I didn’t figure I’d have a good weekend: it was godawful hot and humid, as is normal in Ontario in mid-July. On Saturday I had to help a friend move from her third-floor walkup to a fifth-floor apartment, both un-air-conditioned. On Saturday night we had an influx of in-laws. You’d think that this trifecta would make my weekend a thing to be endured, not enjoyed. Fortunately, I had a fantastic weekend thanks to the SCA. I didn’t go out to an event or anything, I just managed to go out to a fight practice on Sunday and had a really good time.

Some days take it out of you, some days put it back in: After my big whinging post about the SCA last week, I figured I owe my readership some positive news on the subject.

Knowing I want to try out pewter casting with the goal of making a plaque belt Master D gifted me a substantial chunk of soapstone, enough for many, many pewter-casting projects. He also agreed to take my shopping list with him to Pennsic; I want the makings for a 9′ spear, a war door, and a couple-three lengths of rattan (my rattan stash has gotten quite small indeed) so all I need to do is get him about $150 in US funds and in about three weeks I’ll have a bunch of new project stuff sans shipping costs.

On Sunday, despite the brutal, sticky heat we went out to a friend’s home in the country and had an enormously fun fight practice. Sure, the “practice” was 90% armoured guys dripping sweat in the shade and 10% me taking a bastard sword to the nuts, but the company was good and and talk was fun and it was nice to just go out and be a fighter, not a group officer. I got a lot of positive feedback and very good advice on great weapons fighting from one of our local Knights, and I got to cross swords with some fighters I don’t usually get to fight, and it was just generally an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon in July.

I’ve resolved that I need to start doing two fight practices a week — the canton fight practice where I’m a group officer and responsible for helping new people, and an out-of-canton practice where I get to focus on me. Fortunately there are a couple of good practices within a moderate driving distance. I’m also going to start being much more regular and methodical about my backyard swordwork, both slow-work with the longsword and pell-work with the arming sword.

It was really, really nice just to be “one of the guys” in the SCA for a change, and I’m going to do my best to make sure that I get to be in that position a lot more often. I’ve watched too many people burn out, both in the SCA and in real life, when they stop taking the time to take care of themselves… and I think I came way too close to being in that headspace recently. It might sound cliché, but I’m coming to realize that every once in a while you’ve got to put yourself first: It isn’t about asking other people to take care of you, it’s about making the space to take care of yourself… and I’m starting to think the ability to do that is an essential skill for anyone who volunteers for a leadership role.