The Pen and the Sword: Managing the Demands of a Professional Career and Competitive Fencing

“I make a lot of sacrifices to accomplish the things I want to get done…When you have ambitious goals; there is always a little ‘give and take.’”

-Tim Morehouse

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

-Muhammad Ali

On most days, the alarm clock rings at 4:45 a.m. I open my eyes to two quotes taped to my ceiling, reminders that it’s time to get up and work:

“Never a day did I let the sun catch me in bed.” –Thomas Jefferson


“When I am not training, someone else is, and when we meet, he will win every time.”

Many days, I’m tempted to disregard the messages on my ceiling and close my eyes just for a little longer, but the papers have a way of challenging me to rise and kick off what are usually long days.

Sometime roughly six months ago, I decided to change my fencing from a recreational activity to a competitive one in preparation for the Maccabi Games. Meeting this challenge (combined with blogging) would require a radical change to my schedule in order to maximize the outcomes of both my professional career and desire to be competitive in fencing (and to downsize my body so I didn’t look like Chris Christie in a fencing uniform).

If you want a fruitful fencing and work career, it is very possible to manage to good results in both—so long as you’re willing to sacrifice a little sleep and you maintain a constant awareness of your work performance and exceeding your boss’s expectations.

I have thrown together advice on simultaneously managing the fencing side of your life, as well as the professional side of your life. I hope these suggestions will prove helpful for professionals hoping to maintain a competitive fencing regimen.

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