We love our usual workouts--a hike here, a jog there. Although they can get a little bit mindless after a while. But do you know what’s not boring? Chasing your friends around with a sword.
That’s exactly what we did at month-old Silverlake Fencing, where we took an intro class led by 26-year-old Karolyn Szot. (The first hour-long class is free; $25 per class after that.) A former international competitor and varsity team member at Northwestern University, Szot was calling out instruction to a bunch of 8-year-olds when we entered the Sweat Spot studio. We thought, How hard can it be?
Plenty tough, it turns out. In the warm-up, we maneuvered our way through footwork drills along an agility ladder on the floor. We were shocked at how much nimbleness, strength and speed fencing requires--and how little we seemed to have. After donning a protective chest plate and mask, Szot showed us offensive and defensive stances as well as let us jab a few good swipes with the lightweight, flexible foil.
We left with pleasantly sore thigh and core muscles (all that lunging)--but we hadn’t noticed during class because we’d been concentrating on form and outwitting our sparring partner.
It’s official: We have been schooled.
Silverlake Fencing, 3327 Sunset Blvd.; silverlakefencing.com