Fatigue has gotten me into a rut. When you’re stressed, it doesn’t take much energy to write about how stressed you are. But I worry that I start to sound like a broken record. So today I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and write about something else.
This weekend, I’m going to be fighting in Crown Tournament, the most prestigious tournament in my local SCA kingdom. Every six months, we determine who, by right of arms, is to be our next king and queen. As such, the tournament attracts all sorts of fighters, from the big names and big sticks to young (and sometimes not-so-young) up-and-comers looking to get seen and make a name for themselves.
I am one of the latter group. I have been fighting in the SCA for about ten years now, and have done relatively well at the local level; I was Warlord of the local Barony, and do relatively well at practices. One of my proudest moments was coming in third in an unbelted (non-knight) tourney a few years ago at Battlemoor (a big end-of-summer camping event). My only losses were to the fighters who got first and second place; can’t be upset with that. Or this past Battlemoor, when I was the last non-knight in a six-foot spear tourney.
However, due to my relatively shy and retiring nature, I don’t get out much. I’m not exactly the type of person to go strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know. Due to time and money constraints, I don’t travel to other parts of the kingdom as much as I might. As such, I find it likely that the knights and other fighters might not know who I am. I’ve come out of my shell a lot since joining the SCA, but the shell is still there.
This is part of what the Axesperiment is about, finding ways to get over those last few hurdles, those last few plateaus on the path to success. I like to think that years of martial arts experience (both in the SCA and through Taekwondo) have left me with a good physical base. For me, these last few hurdles seem to be largely mental. Besides, I’ve fought in crown before; even though it many ways it’s a big deal, in others it’s just another tournament.
Crown can be a great place to gain that visibility. Since it results in the (eventual) crowning of our next king and queen, a lot of people will be there, both fighting and watching. It’s a great chance to make a good impression on a lot of important people. Although it is always a possibility, it is not likely that I will win. There will be bigger, faster, more experienced fighters out on the field. But that’s always likely to be the case. So when I fight this Saturday, I will be there to be seen. I will strive to make my lady and my knight proud. I will do my best, as that is all we can ever do.
I am sure you will surpass your expectations but what will you do with a Kingdom at your feet?
Believe it or not, I have that shell as well. Glad I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone since coming back to the SCA, since I now am meeting wonderful folks, such as yourself. I wish you well in your bouts this weekend, and wish I were able to take the field as well. I’ll be there.