Swashbuckling ahead! For those who are not familiar with me I’ve been involved in sword fighting (Fencing) since 2004. With an equestrian background and loving the medieval era, I was always attracted to the sport. In 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean was released. There were some great sword fighting scenes albeit “a la Hollywood.” That was it; I was going to find out how to fight like that. I found a local club and with in three lessons I knew I wanted to compete as far as I could go. Several months later I had gone to my first out of club tournament all the way in Reno, Nevada. I ended up with my first gold medal and my first rating in foil. I went on to learn all three weapons foil, epee and saber. In 2005 the United States National Fencing Championship was going to be held in Sacramento, California. I decided I would fence in as many of the events possible. Most of my events would be with the Epee weapon but one would be in Sabre. Most fencers only attempt one or two events but I hated the thought of wasting any opportunity to get a medal. I trained long and hard at the club here, at my home, and in Davis California. I got off to a rough start but ended up being ranked 42 in the country in Veteran Epee (40-49 years of age) and the surprise outcome of getting 26th out of 96th in Div Three Saber with only four months training with that weapon, getting defeated by the girl who went on to win it.
Not one to rest on my laurels, I decided I now wanted to teach. I approached C.A.R.D which is the local Park Recreation department here in Chico. They were receptive to the idea and my class began. Now a year later the class has gone thru some changes and is really starting to grow. We now have men, women and children down to the age of 8 years. Several of my students have gone to tournaments where they have been competitive and now winning their own medals. To see your students evolve and grow is quite rewarding.
The community has been good to me and I decided I wanted to give something back. I planned on putting on my first local tournament and choose the non profit organization of Big Brothers/Big Sisters to be the benefactor. They have been helping out kids in our communities for a very long time. We choose August 19th 2006 to be the date of the first annual DARE MIGHTY THINGS OPEN fencing tournament. I decided after reading a quote from President Teddy Roosevelt that“dare mighty things” was going to be the motto of my club for it definitely is the motto for my life. The excerpt goes: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure… than to rank with those timid spirits, who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” I am very empowered by these words. It shows how we should strive beyond our comfort zone. Even though we may not be successful every time, you get up and try again. Part of obtaining the goal is the journey to reach it. The adventure makes it worth the failures we encounter along the way. Then when we do accomplish the task, the battle, the goal, then how sweet to know we were able to stretch that far and attain it, making the victory even better!
Our second tournament was to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation right here in Butte County. What a wonderful charity to help brighten the lives of seriously ill children. Our tournament raised $3,500.00. On top of that the fencing was great and the tournament was gaining credibility. We had fencers from Nevada and all over Northern California. We look forward to many years of putting on this tournament so that the public can see great local fencing right here in the North State!