En Garde

Topic of your choice

Some consider fencing an outdated sport that has become nothing more than a simple game of electric tag. Others are not as belittling and see it as a modern interpretation of an ancient sport. To me, however, fencing is much more than just a pastime; it is my model for life.

The fencing match always begins off the fencing strip. Before the match, I go over tactics and review any pertinent previous matches. My coach usually comes over and gives me some advice, but sometimes I'm on my own. By the time I get on the strip and hook up to the scoring apparatus, I have sized up my competition and noted his significant attributes, such as his height, his reputation, and his national rank. The latter information, no matter how intimidating, does not dictate what I'll do, as such data can be quite misleading. When the director yells "Fence!", I already know what my first actions will be.

This analytical approach to a fencing match is the same one I use when confronting a challenge outside of the strip. Before tackling it, I mentally prepare myself and plan what I'll do. Sometimes I'll get help and advice; other times, I'm on my own. Once I have a clear agenda and goal, I step up and take on the challenge.


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