Stop complaining and move forward

We know, things have changed. Times are hard. For most of us, the experience of this pandemic has meant a fundamental change in our everyday lives. It’s time to realize that we cannot continue to stay still. We have to move forward.

There are a lot of terrible things that have happened with COVID-19. The loss of life is the worst and most humbling. That’s the piece that stops us in our tracks. The toll on healthcare providers, who are putting themselves in danger daily, is immeasurable. We recognize the magnitude of our frontline workers. 

There are other terrible things too, the loss of jobs, the damage to the economy, the setbacks that kids face without school, the emotional and mental toll that it’s all taken on each of us. Fencing has been hard hit, with the competitions canceled, the distance from our community, and the dreams put on hold or dashed altogether. 

Many of these things are irreparable. 

What is easy to miss, but that we cannot miss, is that many of the things that we are facing are things that we can change. There is not a loss of power in this point of our history. 

Nurturing and leveraging

During the last few months, we’ve discovered a lot of things that we have the chance to nurture. These are discoveries that we can leverage not only now, but that we can continue to wield when this is all over. 

The possibility of remote learning and a global connection is so much more than we thought was going to happen. It’s a vehicle for learning and growth that we could not have foreseen, and it’s exciting. Coaches from all over the globe are able to get together through live sessions and lift the conversations about fencing to another level. Our fencing heroes are going live, and they’re right there with us directly. In real time! We have training for fencers from disparate sides of the country and across the world, clubs coming together via zoom. It’s a global community of fencing, far more than it was before. 

There is a side to our coaches that we never got the chance to see before – their ways of caring and sharing. There is a side to our fencers that we’ve never seen either, a compassion. Fencing families, who we already knew were extraordinary, are now stepping up even more and with a whole sea of pressures that we know they are facing. The fantastic work ethic and soul of fencing, it’s all right here. 

We see that many fencers are adapting to this time. They are exploring other aspects of fencing that they never had time to dig into. The psychology of the sport, the mental aspects are now at the center of what we’re doing. With travel and training before, these were things that tended to be far down the list. Now, they are front and center. No one had really dreamed about putting so much emphasis on these facets of fencing, and yet here we are. That’s a good thing. That’s an opportunity. 

These things are not going away. At least I don’t see them going away. Tools like zoom and emphasizing conditioning, these are boosts to our ability to train and improve our fencing. The sets of techniques that we’ve learned, from connecting to other kinds of fencers to watching videos to glean every little detail, those are important. They will stick with us long after coronavirus is gone. 

Even more than all of that, our forged connections and deep and compassionate knowledge of each other is going to stick around. We have changed our lens and have nurtured these relationships in new ways. While we have been apart for so long, in reality we have become closer and we feel each other more deeply. 

Without the rush and push of daily life, we have created a new dynamic of fencing training and connection. It’s a healthy dynamic and a good one. It’s been completely unexpected, and honestly I feel that it is the best thing to come out of all of this. I wouldn’t trade these new connections for anything.  

Seth Godin – Move Forward

I am a huge fan of the work of Seth Godin. I read his posts every day, and he posts at least once a day, sometimes even twice a day. His books are indispensable in my opinion, and I have devoured each of them. 

Not long ago, he posted the following on his blog, and it made me think. I’ve been thinking about it since I saw it, and it’s driven me to reframe how I think about this pandemic as a fencing club owner, as a parent, and as a member of the wider community. 

I encourage you to click over to his blog and read it there, along with his other writing. You will be happy you did. 


Our experience of time always goes in one direction.

It might seem to speed up or slow down, but entropy and the outside world conspire to keep things moving from yesterday to tomorrow.

Given that nothing is ever going to be the same, and that backwards isn’t an option, our only choice is forward.

That’s always been true. As soon as we encounter something, anything, it will never be as it was.

Fortunately, we have a chance to make things better. Every day.

We cannot continue to complain about how life has changed from this situation. It has changed. We know that it has. We cannot affect what has happened, we can only move forward. How can we utilize the motion that has been created during this pandemic?

There are positive sides to what has happened. This is what we will take going forward. What we value later, in the months and the years ahead of us, will be the forward motion that has come from this time. The forward motion is what we make of it. It is time to stop complaining, to dig in, and to push on. 

We need to bring some great positivity to this world.