times. Because of my age, I have to remove my mask more often just so I can wipe the seat from my eyes AND breathe in some air! I also need to take a few more quick breaks just to give my legs and arm a rest. The younger kids don't get it. They take their masks off and look as fresh as a daisy. I take my mask off and I look like a drowned rat! But, it is soooo much fun! Especially when I get paired off with one of the "older" guys. (I am the only "older" female in the class) They get it! Not only do they understand that the foil is NOT used for constantly whacking your opponent as hard as you can, but that there is a finesse to the handling of the foil. Also, they don't look at you like there is something hideously wrong with you when you call for a time out so you can take your mask off and try to remove all the sweat from out of your eye's and face, 'cuz they are needing to do it too! The "getup" is interesting. You have your sleeve protector (although I don't understand why we actually have to wear it since we don't use anything sharp or seriously pointy) then we (females) put on a plastic bra. Yes, a hard, plastic bra. Which I probably wouldn't need if I were just fencing with adults, but with those kids... yeh, I need the hard, plastic bra! So then the next item is the jacket, which zips up the back and it's nearly impossible to get that done up by myself. And then there is the glove and last but not least... the mask. One thing I'd like to mention here. You must understand just how badly I wanted to try this fencing thing. BECAUSE, if you saw the equipment, you would probably turn tail and run! Not because there seems to be some unnecessary stuff to put on or because of the young age of the majority of the class. But because it is SO TOTALLY, disgustingly, gross! There are dark, dirty stains on the neck and sleeve edges of the jacket, the gloves are all stained with I don't know what! And the masks, OH MY GOSH! I REALLY try not to think about that item! It's all pretty ICKY and I don't generally do icky! But there is actually, something kind of reassuring in the fact that they "assign" a jacket and mask to you at the beginning of the class and if you can get over the fact that it was originally assigned to you looking so horridly gross... and you can still put in on... Then from that moment on all of that grossness is covered with your own sweat so that the next time you put them on you only really think about how much you've sweated in it and you can sort of trick your mind into thinking that all that nastiness was done by you. (Um, basically my stuff would NEVER, EVER look that bad if I were responsible for the up keep of it. And generally, I try not to look at it much or even think about it at all or I'd never be able to take this class!) So, have I grossed you all out totally yet? Or are you impressed with my "stick-to-it-ness"? I have had soooooo much fun so far, but one thing is for sure, I'm going over my bucket list and reassessing my list to see if there are any other potentially icky situations I could be getting myself into. But one thing is for sure, my list is still pretty long so I suppose that means I have a long life yet ahead of me! (The scientific research say's so!) ;-)
Now that I've described the get-up to ya'll I leave you with this image! Try not to think too much when you are looking at it. It will only
give you the heebee-geebee's. Oh, this is me, by the way, AFTER my work out! That is all my sweat in that get up! And believe me, I did some major sweating!!!
I hope you all have a great day! And just in case you were wondering.... I'm smiling inside that mask!