It’s been 4 days of intense stage combat…and I feel like I’ve been here for several weeks.

Yesterday was painful. Very painful. The instructor said that was the day that would be painful. The whole class moved like the geriatric. But we’ve sort of eclipsed that. Our muscles are starting to catch up, our bodies a little more flexible.

But I have another pain. Three days ago, we were playing a warm up game called Assassin. When you get tagged, you have to die horribly and dramatically. I, in the excitement of my horrid death, fell badly. I managed to wedge my right fist (knuckles up) under my upper, right ribs. The floor drove my first two knuckles into said ribs with the force of the fall (which was pretty hard).

I ignored it the rest of the day. The day after, the pain was very noticeable, but I ignored it again (I’m a high school basketball kid, from the school of thought of “walk it off”). Today, the pain was a worse. There isn’t a noticeable mark. I think I bruised myself underneath the surface. And all our morning activities call for full body movements (warm ups, stretches, situps, pushups, tumbles, and falls) ignite my right chest with pain. Today I had to hold back a bit from practicing some of the falls. Sword and quarterstaff fighting doesn’t seem to bother it too much. But it isn’t any better. If I breath deeply, it hurts.

But enough whining. Classes are tough…but it’s very interesting. I have a new respect for stage combat that I could not have had before this. Take sword fighting. There are a million things you have to learn and know and breathe before you even pick up the sword. Muscles you don’t use every day, just to hold the weapon right. Muscles you have to develop (in our hellish warm up exercises) just so you can stand right and assume the correct body positions for any of the combat stuff. Or ways of relaxing shoulder muscles that we’re programmed to tense up when we use our arms. Etc. Then you pick up the sword and there are far, far more things to learn. Stances, blocks, positioning, foot work, lunges, the list goes on and on. We studied some old fencing books and drawings from the Renaissance. That was pretty neat.

OK…I need to get my soar ass to bed.