Wednesday, February 2, 2011

en garde!


as a fencing mom, i've helped to cart my son's fencing equipment around the country for five years. he's fenced at  tournaments from sacramento to miami, chicago to memphis, atlanta to hartford. we've gotten strange looks from airport security in many cities and i've learned to answer questions like "what's in that bag? golf clubs? ski equipment?"


when it came time to look at colleges, we weren't sure he would want to keep fencing. even though he ended up choosing a school where he could continue with his sport,  i quickly realized my days of helping him schlep his 50 pound equipment bag were over.


last weekend, my husband and i drove across a few states to attend his first ncaa tournament (just beating the blizzard!), and it was quite a different experience for me. throughout middle and high school, my son and i traveled primarily alone to tournaments while dad held down the fort, and i got used to having him in the car with me, watching videos for long hours as we criss-crossed the states, or in a plane seat next to mine, doing his homework (or watching videos ;-) but now i was on my way to see him fence as a spectator. my role as active fencing mom had officially been retired.


college fencing is also a big change for my son. on the national fencing circuit it used to be he had to carry everything on his own shoulders in an individual event.

but now -- what a difference. college fencing is primarily a team event, so he has a lot of folks to lean on.

after a year away from competing, his dad and i really enjoyed watching him in action once again. 
son (at right), making preparation for his attack.


lunging and making the touch (signified by green light above his right shoulder.)

the top photo was taken his junior year in high school. a newspaper did a story on 3 local fencers who've earned national medals in their sport (he's on the left, appearing equally dubious about the foto op as is the young man on the right). i'm proud of him - so thanks for indulging me another mommy moment. 


i do miss my boy. but i don't miss lugging my share of fencing equipment. now i just have to figure out how to substitute heavier weights in my weekly workout ;-)

23 comments:

  1. Fencing is a beautiful and noble sport !
    I liked you read and above all I liked your beautiful photos ! :))

    Bye**

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  2. Wow -great photos! Your son looks very talented. My son took fencing the year we lived in England and enjoyed it. Up in Maine we lug around bags of skis instead.

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  3. Amanda, treasure these moments. Soon, they too will only be memories. I still miss all those activities, the hustling, the quick meals, the excitement.
    Thanks for sharing these moments with us; through your eyes, we appreciate the heartbeats of life's joys.

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  4. Thanks for sharing and telling us all about it. Fencing is an interesting sport. I have a girl friend who does it.

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  5. I do miss my boy, you say. I can relate to this!

    Really great photographs, Amanda. Reminds me that my first husband did a little fencing for a time, nothing serious, but this has brought back the dim memory of the sword and the outfit. Looks like your handsome son really enjoys this!

    As per your comment on my lost purse post: Yes, it did cheer me that an HONEST person turned in the purse. We need to look out for each other!

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  6. What a handsome and talented son! My niece fenced for a while, and I'm well aware of the speed and agility it requires. Awesome!

    I remember when my third son went off to college on a football scholarship. I had toted stinky sports equipment in my car for so many years from so many different sports for so many boys, that I actually missed the stinky smell!

    Enjoy the new-car smell, Amanda. You've earned it!

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  7. transitions.....

    sounds like you are in the middle of one, from child to adult.

    my jess is now 33, amanda,with a family of her own. and i've spent most of yesterday and today worried and glad that she did not have to drive in the snow today.

    the lugging may stop but the love only grows.

    nice post :)
    love
    kj

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  8. Love this "mommy moment" from you and look how well he is doing out on his own! It looks as if college life is totally agreeing with him - what a cutie.

    My nephew is in his first year at the Air Force Academy and he is fencing as well, probably made the same events on the national circuit as your son over the recent years.

    I'll always love a mommy-post...

    Bises,
    G

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  9. You have every reason to be proud!
    Oh I would love to be a part of the fencing team! I just have to figure out an easier way to lug the equipment. ;)

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  10. They all look adorable in their fencing outfits and swords. Cool. :-)

    http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/

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  11. mahon - thanks for your nice description -- i agree -fencing is a noble sport!

