At the bottom of the platform, behind you

I am here, right behind you. Usually i stand, sometimes i sit on the floor, and when i can find it, i sit on a chair. And i look at you.

When i started coaching i thought i wasn’t going to be able to properly see from there, and that i wouldn’t have been able to help you from that position. After all, during the one hundred lessons we had i was always in front of you, and when you practiced in the gym, i used to be right next your fencing platform, in order to have the best perspective so that i could correct every single mistake you made. Now i am behind your shoulders and i can barely see the weapon. It took me a little while, but then i understood: I don’t actually need to see well; i know by heart the way you move, and i know all the movements you make, i taught you that way, i saw you doing it thousand times, to a certain extent those movements are also mine. Behind you seems to be the best position for me after all. The best position to let you know that when you turn around i am there, to reassure you every time you look for me, to tell you that the scoreboard doesn’t count. Regardless of everything else, i am there behind your shoulders, exclusively concentrating on you.

I’ve told you many times that on the fencing platform you are alone; that you are the only one behind that fencing mask. And indeed it’s true. I told you so because i strongly and truly believe it, and also because i don’t want you to think you have disappointed me in case of an unlucky last thrust; and i told you so also because, i have no intention of stealing any of your credit and your happiness in case of a rather succesful last thrust. My merits, our merits, we know them, we have built them together, spending time caressing each other’s blades, in a continuous contact, which became some sort of dialogue.

What i actually never told you though is that i am also alone when standing here behind you. Only concentrating on you. I have hundreds of people around me; i am sure i even had coffee with some them two minutes before your competition. Yet when you get on that platform i don’t see anybody else but you. You become the world. While you move i imagine and i see the same moves we tried so many times in the gym, and my heart starts beating at the same beat of your strain and of your tension. And when i hug you at the end, whether is to cheer you up or to celebrate you, those emotions you see on my face have nothing to do with the assault, as i often immediately forget about that. Those emotions are just a reflection of yours. I don’t rejoice or suffer with you, i rejoice and suffer for you.

I am here, right beside you.




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