So Crossroads was this past weekend, and I ended up having a really good time. Having a full weekend off work was a nice change of pace; I even managed to sleep in! Sure, it was only until 7am or so, but it’s all relative. And even if we didn’t end up staying on site, it was fun to hang out with my friends.
I even ended up fighting this weekend. I was slightly surprised, given how exhausted I was going into things. But oddly enough, it was my knight saying I didn’t have to that gave me the energy to gear up and hit my friends with sticks. It’s as if I was able to remember that fighting was something I wanted to do, once I was reminded that it wasn’t something I needed to do.
And as often happens, I’m glad I did fight, because I ended up fighting really well. There was one tournament each day for Heavy and Fencing, and I fought in them all. Saturday I ended up making it to more or less the quarterfinals in each, and Sunday I made it to the semifinals in both. Sometimes you have off days, and sometimes everything just clicks; this weekend was one of the latter, and I haven’t had one of those in a while. I don’t like to brag about myself (and I’m not just using that as some sort of false modesty excuse), but I felt pretty good.
I also got several compliments on my fighting, from several knights I highly respect. Which was great; it was quite encouraging. But it also is kind of intimidating. It means people are noticing me. That I’m no longer just some faceless drone in the fighting ranks. That I might actually be good at this fighting thing.
It made me thing about what I talked about a month ago, on the nature of “mastery” versus “mastery of the basics.” Since I joined the SCA, I’ve dreamed of being a knight. It’s why I started heavy fighting, and although my interests have branched out, it’s still a goal I hold. This weekend, for better or worse, made me realize that (and this is a weird thought) I might be closer to knighthood than I thought.
Maybe that’s just the ego boost from placing well in some tournaments talking. But on the other hand, maybe it’s something I really do have to consider. I’ve often said I’m too nice for my own good. Part of that may be excess humility, a blindness to my own achievements. In fact, you can probably see it in my writing right now: notice how I keep on throwing out qualifiers, coming up with other explanations? It’s an interesting reflex, and one that feels weird to be working through in semi-public on a blog. But writing seems to be the easiest way for me to do so: it gets my ideas out of my head, into the open where they can no longer clog up my musings. It also lets me document my progress, so I can tell whether or not I’m just re-treading worn paths or if I’m actually moving forward.
And really, I’ve been fighting for about ten years. Even in the unstructured training environment that is the SCA, that much time has to get you somewhere, right?
This will require more pondering.