Last night, hell almost froze over.
For the first time ever, I turned into an attacking animal.
Not out in public, since that would be slightly illegal. Instead, for one brief fencing bout, I turned into a foaming-at-the-mouth crazy attacking bloodthirsty beast.
How crazy was I?
I almost beat Jim in a bout. I got eight points to his ten.
Jim is one of those fencers I dread going up against . He’s scary good. Been fencing for at least 15 years. Goes to national tournaments. Is like the Borg in Star Trek because, when someone gets a touch against him, he assimilates what his opponent has just done and instantly devises defense strategies to prevent it from happening again. You can even see through his mask how his face is moving as calculations rush through his head. His free left hand twitches as if counting off counterattacks.
About a year ago I got way up to six touches against him, but it’s been downhill ever since as he (with robotic efficiency) kept improving while I pretty much hit a plateau. For a long time now I’ve been lucky to get two or three touches against his ten.
Then last night I finally, really, truly ATTACKED and never stopped ATTACKING.
I didn’t use sophisticated tactics. I didn’t have second and third attacks planned should my first fail. I just LUNGED and HIT, JUMPED and HIT, RETREATED and PUSHED BACK and HIT.
I realized afterwards that I’d stopped thinking. Instead what I FELT pushed me the whole time. It was like being controlled by an unleashed, wild desperation. A screaming instinct kept telling me to ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK.
Which, by the way, you’re supposed to do in fencing. Or pretty much in any martial art.
Afterwards, I was exhilarated (EIGHT POINTS!), but I also felt weird. I’ve been fencing for about four years with months off here and there, yet for the first time I had experienced absolute unbridled aggression. For the first time I successfully put myself in an attack mode and stayed there. What I felt was a kind of unthinking dark place that was very un-nice, unfeminine, unpolite. The conscious me vanished and a fierce subconscious took over.
Afterwards I was a bubbling sweetheart. I was also kinda in awe. At long last I personally understood that this is what James Bond is like when he fights. Or Indiana Jones or Alias or Nikita. Or Layla, for that matter.
Break on through to the other side, Jim Morrison sings.
I finally got to the other side.