We did a whole bunch of sparring at training today - almost an hour, or so it felt. And as frequently happens I'm out there fighting against teenage boys and/or young men who are not only faster than me but also much better at sparring. And that's hard. I mean, against them I stink to high heavens. I'm slow, and I feel it.

But!

Sparring against these fine fellows with the long arms and the fast twitchy muscles improves my sparring like nothing else would. So part of me is very grateful for the opportunity to stink (er, you do get my drift, yes?). And you know, when I get in the ring with ladies my age, I find them slow. So there's that.

Anyway, what made me super happy today is a piece of criticism I got not to try to score all the time, but to relax and occasionally let my opponent make mistakes instead. Your aggressive game is fine, he said. You can score, and you do that well - but you shouldn't do it all the time because that makes you predictable.

OK, got it, will try my best. But at the same time, yay! Because I've been working on being more aggressive and go-getter-y since the provincial qualifiers last April. I remember at that time feeling like I was fighting decent but not being aggressive enough and therefore coming home with silver medals instead of gold ones. And I also remember shouting at myself (inside my head) on the drive back from London to Ottawa (duration: approximately forever) that it was time for me to stop being such a chicken and stop fighting so defensively. That it was time for me to get more aggressive and go get my points.

So yeah, today's criticism indeed felt like a very sweet personal victory. I've managed to fix one problem. It's just that I fixed it too much... I guess now I'll just have to recalibrate all that and see what happens.