Turns out fencing isn't really my cup of tea, but when you find an online deal for a private lesson for only $15, you kind of have to buy it. Unless you're Scrooge McDuck, but then you have to wear those absurd cartoon spats and, well, you know those don't really exist and all so what's the point, right? RIGHT?!?
My deal-loving index finger felt compelled to click on the link, give a credit card number, and purchase the deal for one lesson at Dallas Fencing Academy. When would the chance arise again for me to wield a sword and not be the subject of a breaking local news story?
I headed to my fencing lesson, not knowing what to expect. This wasn't like a BYOB painting class where you know you're getting brushes, paint and a hangover. The good news is all the equipment is provided for you. The bad news is it's community equipment. I can still smell my face from the mask and yes, it would make a lot more sense if I'd simply wash my face, but maybe you should quit telling me what to do and just let me report the facts.
Fact No. 1 - Don't be late for your lesson.
The Russian lady running the show was pretty big on punctuality. She was also not impressed with my ignorance of the dress code. Long story short, wear pants. And don't be late.
Fact No. 2 - Be born with patience.
Within the first 15 minutes, the coach told me "It's a lot like chess." I pretty much checked out after that. I can't handle the slow pace of Connect Four, let alone fencing.
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Fact No. 3 - You will spar with kids.
That's right. I got my white-jacketed butt handed to me by a bunch of kids. They hook you up to this electrical thing that beeps every time the tip of your sword makes contact with an opponent's body, so there's no way to cheat and tell the kids (that you're 20 years older than) you know more and "Trust me, I'm winning." That said, I'd spend that $15 all over again, even to be beaten by kids.
The private instruction was brief, and I learned how to stand "en garde" (the stance fencers assume when they're ready to spar), advance and retreat like a proper fencer. Plus, they let me say "hi-yah" as many times as I wanted, even though that was clearly the wrong athletic endeavor. I still say you'd fare better if your attention span is slightly greater than of a...wait, what were we talking about again?
Dallas Fencing Academy is located inside Telos Fitness Center, 1370 Dallas Parkway. Call 214-558-7789 or visit dallasfencingacademy.com.