Thursday 24 November 2011

The Pang of Not Fencing

Pang: a sharp attack of mental anguish

Last July I wrote how I was sidelined with a knee injury, a slight tear in my meniscus, and had to take some time off of fencing. I had finished the year strong at the Can/Am tournament, knew what I needed to work on and, although disappointed that I basically could not practice during the summer, planned to enjoy the time off.

I wanted to look at this positively.

After all, for the past two years I have ended the season ranked secnd in Canada for Men's Veteran Sabre and last year had missed some events. With a well-rested summer, I would come back refreshed, mended and loaded for bear! This was my year to really go for that number 1 spot!

Lauren, my physiotherapist, told me there was no guarantee that I would be fencing in September. Although I like fencing at Septemberfest in Kitchener, the first tournament of the year, I told myself it would be for the better if I had to miss it if I needed to give my knee more time to heal, but knew inside that hell, I would be ready for it.

Missing that tournament was the first "pang"!

I kept up with my therapy and almost all the exercises Lauren had given me pretty faithfully. I discovered Aquafit at my gym as a great no impact fitness program.

Then came October. Only one tournament that month, the Queen's Open in Kingston. I can't remember what I did that weekend but fencing in Kingston wasn't part of it.

Another pang!

The original injury felt better but I my knee felt weak. Lauren scolded me on not doing a couple of exercises. They seemed rather insignificant to me at the time but were designed to strengthen the ligaments in my knee. I do them faithfully now and notice a huge difference.

October 24th was significant. It was the final day to register for the North American Cup event (NAC) in Kansas City in December. These are huge tournaments which I love and finally I am finishing in the top 16. I had hoped this year to crack the top ten. The knee still was only 50%. though, so the deadline came and went and. alas, I will not see KC.

Damn! Huge Pang!

Yesterday I took a look at the Men's Veteran Sabre rankings for this year. For the first time in many years, my name is not on it.

Although I knew it wouldn't be there, it still hit me rather hard.

There is a points tournament on December 3rd in Newmarket. I have very rarely picked up my sabre since being hurt and definitely am not in fencing shape but did considered entering. Just to get some points. Just to get myself into the rankings.

Due to some vacation time in October and my getting myself into a huge funk about this, I haven't seen Lauren for awhile or been to the gym much. I know that going to the next two practices, or not, and then trying the tournament might be an excellent recipe to either aggravate my current injury, or injure something else.

My knee is stronger but has pain. I tried some light fencing footwork drills at the gym and in an empty hallway at work but find the knee tires and pains easily. Best to suck it up and miss this one too and let my knee heal some more, although that decision is not yet finalized in my little brain.

I know it's time to set up an appointment with Lauren for physio and to get more strengthening exercises. I know it's time to get back training, if not at fencing practice, then in the gym. I know it's time to get out of this funk I'm in.

I miss fencing!

1 comment:

LeeAnn said...

That must be sooo hard, not being able to participate in something you love. Hope you get completely on the mend soon!