T-Minus 7 days

by spaghettipirate

(and counting)

My time in Paris is winding down, and the weather as cloudy as it can be, has brought some fantastically sunny days spending it on the road, and the weekend was frightfully busy between the fencing competition and the roller blading.

Of course because I honestly can’t fence epee well to save my life – despite what Phillipe may tell you otherwise – I thought it would be a good send-off to the fencing club and to cap my time in Paris with the local fencing competition that the club was having this Saturday.

Under normal circumstances – this one being no different – I wouldn’t have a whiff’s chance of winning, but it provided a good opportunity to take the week to train for it as well as a goof exercise in how to properly rejuvenate the body between fencing as well as nutrition needs.

It also gave Phillipe a chance to get back into his old coach/trainer ways and I handed over the steering wheel to him – so to speak.

We woke up early to go for a bit of a light jog, just to stretch the legs and feel out any kinks or knots in the back, and at 9am the park is quiet and the grass is still sprinkled with dew. After a good stretching, I was allowed to drink as much as I wanted up until half an hour before lunch.

Lunch was a fantastic affair: Consisting of carrots and tomato salad with olive oil and citrus juice, followed by a steak hashe, followed by basmati rice and cheese, finished with a banana and grapes. My belly was happy and after a good meme (see: siesta), I was ready to take on some serious competition.

Fencing started at 2pm and ended for me around 6pm. 4 hours of fencing – not straight through – is enough to tucker the best of them out. It certainly reminded me of my college competition days but with decidedly more sleep and less 4am wake up calls.

It was a group competition with pools and a direct elimination afterwards. There were about 5 different clubs present with at least one team of three, sometimes more. (Rueil had 3 teams). Myself not being the strongest epee fencer, I did apologize for the ~high-stakes game we were playing but not going to get too far in. For me it was more about the photos anyways. They (Laurent and Stephen) didn’t seem to mind too much.

Sweaty doesn’t begin to cover how hot it was. It was like taking a shower all over again, but when we were eliminated from the DE’s I was able to take a wonderous hot shower and scrub the day’s worries and sweat away. Happily munching on a banana I was able to cheer on my team. (We didn’t win)

Still I started to say my good-byes, sad as they are, and said that one day soon I would return to Paris and to be sure to look everyone up again and maybe even try again with epee (Sabre all the way).

If the abuse to my body on Saturday was not enough Sunday brings about the roller blading and it was Christina’s first go at it. I’m certain she underestimated the 20km route, but she was able to finish, blistering feet and all. (Phillipe, bless his soul, ended up pulling Christina for much of the way and many of the uphills and clutching screaming for dear life on the downhills) I was able to stay abreast of the pack, and given the fencing on Saturday I was pleased at my quick recovery.

(I am feeling it today however)

I may not be the strongest skater, nor the fastest, but it felt good to be running with the leader and on the giant closed off boulevards, when the sprint suddenly springs forth, the feeling of wind in your hair arms pumping and heart thrumming against your breast bone is almost unmatched.

Christina had fun waving and hi-5ing the tourists as they took our photos and Phillipe was carrying her along. All in all I’m glad that she came, as it was a good workout for her, and something that remains unique to Paris. She’s also very proud of her accomplishment. I had fun roller blading.

Dinner brought crepes, and I’m pleased to say that the batter was my best batch to date.

Today my sister wants to go the Louvre – but we’ll see if she can get out of bed today. I would suggest she does, for because while I’ve done and seen what I needed/wanted to see in Paris, we are running up against the clock. But I think that the roller blading winded her more than she thought. Maybe it’s time to get the trumpet out…

Today with a little luck, the Louvre for Christina.

And tomorrow Belgium!

I look forward to sea food, fries, chocolate, and beer.

Mostly the chocolate though.