Detroit NAC

My head hurts, my eyes are still healing, I haven't been able to get to practice more than once a week for months, what between the holidays, getting the flu, not being able to drive, and my coach starting a new club and taking all of my practice mates with him. But I'm here, and that is something. Or, rather, my human avatar is here, while I, Fencing Bear, am still at home, sitting on the top of the dresser where RLFB put me so as to be safe from the Dragon Baby. Somehow in the excitement of trying to get out of the door in time to catch the bus yesterday, she forgot me!!! This does not bode well. Except, as I said before, I'm here, equipment checked and ready to fence. Sort of.

Alas, my head really does hurt, perhaps from all of the excitement yesterday of getting into Detroit. On the bus--and then walking around the corner past the beggars and the boarded up shops and into the luxury hotel where somehow we got rooms for the tournament. A city of juxtapositions: great food last night for dinner, but half of the buildings empty and in need of repair. Beautiful skyscrapers in early twentieth-century Gothic next door to vacant lots. Luxury hotels like the one my friends and I are staying in, but almost nobody walking around the streets, even though it was a weekday yesterday and you would think people would be downtown to work. A fancy, apparently fairly new convention center for the venue, but we seem to be the only ones there. How do you save a city once it's gone into decline?

How do you save a fencer who has lost her practice and yet has been fencing for nearly eight years? Who can't do her yoga anymore because she hurt her wrist, but has been walking three miles a day in the snow and cold for several months? Who has no coach and no club, but has been getting lessons for the past month from one of the best college coaches in the country? Who has new eyes but cannot yet see, has been praticing her point control better than ever but can't hold her on guard because her legs are now only in walking shape? How appropriate to be fencing today in Detroit, city of hope and despair.


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