Hitting people with sticks

Well, yesterday I showed up to practice, put on "loaner" armor (actually, the armor of the one female heavy fighter in my shire, which she very helpfully let me use) and tried swinging some sticks around. I had a great time! It was hard! I’m really tired today!

I’m still processing it all. The movement patterns were new, the fact that the entire point was to whack a human being was new, and accepting that I was going to get hit was new. The knight marshal taught me how to throw a couple blows, how to hold my shield, hit me in the helmet a few times at varying strengths to see if I was going to freak out, and then passed me off to an experienced fighter to practice throwing some shots and having those shots returned. All the fighters at practice eventually got the chance to ‘fight’ the noob, and everyone was wonderful and put up with me not knowing what the heck I was doing and hit me with appropriate strength (though I was encouraged to hit them as hard as I could!) For the most part the hits were startling but not painful through my armor, though people kept getting me on my unarmored hip and that left a painful lump (I was told that my armor’s owner also had problems with the hip and wanted to add some protection there). The sword was heavy, holding my sword arm up to strike the taller fighters left my arm tired, the shield was a little heavy, but the armor wasn’t heavy or awkward at all, aside from the honkin’ steel helmet. It was definitely a workout though.

I had some trepidation going in, but honestly it was the most fun activity I’ve had in a while– even while getting whacked I was laughing and grinning through my helmet. Even today I’m still in a great mood. I don’t know if fighting just works for me, or if it’s leftover adrenaline, but regardless it was a great way to blow off some steam and I’m looking forward to next week, where hopefully I can be less "AAAH FLAILING ARMS OF DOOOM" and start learning some technique to do things properly.

I thought it might be weird being the only woman there but everyone was very welcoming and not weird at all. (It helps that I’m used to playing the "one of the guys" role when needed.) No one was like "eee girl fighter" except for my A&S ladies who were more like "omg you look like a f-ing badass!" Which was awesome too. So I’m going to be thankful that my shire is full of great folks and roll with being the only woman in armor for now. At least until the other one gets back and I can’t borrow her armor anymore :)

Anyway, this morning’s workout was just 30 minutes on the elliptical and stretching because I’m pretty beat…

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2 Responses to Hitting people with sticks

  1. Gingerzingi says:

    I took fencing in high school, and it was hard to transition from learning moves in front of the teacher to actually employing them against another student. All knowledge flew from my head! But practice helped, so I imagine you will have less doom flailing less time :-D This is very exciting, I hope you find you love it.

    • G says:

      Yeah it’s really hard! My husband has proposed building a pell— a padded post in the ground for practice— in the yard so we can train. I like the idea but the neighbors are going to think we are so weird…

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