Thank you to all of the youngsters (and parents) that came out to our first Youth Fencing Clinic held in conjunction with the Austin Challenge – Super Youth Circuit tournament last weekend. We had a blast with the kids and it looked like the kids (and parents) had a good time, too!
In case you missed it and you want your kids to attend a future clinic, we will be conducting another one at the Fairfax Challenge on April 13 in Fredericksburg, VA (see our events page for details).
Conducting our first clinic was quite a learning experience! And we don’t mean for the kids. We were doubtful that we would be able to talk for an hour and a half about our lives and experiences, but it turns out that it was actually interesting to recall these past memories. To walk down memory lane in front of an attentive audience was invigorating! It made it a lot easier to stay on topic and recall everything with both of us there helping each other out. But after being together for as long as we have, it came naturally. The more we talked, the more excited we became as we remembered our fun and exciting childhood.
After fencing for as long as we have, we tend to focus on the present and future more than on the past. When we started to remember all the things we did as youth and junior fencers, it really reminded us of how central fencing was in our lives growing up. For instance, we had forgotten about all the family trips we used to make and how fun those really were. Those trips really brought us closer as a family and reminded us how important those experiences were in getting us to where we are today. We had also forgotten about Kelley’s struggle to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Walking everyone through that experience brought back a lot of feelings that she had almost forgotten!
We were incredibly happy to see a smile on everyone’s face as we told our stories. Going
into the clinic we were a little doubtful that we could hold the attention of 10, 12 & 14-year-olds for an hour and a half. But as it turns out, their eyes were wide and focused as we talked. It really reminded us of ourselves at that age. We love fencing, and to see others love it, really warmed our hearts. We have a different perspective on fencing now that it is our full time job. We tend to focus on the hardships and stress of it all instead of the reasons why we fence in the first place. We started fencing because it brought us closer together as a family, and because stabbing people is awesome. Ironically, after all these years, we keep fencing for the same reasons! It’s nice to remember this, and that’s what this clinic helped us to remember. Happy Holidays everyone!!