the right rhythm and flow nothing works. Iím still moving in too slow on my opponent. It gives them all the time in the world to come up with an attack and to go for openings. That is normally what causes me to be one shotted. (Something to work on) I have to move in faster throw more shots as I enter my B zone. This should help solve the problem. (Will think more on this on e later)

During my last bout I have to stop suddenly. I thank my opponent and tell him that I just canít swing the sword any more. I didnít want him to think that it was because of him. So I armor down and Knight #1 comes back over to talk to me.

"Are you having fun fighting?" Normally Yes, tonight no. He nods and says that it didnít look like I was enjoying myself out there. We talk about my training and all the different regions that I have lived in so far and the Vast number of instructors I have had work with me. I also mention what I friend told me was wrong with my fighting. "You have just had too many Cooks in the pot" Too many people helping me. Iím a scrapper when it comes to learning to fight. I have never had a dedicated teacher. Once in a while an individual will work with me for a few practices but it always ends. What I have learned I have learned by watching, doing and taking advice. I will try anything once, give it an honest go. I am now at a point where all my thoughts and teachings are becoming jumbled. I have been here before I know what happens when everything sorts out. I become a better fighter. What Iím feeling now is just "Growing pains" Little more. Growing as a fighter hurts, physically and mentally. You may get hit more (I do) while learning, and you have to rewire your brain to work with the new techniques. Unfortunately I have been doing what Iím doing for a while so rewiring takes a bit more effort. Iím off to Ft Lee practice tonight and Iím planning on only working on my approach, controlling my zone and throwing a shot properly. Anything more that is mentioned to me will be saved and used at another practice. I need to start censoring the info that Iím given into usable bits. Too much at one time gets me killed and frustrated.


3/30/99 Fear.

At practice I actually felt the deeply routed fear of getting hurt and not being able to do this. Not because of and injury keeping me from it but from not being able to handle the injury. Does that make sense?

Every shot that landed and that even just stung a little helped entrench that fear into me. This is not something I have ever faced before, it made me mad. I felt Vulnerable. I have been fighting for years and not felt vulnerable. Why then did it hit me last night? I've had black eyes and a broken jaw and none of those effected me like this. I have been seriously hurt and never been afraid of the pain. Afraid of what the hospital staff may do to treat me but not of the pain.

As I think it out contributing factors could be that lately it seems that every time I get into the suit I get hurt to one degree or another. Luckily only twice have I had to stop fighting for the evening because of it. I got Blotoed by a sword shot and it hurt but that wasnít what hit me hardest. I was mad because of the people who saw it happen. I didnít want any of them to be there. I was embarrassed. I was thinking "Oh great look at Svan she just got hurt AGAIN." The guys at that practice are great I know that they werenít thinking that in the way that I was. Most were concerned that I was OK. I was "Fine" just royally #*@#@!. So I re-padded my helm and continued to fight.

While fighting all that was going through my head was that I was mad and that I couldnít do this. In trying to derail that train of thought I just got more frustrated.

My fighting picked up, my instincts started coming back on line. Yeah the lefties were still able to one-shot me but I was at least doing something to make them think.

I shaved down my sword handle. It had been recommended to me, I normally keep it natural with some grip tape on in. This one I shaved down to feel like my katana. It was a little larger but it felt natural in my hand. There is no other way to describe it. In talking with the Peers I mentioned that I took their advice and shaved my handle down. I showed it to them, they didnít like it, it was still larger then theirs and my hands are much smaller. Sigh I tried not to get defensive but #@*&$ it Iím trying, Iíve got a lot of things to work on and I really donít need to hear that what I have been using for 9 years is wrong. Ok now that that is out of my system I can figure out a few more things. So Iím going to shave the handle down to the size that they recommended. To heck with what feels right. Time to just shut up and do as Iím told. So we shall see how I throw shots next week and what they have to say about my grip. I mentioned the fact to one Peer that I have been using the same grip for 9 years, he helpfully added "and how well have you been fighting for those 9 years?" That was it, that was the last straw. I blurted out that I have sucked rocks for 9 years, and that it wasnít just because of my grip! Ok so I turned into an irrational person for a bit. I have reached sensory overload. Even just putting these words down is difficult. I am fighting in armor that isnít comfortable but lacking the ability to do much about it. Having just moved into the apartment I no longer have the nicely set up shop that I had in my house. I canít just go into the back room and start designing and making new legs. And so far I havenít found an armorer I know who will make what I want. The angle from my hip to my knees is greater then it should be so having legs that connect the uppers and the knee cups like normal is not comfortable. I have started using separate Uppers and Knees. This feels great! But the pattern that I used is lacking in protection. I canít handle getting hit in the knee much more. I have stopped wearing my Viking pants in an attempt to see if that was the problem. From what I have see it doesnít seem to make much difference.

