Mind over Matter




Have you ever had a problem that you can’t seem to think your way through?  I mean, something that seriously affects your success at work or school? In school, it might be that you just can’t seem to understand math and you need math to graduate or at work, perhaps your co-worker is the biggest drama queen that has ever lived but you need her support to complete a project on time.  Most people think that fencing isn’t really a career but it has been my career for 12 years.  As with most careers there are  hills and valleys but you have to hope the trend line has a positive slope.  With a great deal of confidence, I can say that my fencing career has had a positive slope. While that is true, I am struggling with one major problem: winning in PRIORITY*. Flash back to the 2012 London Olympics in the Bronze medal bout with the Russian team. If you remember that bout (and if you don’t, you can still find it on You Tube) in the final bout, I scored the winning touch in the PRIORITY period. YIPPEE! We won a Bronze medal. Life couldn’t get any better. Fast forward to the Rio Olympics, in almost an identical situation (albeit not the Bronze medal bout), I lost the PRIORITY touch against Romania (btw, I also lost in PRIORITY in my individual bout in Rio).  As the anchor for the USA women’s epee team, my discomfort with PRIORITY situations is a real problem.

I am determined to overcome the fear of PRIORITY!  My goal for this season is to work on developing a strategy to overcome it; to marginalize it and to wipe it off the face of the earth! I’m open to your ideas! If you have strategies that you have utilized to conquer this fear, please send them to me (you can comment on this blog post or send me a message on Facebook or Instagram. More to come! Check back to see what I’m working on!!

*[For you, non-fencers out there, PRIORITY occurs when regulation time has ended and the score is tied. The referee flips a coin and the fencer who wins the coin toss, has PRIORITY.  The fencers then have one more minute to fence and if no touch is scored (rarely ever happens) then the fencer with priority wins. However, this is a “sudden death” period where the fencer who scores the first touch, wins.]

Strategy for Future Success



I have been competing at the international level since I was 15 years old. Now I am 29. When I was in the cadet and junior divisions, I was always at the top. Now that I am solely in the senior division, it feels as though my success has plateaued. For 14 years, my training regimen has been pretty much the same: I fence, I do a ton of footwork, and I run and swim for cross training and aerobic conditioning.

After the Rio Olympics, I knew I still had something to conquer on the strip; I still had a hunger to win but I knew I had to approach things differently in order to reach the top!  Albert Einstein is quoted as once saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”  With this in mind, my mother and father pulled us together last Fall (2016) and we closely examined successful fencers to find out what it is they are doing differently than Courtney and me. Accordingly, we examined the workout practices and strategies of many international teams from countries like France, Korea, Russia, Estonia, Italy, China, and Romania.  In general, the athletes on these teams have three huge advantages:

  1. The athletes are professionals – they are paid a salary to train and fence (some are officially employed by their country’s military).
  2. The teams are surrounded by other professionals such as coaches and trainers who are dedicated to their success.
  3. The teams train and live at national or regional training and fencing centers that are supported by the state.

Recognizing that fencing will never be a state-sponsored sport in the USA, earlier this year (2017) teamHurley (which includes me, Courtney, my mother, and father) began to develop a strategy to address these three issues in a truly American, entrepreneurial way.

Follow us for more details about what this new strategy is, how it is coming together, and what the results are!

Youth Fencing Clinic

HurleySisters are proud to announce that we will be conducting a Youth Fencing Clinic in conjunction with the 2017 Austin Challenge SYC/RYC event in December.  The clinic will take place from 6:30pm-8:00pm on Friday December 15, 2017 at the Round Rock Sports Center (same venue as the tournament).  You can register for the clinic and find out more information about the event on our Events Page.  If you have any questions about the event, please email us at hurleygurrls@gmail.com or complete the form on our Contact page.

youth Fencing clinic-austin