Last week fencing night was also "major rehearsal night", so no fencing. The week before, I had confidently tossed my equipment bag in the vehicle, but then drove off without the blade case, which I remembered halfway to the city. DUH. Fencing with instructor's blades is OK, and better than no fencing, but every blade has its own balance, its own grip, and...I wanted to play with mine. (Though, to be fair, fencing occasionally with other blades is good practice.) The week before *that* (I think it was the week before that) I had the blades but not the equipment case, and thus no mask, gloves, gorget, or buckler. Instructor has more blades than masks, etc.
This week, despite the need to add other objects with other destinations (including a visit to the lawyer who handled our son's guardianship stuff) I managed to have all the fencing gear in the car (yay!) and so got to fence on a crisp, cool night with my instructor...yes, the ouchy toe is still ouchy, but not ouchy enough to keep me from enjoying the practice. It was the first real, serious, all-out test of the new blade (purchased at Dragon*Con) and yes, it plays as good as it felt in the dealer's room. It is indeed fast--the perfect balance helps that, and the slightly narrower (thus lighter) blade than on my older one. I thought I wouldn't like the flat, disk-shaped pommel, but I do...it doesn't bump into my wrist tendons at all. The grip could be a little thicker (but I'm not having trouble holding onto it, with gloves on.) The older one, always technically too long for me, has become harder to manage as I get older (I've had it over 10 years), so I'm having an inch taken off of it, which should improve its balance, lighten it a little, and thus make it faster--but I don't expect it to be as fast. We'll see.
Lots of fun, and the toe would've been ouchy anyway.