So what did I learn this past weekend? I didn’t perform as well as I had hoped in Crown, but I think the lessons were well worth the effort.
I learned that I still have trouble getting into the right mindset from a cold start. I got a clear example of the mindset I need to cultivate for fighting, the goal at the end of the Axesperiment. I learned that even if you don’t get the tangible rewards you expected, you can still come out ahead in the end (just not in the way you thought you would). I learned that while it can be intimidating to be noticed by higher-ups, it can be nice to know that you’re on the right path. I learned that the people who tell me I’m a good fighter may actually know what they’re talking about.
So all in all, the weekend was a great experience. I was feeling bummed about my first round performance in Crown, but the more I think about it the less upset I get. As long as I learn something, it wasn’t wasted time. Besides, how can you feel bad losing to someone who has been fighting for longer than you’ve been alive, and is still at it? You’d have to be pretty wily to get that far: age/treachery vs. youth/skill, and all that. I am also glad that I made it back out on Sunday for the Warlord tournament. Given the long stretch of one thing after another it took to get to Crown, I wasn’t sure if I would just need a day off. But my knight suggested I fight in Warlord, and by Jove I’m glad I did.
It’s odd: usually I’m not too keen on fighting in tournaments, let alone winning them. But my experience this past weekend has let me motivated rather than discouraged. I’m even considering driving down to the Crown Tournament in March if I can get the time off work (and my girlfriend will put up with it). Sure, I went out in two, but my second round fight gave me a glimmer of what my future could hold.
So thanks to all the people who made this weekend possible, from my friends who processed with us, to my girlfriend who sacrificed many an hour of downtime to make us both presentable. From my knight who encouraged me to fight, to all the fighters I faced, win or lose. It was a great experience, and one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Here’s hoping it’s less than four years until I get to do it again.