Doing something new is probably one of the most terrifying things in the world. On one hand it can lead to a highly fulfilling experience that you will be forever grateful for. On the other hand it can be disastrous with soul crushing consequences. Alright 'soul crushing' might be a tad extreme, but it illustrates the point.
I am not exactly known for trying new things. I like things that are old and comfortable and known. I am not sure anyone would call me a risk taker. I don't think anyone would ever call me adventurous either. As much as I would like to think I am brave and bold, I am really not.
Only today I am being brave and doing something that I have talked about for quite some time now but never thought I would get up the nerve to do. Today I decided to try my hand at stage combat at faire this year. Yes that is right, I am going to pick up a weapon and fight in the lanes. In theory.
Why is this so scary you might be asking. I mean aside from the obvious point of the fact that I will be swinging a weapon at another human and they will be swinging back, what is there to be afraid of? Ohh wait that is totally what I should be afraid of.
Sure people do this sort of thing all the time. Sure we practice lots of safety for it. Sure there is lots of practice so that we don't kill ourselves or hurt each other. Sure there will still be injuries but that is a risk you have to be willing to take when fighting.
My concern is that I am not exactly the best candidate to fight. I have like no depth perception what so ever. Honestly I have trouble telling how far things are away from me. So if I swing a sword at someone, I am pretty much just guessing that I am the correct distance from my target. I am also just guessing that when they swing at me, that the sword is actually swinging where I think it is.
I also am not in the best of shape. I am better than I have been, but still nothing close to athletic. Even if you don't look at the chunkiness of me, or my general lack of stamina, you haven't even scratched the surface of my physical limitations. I have a herniated disc in my back for starters. This causes all sorts of fun and interesting movement limitations. I also have two bad knees. With these two ailments alone I have issues with bending, squating, and turning quickly.
If you are thinking to yourself that maybe fighting really isn't the best idea for me, you are much saner than I am. You are also thinking the same thing I have been thinking for pretty much my entire time at faire. I mean the idea of fighting seemed nice, but really it didn't sound like it would be in anybodies best interests to arm me.
So why the hell am I doing this? Well because it sounds fun.
When I was in high school and even in college I got to do stage combat as part of my theater training. I think the first stage combat workshop I attended was when I was 12. After that first stage slap I was pretty well convinced that this was the coolest thing since sliced bread. It was hard but it was so much fun. I learned hand to hand combat, sword fighting, and staff fighting. I was never the best at it, but I was always having the time of my life.
It has probably been twelve years since I last did any stage combat. I have sustained multiple injuries since then and completely fallen out of shape. I might have been capable of this back then, but now I am really not so sure.
What I am sure of though is that this is something I really want to try. I am sure that I have plenty of very talented people to teach me how to do this safely around my limitations. I am sure that I have some fight partners who will make me look spectacular no matter what.
New things are scary. This new thing might not have that 'soul crushing' potential, but it does have potential to do a much more lasting physical damage. Even with the risks and the fear and uncertainty that comes with this decision, I am happy I have made it.
I am really looking forward to this. World beware, they are giving me a weapon.