Good News! We have made a major upgrade in our website. The Bad News, however, is that the website has been down for a week. Not to worry, HurleyGurrls are back online and on schedule!
As promised, from time to time, we will post a series of blog posts that describe what a typical “day in the office” is like for Olympic-level athletes (well, at least for the HurleyGurrls). This particular series has 3 posts which will be published on consecutive days. This is part 1 of 3. Check back tomorrow and the next day for parts 2 and 3, respectively.
While most of our workdays include many of the same things you do every day such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and playing with our pups, these chores (well, playing with our pups isn’t a chore) are sandwiched between the “work” portions of our days. Depending on the time of season, we spend between 3-6 hours a day at work. During the off season, we typically spend more time doing non-fencing workouts such as weight training but during the peak season (from December – July), we spend much of our time, outside of traveling to world cup competitions, in training camps and focusing mostly on fencing-related workouts.
We recently finished a winter training camp at Alliance Fencing Academy in Houston over the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So, while most Americans sat on the couch, eating leftovers and watching football or returning Christmas gifts, the HurleyGurrls spent this time at a 5-day intensive fencing camp for which more than 40 top level fencers from around the country participated. Ages ranged from 13 through 30ish but mostly included a cohort of older teenagers who regularly fence at Alliance and college fencers who were home in Houston for the Christmas holidays. There were also a few other athletes there from Canada, Mexico, California, and New York. Most notably, five of the top 10 senior women plus three of the top 5 junior women in the US were present! Not too often do this many top US woman get to train together at a single camp!
The camp ran from Tuesday (December 26) through Saturday (December 30) from 10am – 4pm; five hard days of non-stop work.
Typically, our training is broken into three different times of day: morning, afternoon, and evening. During a training camp, however, our training usually concentrates on morning and afternoons. That is, more time is spent in concentrated workouts as opposed to spreading them out more evenly during the day/evening.
With 40 athletes attending the camp, this gave us a great deal of variety of styles to practice against and allowed us to experiment and try new things that we normally don’t have the opportunity to do – simply because the caliber of fencers is much greater at the camps. With the number of high quality fencers attending this camp, we had a great opportunity to work on things we typically do not have the opportunity to work on during regular training sessions. Other benefits notwithstanding, this is the primary reason why all fencers should include as many (high quality) training camps in their schedule as possible. To use a boxing metaphor, athletes who want to improve in their sport should always “punch” above their weight class. They should definitely not punch down. What we mean is that if you are a “good” Y-14, cadet, or junior fencer, you should be attending camps where you will find “great” Y-14, cadet, or junior (and even senior) fencers. While great coaches usually draw great fencers to their camps, this is not always the case. Face it, many coaches are in the camp-business to make money. You (as a fencer or a parent) need to be informed consumers of the camp(s) you attend with two goals in mind – attend the camps where (a majority of) the fencers are better than you and look for camps that offer new and different fencers for you to train with!
Our apologies… we digress (but perhaps we found a topic for a future blog post!).
We will continue Part 2 tomorrow!