Amy Staton spends her days teaching at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Guthrie then heads to the YMCA downtown with her family to workout. The cardio and strength training she does there may seem fairly normal, but the sport she competes in is certainly unusual.
In fact, Staton was recently selected as the face of the YMCA Campaign for her involvement at the YMCA and her successes jousting. That’s right, jousting.
In the United States it is extremely rare to be a female jouster. With only 8 joust troops in the U.S., there is only one all-female joust troop - and it’s in Ohio.
“My husband (Rick) was a jouster,” said Staton. “I squired for him for a year and decided that I wanted to learn how to do it.”
The trouble was that most jousting troops only allow men to compete. Amy and Rick joined Heroic Knights of Old - the only jousting company around that would even allow her to train.
“It’s a very competitive environment with top horse trainers,” said Staton, who didn’t even know how to ride a horse when she decided to learn to joust.
“I got a crash course on horses, literally,” Staton said. “I learned to ride with a helmet, shield and a lance. It was trial by fire.”
While it may not have been an easy sport to pick up, Staton has proved she has the strength and drive to be successful.
The training isn’t for the faint of heart. “It’s intense, extremely intense and painful at times,” Staton said. “It makes you focused and you pay for it when you don’t (focus).”
She credits her husband for teaching her new skills.
“I’ve fought with three different lengths of swords, flail—chains with steel tabs on the ends attached to a handle, throwing axe, daggers, fire torches, spears, lances. I’m always looking for new stuff to learn.”
The couple participates in Renaissance Fairs that run for two months at a time.
“I’ve jousted with cracked ribs and dislocated ribs. You get beat up, but you have to get back on the horse for the next show or you’re out,” Staton said.
The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee runs from the end of April through June and the Statons consider this their home festival. Jousting has become a family event.
“Our kids help squire now,” she said.
“Amy embodies being healthy in spirit, mind and body. She has a tenacity that is contagious and inspiring,” said Rachel Klein Vice President of Communications for the YMCA. “Beyond strength training and endurance training, she is focused on youth development through her career working with children with special needs. She involves her family in her workouts and goals, something that we are passionate about at the Y. We are focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility - something we see in Amy too.”
“I’m extremely honored that they let me be a part of representing such a wonderful organization,” Staton said.