I was tired, but determined. Across the ring stood the bane of my existence. Victor. Why did it always have to be Victor? I had faced him many times before, but the results were always the same. Heart break.
This time would be different.
I raised my sword and nodded my readiness to begin. The judge gave the signal and we both advanced. With an arrogant smirk, Victor started in high guard and slowly circled to low guard - an obvious invitation to attack. I took it. Swinging furiously, I struck high then rolled my wrists to add combination slashes to the shoulder and hip. Victor reeled back temporarily, but quickly recovered and counter-attacked. Our swords cracked back and forth with the sharp sounds of blows struck and blocked. Despite landing three strikes for every one of his, I found myself being forced back to the edge of the ring. He was too fast. Too strong. Even without being struck, my missed swings rebounded off his defense and sent me sliding backwards.
I switched to the defensive, but it was too late. My foot edged the circle. His point.
Breathing hard, I had to regroup. Despite my best efforts, I simply couldn't out-swing or out-quick him. Time for a change. I pulled off my shirt and flung it away defiantly. Let's do this.
Round 2 began the same way. But this time, after my initial strike, I feinted and backed away. Victor took the first blow and immediately went to block. Hmmm. Let's try that again. I waited until he started his high to low guard circle...and struck! Again, he took the first blow and went to block. Okay...starting to see a pattern. I waited...timed him...and struck! This time, I got greedy and tried a quick combo. The first blow got through, but the 2nd was instantly blocked and sent me stumbling backwards. I just lost all the ground I had gained earlier. Damnitall. And before I could press my advantage, time ran out. Draw.
I have you now, Victor. I'm more of a fencer than a free-swinger, but it's time to dial up my inner Beast Mode. Round 3 began. This time, I timed his high/low circle and struck with an all-out swing. SMACK! He went staggering back, blocking instinctively when I feinted a follow-slash. Roll on you, Bears!
I pursued...being careful to stick with solo, power slashes. I kept expecting him to switch up...but he never did. And then it happened. His foot went over the line. My point.
It's overtime, baby. I was tired, but felt no pain. The circle was re-sized smaller for the final round. One missed strike or block and I was finished. I didn't plan to miss. The round started...I knew he had to adjust to my attack pattern...so when he started his circle...I feinted. He started to block, then tried to stop himself, and I unleashed the fury. All the frustration from earlier losses. All the pain from seeing him smirk and walk away. All the angst of more than 50 years without a Rose Bowl. One berserk swing. And down he went.
It was a feeling of exaltation and triumph like no other. I raised my arms to the heavens are screamed a guttural roar of victory. The crowd went wild!
"That's great, Da Da! Is it my turn to play now?" said little K.
"You're crazy," sighed Mrs. Kod.
And Psycho Teething Baby toddled over to try to eat the controller.
It may have just been the Nintendo Wii. But in that moment, in my own way, I was King.
Of course, the next day I found that I had pulled muscles in my arm and back as well as re-aggravating my Achilles tendon. It was oh so worth it. Suckit, Victor!
Alright CGB. Have you ever had an opponent, real or virtual that you just couldn't beat? Did you ever beat them? Or, what's the silliest injury you've ever received? Sharing is caring!