A couple guys came up to me and told me about how my defense was working for me last night. I was appreciative for their information. It helped even if I wasnít the most receptive person last night.

 


April 1999
AS XXXIII

4/6-16/99 Changes

I have been a bit lax in my writingsÖ Sigh I will attempt to fill in all that I should have from the first of this month.

While wrestling with my own stubbornness I decided to Shave the handle down to the recommended specs. It bothered me greatly on the 6th but I kept plugging away at it. May hands are not used to actually gripping the stick. Normally my hand has just rested on it. So I had to stretch out my hand every other few minutes. I finally realized what was wrong with my old styleÖ Sir (x) in NJ (yeah that narrows it down w lotÖ NOT) <eg> got me to work a shot from way back on my shoulderÖ It worked real well when I was using it. Over they years I have allowed my shoulder to creep forward. (this results in my elbow dipping and therefore loss of power.) All righty then. So I'm instructed to keep my shoulder cocked back where it belongs (for me) thatís cool I just have to re-teach my arm to do that. NO ProblemÖ

I think I need to rebalance my sword. It is the one thing that I can think of as to why I am gripping it so tightly. I used it in the Melee (War practice this past weekend) and it worked well enough. Still a bit foreign but I'm sure that will pass. Grumblemumbleraslesnarff.

OK I went to Thursday night practice last night. My hand got tiered so I switched to my old grip to give it a rest for a minuteÖ "THEY HAVE RUINED ME!!!!!" ;) I cant use my old grip anymore! Sigh, well at least now I can shave it down. Ok It hasnít changed a lot of things, but I now cant use my larger grip.

I was focusing on punching through and keeping my shoulder back last night. Then it hit me! Hey the only difference between the new style and My old one is that I now have my hand off my shoulder. Ok I can work with this. The shots are cleaner and easier to throw now but they work with my old style. (The one I had become lazy with.) I also found where my shield used to go in my old style so I started sticking it back out there. YEAH!!!

I needed to fight someone who knew what my calibration used to be so they could tell me where it was now. I'm using so little effort now that I cant believe that I am throwing a good blow. So my Hubby and I went out and I tagged him a couple times. Made him go Eyoww! I asked him how it felt cause all it felt like to me, I was my moving my sword forward and connecting. No real effort on my part. He said it was on the High mid range. Cool so now if I ever have to, I know I can hit the High range. :)

 


4/17/99 Fighters Colegium

Well I drove up to AEthelmearc this past Saturday. Found out that it would only take me about 4 Ĺ Hours to get to Pennsic. Yeah. OK so that doesnít relate to my fighting but hey its still a good point.

So I went for the Footwork class. After only having a couple bits of information about footwork given to me over the years and my not picking it up by watching people fight this was by far the most useful class. I learned to minimize my movement and to keep my guard in the same place as I moveÖ That might be a valuable bit of info (Duhhh). So now I have footwork drills that I can do at home. Yeah! Hey they may not be perfect for me but I will at least give them a fighting chance. The next bit was an impromptu to class on Spear Technique. Considering that my lessons in Spear have consisted of Hold it up, Poke at them and snap the SpearÖ Block with the haft and run away. This 45 min instruction was invaluable. I learned that you donít HAVE to run away that there are alternativesÖ Duck, Dodge, or even Run into them. (Evil Grin) So after receiving this one individuals I now feel better about fighting Spear at Pennsic, I intend to get authorized in it this summer and fight the Bridge battles with it. I'm not confident enough to fight open field battles with it though. (EEEEP) Then I went to a Katana Class. Ah what a breath of fresh air it was to have "oriental" philosophy given out. Sigh.. I hadn't realized how much I had missed it. OK it was mixed in with many other bits of info, I will have to get out my Katana and sort them all out.

Then cam the Tactics class. This was a good basic insight into Tactics. It proved to be a good review. Worth it for all involved I thought.

The Two Sword class then became the second most useful class of the day for me. It was from the same instructor as the footwork class. So he combined the footwork that was originally steered towards W & S to 2 W. Learned another way to block shots.. The "diamond" method. This looks much more effective then what I have been using.

So finally at the end of the day after standing around and running drills in my armor I finally got the chance to fight.

