It’s been a while since I talked about my efforts to restart a fencing drill regiment at my local practice. Unfortunately, there’s a reason for that: things have kind of stalled out.

Things seemed to be going well before the winter holidays. General practice attendance was up, I was motivated, and people seemed interested in hearing what I had to say. But then the holidays came around, and people started having other commitments. Attendance dropped, down past what I felt was a critical mass for drills. And then, as attendance started coming back up, it was time to start doing melee drills for those people going to war. Long story short, we haven’t really done drills in several months.

I could keep coming up with excuses. But the reality is, I’ve dropped the ball. I got out of the habit of leading drills, and let my nervousness get the best of me. Say what you like, but it’s tough for me to waltz into a room and take control of the training environment. Especially when there may be people who seem more qualified than me there (read: white scarves). After all, how do I know what I’m talking about, or if what I have to say is of any use to anyone else? Maybe I’m just wasting my time…

These thoughts, of course, are not rational. But they’ve been gnawing away at my confidence, making it that much easier to push drills of until “next time.” Heck, it’s been so long that even I’m getting rusty on the curriculum I wrote. If I’m having to re-learn things each time, how can I expect to be able to teach it to others?

I’ve been trying to think of ways out of this slump. Writing about it is helping; once it’s down on the page, I can see how ridiculous it sounds. In fact, the voices of my friends start crowding my mind, trying to slap some modicum of sense into me. In fact, I’m already feeling more motivated to lead drills.

But that’s not the reason I started this post. My main concern (after self-confidence) is familiarity with the material. So here’s what I’m proposing: I’d like to use my next few blog entries to detail the curriculum my friend and I have developed. Right now, it doesn’t exist much beyond a few bullet points and diagrams in a notebook. It needs to be fleshed out, and I’ve been meaning to do so. Doing it here, in a more or less public environment, would mean that I can’t shirk my duty, that I would need to actually follow through with my intentions.

(This is what I do, see? I trick myself into productivity and gainful activity!)

So for those of you who read this blog and come to fencing practice: if you’ve been expecting drills, I’m sorry. I’ve dropped the ball, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m going to try to make it up to you, and hopefully end up with a better product for us all at the same time. As always, your feedback is welcome.