Firsts and Lasts

There is always a first time you do something. Sometimes it is a moment worth living for big and impactful. Sometimes it is a quiet thing that over time becomes part of you in such a way you can’t remember life before it was a part of you. After you’ve been doing that thing for a while you tend to forget the first time you tried it. And the new thing becomes a familiar thing, something you’re use to. But there is a first time, for everything.

There will also be a last time you do something. You might not even realize when that happens. It might take a long time for you to notice that you haven’t done that one thing for a while. Or maybe it is a big thing like finishing a project, graduating or leaving a job. And you could have all sorts of reactions to either last, maybe you’re glad it’s over, or maybe you’re going to miss it terribly. But there will be a last time, for everything.

These firsts and lasts are powerful moments. They can be life changing, motivational, and emotional. Our reactions to them makes us human. That we recognize them makes us better. They are such beautiful moments.

I had one of these moments in fencing the other night. And I admit I teared up inside my mask a little because it was such a cool moment. I lost the fight I was in the middle of because of that, but it was worth it.

I’ve been training with my apprentice Miren for a little over two years. She has been so amazing! She has come so far so fast, and I am so proud of how hard she has worked and how many obstacles she has faced and overcome. She is an inspiration to me. I realized quite a while ago that she was ready to move on. And after a little back and forth she was convinced that she is ready as well.

The moment I’m talking about came as she and I were doing some pick up fights. Nothing too serious. Stuff she and I have worked on dozens of times over the last two years. It was a familiar part of my life that I am use to. Just working with my apprentice. Then as we were prepping for another bout I realized that this was it. This was a ‘last.’ She isn’t going to be my apprentice any more. She has grown beyond me, in such a good way. I’m so happy for her and for what she has done and there we were at this ‘last’ moment. All I could do was feel it. Because I couldn’t change it. And I didn’t want to. It was beautiful.

This is when I teared up and she tagged the side of my head in a clean kill. And I laughed. And for me in that moment it was done, the apprenticeship ended. There are some formalities to finish up with, but it is finished. That is a positive and uplifting thing. I’ve got that happy sad vibe going on. But it is so wonderful! Well done Miren! Now keep going.

This is what Terrasylvae does to us. This is what fencing does for us. It gives us these beautiful, life changing, motivational, inspirational, human moments. I just love it so much!