Veteran fencing

You can do it!

Veteran fencing is a big topic. It covers a demographic of those over 40 that fence for fun and fitness. It also covers a varied and complex assortment of goals, as well as abilities. Some have fenced their whole lives, others may have fenced in their youth or never fenced before. So too, time has often dealt us a varied palate of considerations, kids, jobs, family, and sometimes health issues.

It is important to set appropriate goals with these considerations in mind. The over ambitious goal can lead to feelings of failure, just as too modest a goal can rob one of the sense of accomplishment. It should, however, be acknowledged that fencing is, and should be, fun for you. Veteran fencing has many opportunities for those that are adventurers. Travel, and meeting interesting, and dare we say colorful, athletes with stories to tell, are yours for the asking.

Both physical and mental agility are improved with regular participation in the sport. Often feelings of confidence and accomplishment may be found. Service to others can also be had, by using your knowledge to referee, coach, organize and otherwise facilitate our sport. I have often heard that fencing is a lifetime sport. This is more true then I ever expected.

Common issues for veteran fencers may include the increased need for stretching and conditioning with lower impact techniques. Increased recovery time in our training schedule is generally a good idea. Increased intensity with lower volume has been a useful approach for many, assuming one has a good base fitness level to start with. A certain economy of motion is often found in life long fencers. This is often done with second intentions and other tactical and strategic efforts as opposed to purely athletic actions. Simply put, we must fence smarter.

Simply put too, we must train smarter. A common point of failure for older fencers is neglecting or failing to acknowledge injuries, especially those injuries resulting from repetitive motion. These injuries are often dismissed with the statement “I’m just getting old” or the attitude that, “I can tough it out”. Keep on top of injuries by being honest with yourself and keeping in touch with your body. See your doctor regularly and treat yourself like an athlete! Proper nutrition and rest are ever more vital as we age.

I must give a shout to the multitude of veteran fencers I have known over the years with heart issues, diabetes, and almost every ailment known to mankind that still show up and fence, because they simply refuse to give up. Few of us accumulate years without also accumulating health issues. Despite this, it is my opinion that fencing is far better for us then sitting on the couch. Use what you have. Keep your sense of humor and have fun


coach Geoff