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    sarah - i imagine fencing is big in england - it certainly is in the rest of europe.

    yes, skis would definitely rule the day up maine!

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    rosaria,

    your comment almost brought tears to my eyes. i so appreciate your statement; 'appreciate the heartbeats of life's joys'. i will try to do that♡

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    loree, before my son got into fencing, i never knew anyone who did this sport! it is a bit obscure, to say the least!

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    ann - so you've watched a few fencing bouts in your time as well!

    yes, so glad your purse was returned. there's so much bad news reported all the time that it's lovely to hear something good for a change!

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  12. jo - wow, i'm pleased to hear that so many commenters know someone who fences! but the sport has doubled in popularity in the past 10 years so i guess that shouldn't be too much of a surprise..

    3 boys and all into sports.....yikes! you've earned a fresh smelling car yourself! it's funny the things we miss tho....;-)

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    kj,

    that is the thought of the day:

    'the lugging may stop but the love only grows'

    i may have to engrave that onto a photo frame for my son. thank you for that lovely statement.

    xxx

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    genie -- wow, your nephew fences at air force?

    i'm going to send you an email - he and my son likely know of each other!!

    small, small world ;-)

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    cherry blossom girl - if there's a fencing club where you live, then you can join a team -- believe me, it's a lot of fun to fence! but yes, if there was only another way around that lugging part...

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    fickle cattle -- thanks for dropping by and commenting!

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  13. oh amanda, you make me cry. what a beautiful post about your beautiful handsome son. i love these times, you are all making the best memories. you are such a good good mom.
    xxx

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  14. wow he is good looking and great in a sword fight - well done to the proud parents too x great photos!

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  15. This sport is so elegant, hopefully he will continue this hobby

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  16. All the very best to your talented and handsome son.

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  17. Your son is so handsome! And I can see your features on his face!
    My Mum fenced - (only as a hobby)...but I remember what a thrill it was to see a fencing match - live! Thrilling!

    Great photos - I felt I was there!~
    (Particularly the shot with the green ("I hit you, Monsieur) light!

    Engarde! Bravo!

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  18. Thanks for sharing. I did not realize that was your son's passion.

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  19. Fantastic photos! You captured the action perfectly :-)

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  20. This is so cool! I had no idea schools had fencing teams. It's great that he's kept up with a sport he obviously loves. What a handsome guy...I'm sure you're over the moon proud of him.

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  21. I think fencing carries quite a lot of romanticism to it... and history of course! All that skill is an art form, just a shame the pointy end can hurt and they have to wear all that protective padding these days instead of the tight pants and frilly white shirts of bygone days ... oops, my mind started wandering to those old Errol Flynn movies ;)

    ... bet you had some interesting times checking in at the airports*!*

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  22. lori - and you've supported more than one child through a sport, i know!!!

    thank you for your kind comments, dear lori ♡

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    val, awwww, many thanks!!

    xx

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    ola, i agree. i've always thought fencing was elegant. i never get tired of watching it either. i hope he will continue with it too - fencing is sport you can do throughout your entire life!

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    philip, many thanks!
    xx

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  23. robin -- haha!! i hit you monsieur!! i must rent one of those old movies and watch a climb the stairs backwards kind of duel!

    your mom fenced?? how cool is that -- i bet you have some amazing memories of seeing her do this sport.

    thank you dear robin for dropping by ♡

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    sonia, he loves fencing, but sometimes the tournaments can be a grind - they take all day!

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    sara, thanks! glad you enjoyed the images -- as with any sport, it's hard to time the shot and catch the action ~

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    julie - you'd be surprised how many schools have fencing programs - it's one of the best kept secrets in college sports. i believe if more kids knew about it, they would start fencing, as there are a lot of opportunities outside the tradition football, baseball, basketball arena.

    thanks for your kind comment - we are very proud of him ;-)

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    annie -fencing does have a storied history, going way back to the days of duels. nowadays it's about speed, agility, like any other sport, but throw in all the electronic aspect as well. most of all i love the cerebral element - which is why fencing is referred to as mental chess.

    and yes, going through airports with the equipment has brought a few looks!

    welcome back from your travels!!

    xx

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