I had a weekend breather – an absolutely fabulous weekend, actually. Bambi and Charles came. There was an event TEN MINUTES from my doorstep, which we daytripped. I aquitted myself respectably, despite having NO sleep the night before and breaking my greatsword. I did take it easy and knocked it off early because during the breaking of said greatsword, I wrenched my arm big-time. My child was an angel at the event (even though a sunburn made him CRANKY the rest of the weekend), and we grilled and ate steak on the deck in amazingly cool and beautiful weather until we couldn’t eat anymore, and then we sat around and watched the bats swoop until the stars came out. In short, it was all quite perfect. PERFECT.
And then I took a hiatus from SCA related questions that really needed to happen for my own sanity. But now? I really have no excuse for not tackling Artos’s question. And throwing in Finna’s for good measure.
So, asks my Knight, “Why do you fight?” A question not unexpected from one’s Knight. One would even say rather anticipated. This does not explain why it has taken me so long to puzzle out a reply.
As always, there is a trite answer – Because I like to hit people with sticks. Few are willing to come right out and reduce it to that level, but there is a primal satisfaction to full force combat with a fellow human being. I mean, how often do you really get those opportunities in a legal forum with minimal risk of long-term physical consequences? But, as Sarah guessed, there is a little more to it than athletics.
I guess, it’s like they say about climbing Everest – I do it because it’s hard. No skill that is easy to master has ever captured my attention for very long. Fighting has been hard.
I am not a natural athlete. I was a small girl when I started – about fifty pounds and 26 years ago. I am impatient. I anger quickly. I have a woman’s upper body strength issues. There have been a lot of things to conquer in order to be competitive, and just as I start to get control of them life issues have conspired to set me back.
But I can’t walk away. As I said before, it’s not in my nature to do so. It has never occurred to me to think that there was something I could not do if I put my mind to it and developed the self-discipline necessary to master it. Fighting has proven to be the most difficult skill I have had to master. And I am still working on it.
And surprisingly, the physical part of the game has proven far easier to get a grip on than the mental discipline necessary to excel. That has come hard and late. I got used to losing for so long while I trained my muscles to move “that way” that I didn’t even notice when I stopped losing. The idea that I can win and not just give somebody a damned good run has been hard to get used to.
Count Seth has been harassing me on and off with the “why isn’t being a Pelican good enough” issue. The answer is “because it isn’t what I trained for”. This isn’t about prestige. I am thinking that considering I hold every Royal rank, and one Peerage bearing a Patent, that there really isn’t too much more to gain in that arena. And, frankly, it also isn’t what I signed on for. Power? That’s a bit laughable considering we are dealing with a make-believe power structure. No, it’s because I have spent a lifetime training myself for a goal. It’s about the fighting. And yet, it isn’t. It’s about the person that the journey makes you. And I am not there yet.
So, why did I decide to squire to Sir Artos? That’s a far simpler question to answer. Because he IS the Knight that I aspire to be. And he believed in my ability to be that Knight at a time when I desperately needed somebody to believe. And, as long as he still does, I will keep on doing it.