I've decided that I'm going to redouble my fencing efforts and kick it up a notch. This decision has three parts to it: two mental and one physical. The physical element is that I'm going to go to club at least three times a week, fence clear through and really push my body to the limit; I did this today and by the end my whole body was exhausted, burning and felt great. The first mental element is that I plan to take a lesson thrice a week as well; until now, I've been taking one every week or so but that's just not enough to stick. Now, the second mental element is something that's got me really pumped: I'm mixing Bushido into my fencing.
A few days ago, I decided to finally get around to reading (and finishing) A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (the greatest swordsman to have ever lived) to see if I couldn't glean anything that might be applicable to fencing. It turns out there are some fantastic things to be gleaned from Musashi's knowledge of strategy (sword fighting and military combat). I took to heart one bit about taking control of the situation and leading your opponent in combat and it proved fantastically useful in practicing today. Not only did it prove useful in practice but I felt something fundamentally different about the way my mind was working while I was fencing, like I had tapped some force of power deep inside my will that normally lies dormant. It felt like some sort of fierce, primal core of my being had been let loose and it was truly exhilarating. Interestingly, there was no sense of loss of control associated with this mental state. It's kind of hard to put into words but I'm going to work on developing it along with my fencing and I'm going to read and reread more of my books on the topics of war, fighting, Bushido and such. What's more, I think this mental state may very well be applicable to more than just fencing, so I'm going to see if I can start extrapolating after I've got more experience with it.