I found out about The Sword Experience in the normal route: I was binge watching Highlander on Amazon Prime then thought to myself “I wonder what Adrian Paul’s up to these days.” A few Googles here and there and in just a few minutes I stumbled across it. As a thespian I was never afforded the opportunity to learn stage combat because of my gender, so when I researched The Sword Experience further and found out that the training was inclusive of all genders and experience types, and that there was a class being held four hours from my house, I couldn’t sign up quick enough!
Let me state that I have zero martial arts training, so when I pulled the trigger and signed up for the Experience in Carbondale, IL, I had some trepidation. The closer the event date came, the more trepidation set in. On the day of the Experience I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, nervous as nervous could be, thinking “What in the hell have I gotten myself into? I shouldn’t be here. What if I fail? What if people laugh at me?” Doubt and fear had started to settle in with a vengeance, but instead of tucking tail and running away, I got out of my car, walked into the gym, checked in, and waited for the event to start.
The workout was grueling, but amazing at the same time. I was challenged, and challenged myself, in ways that I never thought possible. After the first 5 minutes, I was able to shed the insecurities, the trepidation, the “goofiness” factor. I was also able to take a mental break from all of the other things in my life that have been plaguing me. For 3+ hours this gym was my world – nothing else existed.
Yes, the squat is as bad as folks say. I thought I was prepared for it, but that wasn’t the case. I was in full-on prayer mode doing this squat when Adrian came over and adjusted my stance. “Do you feel that?” he asked. “Yep” I managed to squeak out. One minute of that squat and I was sweating. Hard. In fact, I think it was longer that one minute. No longer was he “Adrian Paul, actor” – he was “Adrian Paul, teacher.”
For me, not only was this about learning stage combat for the first time, it was also a mission to see if this would give me the exercise that I needed in order to combat the nerve pain that I have been suffering from for over six years due to Type 2 diabetes. The doctors I went to wouldn’t even acknowledge its existence, let alone do anything to help alleviate the pain. After the Experience was finished and I went back to my hotel room, I had a fair amount muscle pain, but no nerve pain whatsoever. I had finally found what I’ve been looking for. This is the solution. This is the win that I never thought I was going to get.
Thank you David for stopping by and helping me out with getting the form just right and for the good conversation. Adrian, I wish I could have expressed to you in person what I have written in this blog, but shyness took over at that point. This has meant the world to me. You have given me something that will forever change my life. My journey is just beginning. I’m hungry for more. This won’t be the only one…
If you’re on the fence about participating in one of these events, just bite the bullet and do it. You won’t regret it. It is a full-body workout, and it will be a challenge, but it will all be worth it. Visit The Sword Experience website for more information.