First bout was my sword and shield against Pole. Ok fine I was standing just inside his pole range and he was able to snap the shots in. Arghhh. I really need to be more aware of ranges. I also realized that if I could see his head and the head of the pole then I could keep track of him. I had been watching the hands of those who I fought and that just resulted in my head getting knocked off and my loosing my opponent. So I started to use this tracking method with this guyÖ It worked much better, when he moved to my left I could counter that move much better. I was also working on angling my shots to run along his pole. Something I have been trying to do for years, But I sometimes forget and start thoughing horizontal shotsÖ(duhhh) Then thinking that I have lots of time to work on my Sword and shield I got brave and brought out my 2 sword Fought a lefty knight and started working some combo's.. Thank god he was patient. I haven't had a sword in my left hand in a while. With a lot of slop and crap I finally managed to pull out a couple good shots. Definitely need to do some pell work with that arm. Then I went out and tormented a Katana, We both were too tired to chance each other down so it was amusing. He thought that my left arm was doing some rather interesting stuffÖ Well I said wouldnít yours too if you never practiced with it? We laughed and the fighting ended. Basically during those bouts I was working on applying the footwork and the 2 sword techniques that I had been shown along with some of the mental aspects from the Katana class. It worked well enough for the first time. So I will try it again tonight.


4/26/99 Random thoughts

I've spent some time thinking this week. Ok don't run for cover yet. It's not that bad. Just about what I want out of a fight practice and Instruction. Simple stuff really but if I don't know what I want out of things then how can I get what I want. (icky little circle) So... Where to start...

1.) Advice, not change. Unless I'm really at the wrong end of the stick with what I'm doing. That mostly pertains to Sword and shield. What I'm doing is ok, just needs some tweaking and I need to know when I'm making a mistake, Such as dropping my shield after 3 shots or opening up as I throw a shot.
2.) Help on keeping me on track for what I should be working on. I have never been able to work on more then three things per practice successfully. I try but it blows up in my face. Having someone who knows what I'm working on helps to remind me. For example the time I was trying to work the Mulianee (sp) into my bag of tricks. I kept forgetting to use it, after the first few bouts. Occasionally having the word tossed out to me reminded me of my prime objective for that practice.
3.) Basically not being made into someone else's Style "Cookie Cutter syndrome" Mine is just fine.. when I'm not being lazy with it.

Then all this thought turned into so Why Do you want to be a squire?  Ack that's a sticky question. I don't want to be a squire. If I did I would content myself with stopping at that level. It is my belief that I will always be a student for one never stops learning. But I wish to only be a squire as a stepping stone to Knighthood. Then that train of thought lead to so why do you wana be a Knight. That's even tougher. What could I do as a knight that I couldn't do as a Normal good fighter. I could have squires and help them to become Knights or Masters. That at this time is about the only thing I can think of. I could have students with out being a knight. My students could go on to be knighted but I would not be able to stand up for them on that level. Oh sure I could talk to people but that's about as far as I could go to help them after teaching them and instructing them as I knew how. Being a knight is a personal goal I have set for myself. It is selfish and I know that all to well. If I don't get it it will not stop me from doing what I would as  knight. Just limit my final level of assistance to my students. You do not need to be a Knight to teach Chivalry or Honour on the Field.. Those are things that You should have before you attain that level. Every Day I try to be Chivalrous and Honorable. When I'm not I make amends. In doing those things I hope to teach by example to the newer fighters. I also Keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut...ok well shut some of the time... so I can see and learn from those others around me.

10/03/01 Long time no speak

If you want more details on anything that has happened before I will be filling in the info soon enough. I've just gotten back into writing this thingy.

OK, so I have been away for a very long time. I have been out of armor for 2 full years plus a couple months. Its been hard, I'm not going to lie about that. Some days it has been unbearable. Over these two years I have had to do a lot of thinking, learning, and growing. I think I'm finally on the right path with it all. Spent too much time Mad and then too much time depressed.
I had to first accept that I'm done fighting. sigh. It's still
kind of hard to say that. Oh I know that someday I may get back into Fight practices and MAYBE small melee's. But my War days are done. I can not afford the injuries that I may get during them. 
My shoulder got munched at Pennsic 28 (August 1999) It was stupid. I got tackled and well things went wrong from that point on. I saw it coming (not the hit but the likely hood of my getting munched.) I had the
sense that I should go play else ware and I didn't listen to it... Ok So now I have learned to listen to that voice when it yells at me.

