Battle of the Nations flight home

We are flying home. We are somewhere over the Atlantic. Not quite halfway over.

I have not written in the past few days, as there was simply no time. We have been running fast and furious.

There are so many things and stories to write about, that it is difficult to even start. That, coupled with extreme fatigue, and most likely some residual grogginess from getting brained by a pole axe is keeping me from really attacking the task of documenting my thoughts. I still have absolutely no idea what the reactions of our deeds are, be they good or bad, as I have had very limited contact with home. But I have no doubt that a few folks have Been following it. Ultimately, it matters not. I have been weighed and measured. That is what counts.

I will relay a few small things right now. We 30 have all felt the hand of providence heavy around us. Even in the significance of that number. You couldn’t plan this stuff, for sure. Most of us were pushed to the brink of exhaustion and pain, and we continued past. Something very special was forged from the sweat, and pain, and blood, and vomit. At the end of our tests, this was acknowledged and formalized in a way that will change our lives forever. I’m sure details will emerge as time goes by. Right now, I have focused on just completing the journey and coming home to my loved ones. I have so many people to whom I am endebted that I really don’t know if there is any way to repay them, even if I could.

This will most likely get posted later tonight after I get home. Right now, the only things I can think of is my saddle soreness from these hard seats, and the fact that the bottom of the chair on my back is causing me discomfort.

My fellow adventurers and I are most thankful for the fact that, in spite of injury, we didn’t’t have to check a puff chair in the baggage. (laugh)

Inventory of our crew:

Scott: concussions. It’s kind of cool. His two black eyes make him look very dangerous. Which, of course, is the fact.he is doing well though, and no current side effects. Each one of us wound up with so many tales to tell. In the Zurich airport, his rough and hard look got him talked to by security. He wound up talking to a security fellow at used to box, and had fun talking about the fights with him. Scott is one tough son of a bitch. Poke a stick at him at your own risk right now. You have been warned. To be perfectly honest, it would probably be a good idea to not poke at any of us right now, unless you are interested in getting your ticket punched. Not a threat, just the facts.

Rudy: right now, we are not quite sure what the injury in the shoulder is. Doc said it is either the scapula is broken, or there are torn muscles. We are sincerely hoping for broken bone. It takes less time to heal. But he is managing just fine.

Brad: His eyebrow was cut, but not as deeply as he had hoped. Guess he will keep having to fight to get that scar. He has some spectacular bruises in various places and some musculature things, but he is doing ok.

Me: I got knocked out the last day for a little bit. It was actually the last fight. A cool way to end it if you think about it. I woke up to the perpitrator standing over me asking in broken english if I was ok. Chuckle. Doc said I was ok, but would feel some effects. Most of the effects are gone by now. I also have an extremely annoying bruise right in the center if my middle back. It hurts when I, say, sit in a chair with any kind of lumbar support, or ride for ten hours on an airplane. I have various other contusions, but past that, we are all safe and sound, although there is no doubt we all left blood on the lists.

It’s funny how your perception of things change. Some are widespread, some are subtle. For instance, in the sca, if a man comes off the field with a scratch on his face, he would be immediately swarmed over by people concerned with his very life. Conversely, by the end of the first day, there was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about seeing one of your teammates washing blood out of their visors so they could get ready for the next bout. Support staff would calmly hand them water, and they would swill it about, their blood spilling onto the list. A number of times, fellas came out with their armor spattered with blood from god knows where. Teddy (I think) came out of one scrum, and calmly asked the Doc to splint his obviously broken finger. After the doc was done, he borrowed a pair of clamshell gauntlets for the next fight. There was not one Whiney son of a bitch on any of the teams. Even the russian (i think) who wuite literally got a finger chopped off. It was hanging by some meat when they reset it. It was just accepted.

Quite frankly, if anyone is thinking of joining for next year….well, you had better get used to the idea of some pain and getting back up after eating a dirt sandwich. That’s what knights do. If it isn’t for you, that is perfectly fine! But be careful what your mouth gets you in, if you start talking. (chuckle)

Rudy said it perfectly…. “My armor is built to save my life, not make me feel good”. That statement is exactly the truth.

I haven’t actually looked at my harness yet to see damages. I got popped in the last fight, and had help from my brothers in arms to get out of my harness. They packed it before I was clear enough to look at it, so I don’t know what shape the helm is in. I had accumulated some pretty good creases, but I guess there is a really good one from the weapon that put me out. We shall see. It’s in the belly of the plane right now.

The buckler is,…… In ok shape.there is not much of the paint left on the center boss, but st Michael is still there. It looks beautiful to me.

My falchion is in great shape. It has become a ten times sacred thing to me, not only for the obvious reasons, but for reasons to be revealed soon by the commanders.

I have many treasures. All of us do. These objects have their own story. I will write those stories as things go on.

I think I have lost more weight on this trip. Actually, I know I have. I didn’t really want to, as it is most likely muscle instead of fat. But I have no doubt I burned through a lot of protein. When I get home, I will most likely rest for a few days, then return to training. There is still much work to be done.

Crown is three-ish weeks away. I plan on getting John and Brian to help me transition. I would rather not put my buckler through the back of some poor dude’s bascinet if he didn’t sign up for it. If I do it to either of those two, well, them’s the breaks. (chuckle)

Bottom line: I found out what I went to find out. And I have passed through the underworld to be reborn something else. I have done this physically, emotionally, and symbolically with my brothers in arms. We are all not the same men.

P.s. we are home safe.

Posted on May 5, 2012, in battle of the nations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and, well, probably again; I’m proud and amazed by your transformation. And jealous. Let’s not forget jealous.
    When you get a chance, shoot me a message on FB. I want to pick your brain about armour and helm padding and such.
    For now, welcome home, relax, and readjust.

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