I’ve been fencing for almost seven years and those seven years have been busy. I started high school, I took the SATs and ACTs, I went to prom, I graduated, and I just finished my first year of college. People always asked me how I managed to dedicate hours to train daily and still do well in my school work, tests, and still manage to have a social life. My answer was fencing.
Fencing for a minimum of eighteen hours a week sounds like it takes over all my time, leaving me stressed out when it came to any other aspect of my life. But in reality, I would have been more stressed out without fencing.
Exercise has many more benefits than just improving fitness and staying healthy. Working out increases alertness and energy, which means that even after working out for three hours straight, I have enough energy to continue my day with close to full productivity. Exercise improves mental health which puts a positive spin on my day. Working out also plays a part in improving the immune system, so I don’t get sick as often.
There was a time in high school when I took time off from fencing to focus on school. During this period of time, I did not work out as much and was honestly very depressed. I was always frustrated for no reason, I rarely completed my assignments on time, even though my schedule was close to empty. I was often sick and would miss school because of fevers, colds, and headaches. I stopped spending time with my friends and family because I just wanted to be alone… always. Every aspect of my life was deteriorating. After a few months, I returned back to fencing and my grades started getting better. I was on top of my responsibilities and was active in all the different organizations I was part of, both in and out of fencing. I didn’t get sick as often and I started spending time with important friends as well. Most importantly, I was happy.
I now fence for a Division 1 NCAA team in college and when I talked to people on the team and alumni who had taken a break after graduating college, many of them revealed that they had similar experiences. My little sister also went through the same thing when she was in middle school.
Evidently, fencing has helped with productivity in fencers of various different levels from all around the country. Of course this is applicable to other sports (and working out in general), but for me, personally, it was fencing. And I can not be more thankful for having a sport that really helps me keep at my best!