In October of 1999 I went to a fight practice in Maryland to see if I could do this. I went out with my small round on the bad arm and fought lefty. Told people what I was doing and that I was running at about 1/2 speed and 1/2 power. Everyone did great with that. However on the way home the shoulder was screaming at me. It kept it up for several days before it went back to its normal pain level. So... I had to stay out of fighting for a bit longer.

Then in December of 1999 I separated from my husband. I'm not going to speak of that matter here because it isn't appropriate or relevant other then the fact that it effected the way I thought for a while. Then in January 2000 I decided to leave the SCA with no immediate plans of ever returning. I got attacked by the rumor mill yet again and this time the betrayal was just too much for me to deal with. So I turtled up in my cave and started falling into a depression again. This lead to a couple months of interesting life. I dated a Mundane who then later tried to kill himself in his car while talking to me on the phone. Because I was breaking up with him. Stupid prick did it not far from my apartment so I grabbed my blue bag and went to the scene to bandage him up till police and EMT's showed up. I still broke things off with him. Why did I start seeing him? Point blank I was bored and lonely. He made sure I had things that I needed but also kept me from having to face a lot of the things that in the end I still had to face. I dumped him because he didn't understand me and I realized that I needed to deal with my life. Then I had a friend want to be more then a friend and get rather snotty about it all. Sheesh. I don't want to have to do that again. Ugh. 

Some of this was going on while Jim and I were getting to know each other. Did he effect the way I look at life? Sure but not by making me see things. More like helping me be me. For once being me was a good thing. So once I was in that environment I was able to take a better look at my life and at my fighting or lack there of. I was able to move ahead with many things.

I skipped Pennsic 29. I wasn't ready to get back into the SCA at that time and well I no longer had any camping equipment. I was also not ready to watch a lot of fighting or to even be around fighters. In October 2000 I went to Kingdom Crusades and met up with Jim there. I marshaled and got to deal with a lot of issues. I could be on the field and still be effective. I could handle not fighting as long as I was marshaling. This was a great relief. I was a bit edgy out there but we were also seriously understaffed. Later that weekend I was then asked to Head up a program in that Kingdom. Life was going great and this was my first event since I left the SCA. That night I found out that My Knight had won Crown in AEthelmearc. Life was going to be getting very busy and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. Getting back into the SCA was one thing but to that level... it was more then a bit daunting.

My knight took me as his man at arms two days before I got munched at Pennsic 28... took me on on Tuesday I stopped fighting on Thursday. That I think has been one of the toughest things to handle. I went though a tough time of... "When I finally get on the road I wanted to get on... It gets removed from the map." yeah it was one big pitty party... and though most of this I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. I had lost two friends and none of the rest of my friends knew me well enough to know where I was coming from, mostly because they never knew where I had been. So I shrunk my own brain. Figured out that when I was laying on that field that Thursday I KNEW I was done. And I realized that a part of me died. Once I learned that I was able to get one with the mourning process. Some may think that to be a bit extreme but it was more or less what happened. After that I started thinking back to some of my thoughts before July 1999. Of Why should I be a squire... Why should I be a knight.. there wasn't anything I could do as either one that I couldn't with out. Ok so yeah you cant have some jobs in the SCA without being a knight. Big deal... doesn't stop me from trying though... Those were my basic thoughts until my fighting started picking up again and I started having more instructors at practices then opponents. Then I just wanted a home base... a place to belong. Not really a strong enough reason... but it was enough then. So for the past two years I have felt like a useless man at arms. I'm still working on this but haven't made any headway on it yet. Have to talk to my knight and see what we can see. It is the most frustrating part of not fighting.

At war I was made Scout Commander... Ok So I thought I was just going to be Scout marshal and would get this war to learn how to be a scout before I was made East Kingdom Scout Commander and expected to command a group that I didn't know how many existed... I learned this the night before the woods battle. EEK. See Pennsic 30 for more info on this. So I'm now back on the field, sort of. I'm facing new challenges. Like how to be taken seriously as a scout, and as a marshal when I'm not out there proving I know what I'm talking about. That's only going to be fixed in time... I'm not whining here... just stating observations. 

OK so I still have a lot to work out. I have new roads that I'm paving and that I'm marking on the maps. Enough of reading a map. I'll make my own.

I'm still a bit twitchy on the field and I still have nightmares about getting gacked as a marshal or a scout or just because I'm on the side lines... Silly I know but my subconscious hasn't learned that yet. Think war did some good with that. Managed to not freeze at the entrance of the woods battle even though every inch of me said run the other way. So its taking a lot of effort to just get out there and Scout and to Marshal. Some day it will be easy again and I will be eager to do it. Now I'm doing it because it's my job and I know I have to in order to become human again.