This week I stepped out of my shell and into the world of my characters in a big way. At the encouragement of my new friends within the Vikverir reenactment group I signed up for a beginner training course offered by another local group by name of Vingulmark.
This was rather frightening for me. I speak some but not a lot of Norwegian, and the training course is taught exclusively in Norwegian. I am also adverse to hurting people or being hurt. Something that can and will happen during these types of battles. Injuries are generally mild but can occur, especially when you are learning to control your force and maintain a safe angle and place of impact. I am also rather nervous around new people to begin with so all of this left me in a terrible fit of nerves.
After two practices I can say: I’m hooked. I love the training, and the people. I have had my opinion reinforced that the folks involved in these groups are someone the nicest, most interesting and intelligent people I’ve ever met.
I am exhausted after practice mainly due to the mental exertion of practicing and trying to understand Norwegian while learning new physical skills. I go home and shut down completely. Once I have recovered from the exhaustion, either after a short nap, or some chill time alone with instrumental music or a book, I write down my experience in my notebook.
The most amazing part of this has been that I now have a premise upon which to build the actual battle scenes. I understand the mental state a warrior must be in and the physical fitness that one must maintain to battle with heavy equipment and weapons. We have even discussed the pros and cons men and women face in battle and the fascinating things they have observed that result from the differences during line battles. The scenes I write about battle will be so much richer for this experience.
I will update as I learn more and go beyond the basics of blocks and strikes. This experience is proving invaluable and I will forever be indebted to the members of these two groups for their knowledge and assistance.