Once a year for a two week period 10,000 people converge on a Pennsylvania camp ground for the Pennsic War. SCA members and folks who just want to participate in recreating the beauty, romance and chivalry of the middle ages come together to learn, teach, dance, tell stories and to fight.
This past weekend was the practice for this event. Fighters from all over gathered together to test their skill and practice fighting as units. Before being allowed to fight in anything other than practice novice fighters have to be tested and approved by two official marshals. They must prove they know and understand the various rules and that they are not going to hurt themselves nor be a danger to others on the field of battle. This weekend at this event my turn to authorize and prove myself worthy to join the ranks of the "big boys".
Authorizing really isn't a big thing. As long as you can hit hard enough to be taken seriously and not so hard as to hurt someone you will pass. But for me it was huge. I have worked for eight months to learn as much as I possibly can. An entire team of people have mentored me, guided me and pushed me to get me ready for my authorization. This was my chance to prove that I had been listening.
I went through all the questions, faced off against my opponent and fought him with all I had. I passed and I did good. I'm a real heavy fighter now. I get to play with the big boys and that is just what I did the rest of the day.
I'm home and the tents are dry, the mud washed out of my gowns. Now I'm just counting the days until the next battle.