2020 Winter Warrior Challenge

Happy New Year Terrasylvae! May it be a good one.

Recently I’ve heard the month of January being compared to everything dull and boring. The whole month is said to be gray, lifeless, and depressing. The lack of interesting holidays and events seems to be a let down after the three months of non stop decorations, parties, presents, and food, Food, FOOD!

I can appreciate that perspective. Personally though, I love January! It is one great big, glorious, reset button. The whole month is fresh in it’s new year, no one expects much of anything so I have time to refocus and regroup. And there is nothing to interrupt schedules. It’s great!

With all the open free time January provides it becomes a great time to make goals and resolutions. We have some great articles on the site about goal setting. Check them out if you’re looking for some help in that regard. If goal setting isn’t your thing or you’ve already mastered it, January is also a great time to accept a challenge and work a little something new into your schedule.

Thus I present to you the 2020 Winter Warrior Challenge! For those of you new to the idea, the Winter Warrior Challenge is an annual, off season, opportunity to stay fit and sharpen some skills while we wait for the fencing season to start again. (Why does four months seem so long?)

This is Order of the Roses third year extending the challenge and we have learned a few things that will make this year’s challenge more accessible, and maintainable to those participating. Hopefully it will be fun too! With helpful feedback, (thank you) we’ve learned that fencers like a balance of guidance and freedom to explore while participating in the challenges, that mini challenges are better than great long ones, generally speaking fencers like a balance of physical and mental challenges, that the challenges need to be progressing towards something, and finally, that the challenges need to be meaningful, but not too hard. ‘We like a challenge, but we also like to win.’ I love it!

With that criteria in mind, this year’s Winter Warrior Challenge has been shortened to just nine weeks. It will run from Friday to Friday, starting today and concluding on the first day of the fencing season. A new challenge will be posted to the Website first, with a link and reminder on Facebook following, each Friday, and will consist of either a physical or a mental challenge relating to a SHASy foundational pillar of Swordsmanship.

If you choose to accept that week’s challenge, you are then totally ok to adapt it to your needs. If it’s too hard, simplify it until you can accomplish it. If it is too easy, increase the difficulty. If you don’t like it, invent one for yourself. If you do, can you share it with us so we can all learn together? As a matter of fact it would be lovely if we shared our experiences with each other as we went along. Research indicates that people who talk about their goals are more likely, not only to achieve them but, to find joy in the journey as they work. So I strongly encourage you to talk about this experience.

This Winter Warrior Challenge is a great opportunity for you to own your fencing journey. The weekly challenges are designed to be flexible to meet your needs within a SHASy framework. If you do your best they will help you on your Swordsman journey both on and off the field. I am excited to dig in and get ready for a new fencing season full of adventure, and camaraderie in our Woodland home.

I believe in you Winter Warriors! May your journey be excellent!