Tim Morehouse, a silver medalist in team fencing at the 2009 Summer Olympics in Beijing, didn’t always feel a drive to excel. As a kid, he lacked focus and ambition. But fencing, he now says, gave him the resources and the inspiration to dream big. He regards fencing—with its focus on discipline, practice, patience, and seeing the big picture—as a metaphor for meeting the essential challenges of life.

Today Morehouse is a social activist and entrepreneur. His mission is to take fencing...

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