Armed with her foil and skilled attacks and defenses, senior Robyn Song is a formidable opponent on the fencing floor. In this issue of The Howler, Song discusses the inspirations, dreams and challenges that have shaped her as a fencer.
Alice Chen: When did you start fencing and why did you start it?
Robyn Song: I started fencing in sixth grade. My mom pushed me to try it since she wasn’t able to try it when she was younger, and I have just continued it since then.
AC: Who inspires and motivates you as a fencer?
RS: I would say the Korean Fencing Team is a major inspiration for me because they are so dedicated to fencing. They spend all their time fencing, usually spending multiple hours a day. As a result, they are a really good team right now.
AC: Having fenced for such a long time, what pushes you to continue fencing and its rigorous training requirement?
RS: I have formed so many friendships over time as a fencer, and that has kept me going. We are like one big family. I don’t see going to practice as stressful because it is a way for me to relieve the stress from school.
AC: What is the most important lesson you have learned during your experience as a fencer?
RS: I learned that it is important not to give up, especially in the middle of a competition. Even if I am losing badly, I remember that there is still a chance for me to win.
AC: What are some pre-competition rituals that help you de-stress and remain calm and focused for your competition?
RS: I think de-stressing is something that comes with experience. Focusing on myself instead of being distracted with talking to friends before a competition helps me remain calm. That’s why I like to put music on while I stretch and warm up.
AC: What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome as a fencer?
RS: The most difficult thing for me was my relationship with my coach because I didn’t really get along with my coach in the beginning. But over time I learned to work with him, and now we are on good terms.
AC: What has been your favorite moment in your fencing career?
RS: During freshmen and sophomore year, I wasn’t very good at fencing, and I contemplated quitting for awhile. After this one tournament I did well in, I realized that if I put more effort into fencing, I can improve a lot. After that, I started to enjoy fencing more.
AC: Do you have any future plans involving fencing?
RS: I plan on fencing in college, and I am looking forward to joining a college fencing team.