Alright Fencers, January is here! With the beginning of the New Year, and two-ish months (ugh) until the start of the season, the time has come to get up and start preparing yourselves for the upcoming months. There’s been a longer than normal period of us being forced to sit back and not being allowed to go out and do things we want to, and we, like you, have had quite enough of that.
So, let’s shake the gathered snow and dust off our shoulders, pick up our swords, and get back into the swing of things (get it? The Swing of things, because, like, you swing a sword? Eh?). We’ve designed a new approach to the Winter Warrior, and we’re excited to work with you on it.
Why We Are Changing It
The Winter Warrior Challenge has existed for several years now, meant to be used by members of TerraSylvae to stay active and sharp during the long Winter period when we don’t have traditional practices. Traditionally, each week of the Challenge has included a list of activities for fencers to engage in to sharpen your skills, refine your mind, and get you warmed up so when the fencing season starts, you can hit the ground running and be prepared for the activities ahead without feeling like you’ve lost ground since last year.
It’s a wonderful challenge, and we’ve received many, many reports by those that have participated in the WWC of how much it has helped them not only stay in shape and ready for the season, but also helped them get ahead and receive extra practice before they go back to seeing friends and comrades. That is so great, and we’re very proud of all those that have participated. However, we’ve noticed a slight setback these past few years:
Not very many people want to do it.
Don’t worry, those who haven’t participated aren’t to be shamed, put in the stocks, and paraded before the whole village. On the contrary, we hear why you may not feel like pushing yourself to complete the challenges set before you. It’s hard to motivate yourself to do something like this. It’s like going to the Gym alone. No one has really checked up on you to see your progress, cheer you on, and celebrate your achievements, or push you to do something to improve when, let’s face it, it’s far more comfortable to relax for a few months, and feel like you can just start again and make up some lost ground when the season starts.
Furthermore, while you may feel like participating in some activities, you may feel like not every one of them is meant for you, and you don’t want to feel like you’re falling short by not completing all of the activities. We feel you there. Making a mind map may be easier for some than doing 40 pushups every day for a week, or vice versa.
So, in light of this, we’re making some changes.
The New Challenge
As of late, the focus for the Order of the Rose is “Owning Your Own Fencing Journey.” Take responsibility for yourself, and push yourself to take control of your life in a new way. We’re continuing this theme by giving you a new approach to the WWC.
Here’s how it works:
Every week, on Fridays at 6 PM, the Officers of the Order of the Rose will be on the Discord App. Get on at this time, and an Officer will individually consult with you on what you want to do to prepare for the next season. Consider it like a personalized course, decided between you and an Officer, with assignments chosen by you, whatever you want, however and whenever you want, with a level of difficulty you find appropriate. Do you want to work on your ability to analyze a duel? Want to work on strategy or command? Are you looking to write an article or story, but don’t know where to start? Do you need a friend to go through a pre-season workout routine with you? Whatever you want to work on, tell an Officer about it. Here’s what they’ll do:
- Help you decide on a course of action for your personalized Winter Warrior Challenge.
- Cheer you on individually and provide guidance and encouragement to keep you going.
- Follow up with you to help keep you on track and moving forward.
We are here to help YOU accomplish and grow and have fun. We do the Winter Warrior Challenge not to assign you homework, but to help you make the most of your time and effort, and help you start a new season with your friends with a feeling of accomplishment and excitement for the coming months.
Concerns and Questions
How do I decide on something to do for the WWC? Two options: Think about someting you aren’t that good at yet, something you feel less motivated to try during practice, something you’ve always wanted to try, anything you’ve wanted someone to help you become a pro at. Suggest that to an Officer, and set up a plan. Or, if you aren’t sure, talk to an Officer during that time on Discord, and they’ll help you figure out what subject would be right for you.
What role will OotR Officers play in all this? Officers are here to reach out to you and act as friends and mentors to help you do your best. They will set plans with you for the Winter, they will reach out and follow up with you on your progress with the challenges, and they will help you if you have concerns or problems.
When will Officers be available? We’re always available! If you want to send us a message on Discord or Facebook Messenger, please do so! The times that we’ll be officially available will be on Discord at 6PM. But, once we’ve helped you get going on a project, we’ll always be available to help answer questions and get you back on track if you need it.
Here’s some links to past Winter Warrior Challenges to give you ideas: