Returning To The Field Of Battle
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
My first foam fighting (Belegarth event) after the height of the corona pandemic.
Let me start off by saying it feels great to be back in the swing of things. The simple act of digging out my larp gear and dusting off my foam weapons was good for the soul. Having to repair every foam sword and spear that had been sitting for over a year was less good, but still none the less therapeutic.
“I drove 12 hours, and across 3 states just to attend a normal day battle event and I have zero regrets.”
You don’t realize how much you miss the little things. Even before I arrived, small stuff like the group road trip with everyone's selfies, made it feel like being away from family for years, only to come home again. I missed every part of it, besides the 98 degree Florida weather.
It's Been Awhile
It had been about a year since I last picked up my foam weapons. Maybe longer. At first I was anxious not seeing my foam fighting unit for so long, worried about being out of shape and rusty with my spear. This was soon dwarfed by an intense desire to fight side by side with my brothers in arms. I longed to be reunited on the field of battle with not just allies but my enemies. I wanted to see where I now stood against some of my tougher opponents over the years. Friends who I would enjoy seeing again and respected their skill, but also did not look forward to fighting on the field against. True friemies.
“I anxiously await a return to boffer events again being a normal thing. ”
It did not take long for everything to become all too familiar and cozy. Simple things that never change like the same unit mates being late, some not leaving the house until after the event started. The hard hitters going all out and breaking boffer weapons like a demolition crew. That one guy using a Nike shirt and basketball shorts as “proper” medieval clothing, and of course some newbie tries to “Captain America” their larp shield. It was hot as hell and we got rained out. This was typical of a Florida larp event and even made us long for the Dagorhir Ragnarok event that never was. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Every time I leave the foam fighting sport, as I have a couple of times, I come back nostalgic and full of emotion. Each time I'm gone I forget how much the boffer fighting means to me, how much we mean to each other as a larping community. How important something so simple as beating your friends with foam boffer weapons can be so meaningful. For me and many others foam fighting has become much more than a larp, a hobby or even a sport, it has become part of who I am. When I am on the field I feel whole again, sometimes I even forgot that part was missing in the first place.
I hope that if anyone is having second thoughts about getting back out there, and while you should take your own personal safety level into account, when the time is right please don’t use this lapse of events as an excuse to drop the foam fighting hobby. When you step back onto the field of battle you won’t regret it.
P.S. A special thank you to the Florida Belegarth team, all the volunteers and staff members that made this event happen.
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