Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Making "Due"

Five days into my three-week karate respite, my Achilles is feeling a little better - thanks to physical therapy exercises and religious ice/heat treatments. While I was packing up to head to karate class last night (don't worry - my plan was to simply spectate and take notes), I had an ephiphany: just because I can't really sink into a long or horse stance right now doesn't mean I can't still train. Class seemed like as good a time as any to work hojo-undo, so along with my folding spectator's chair, I tossed my tonfa, sai and jo into the car (my car is in the shop and my bo wouldn't fit into the rental). While my son, Squirrel, my training partner, Kathi, and Sensei worked on kata, I did a few drills from my chair. No stress on the tendons at all!

On Monday, I did my abdominal work and headed to the gym, just like I do every Monday. Although I was unable to run, bike or jump on the elliptical for cardio, I was able to do my regular arm program and only needed to modify my leg lifts a bit (for example, since I couldn't squat, do leg press, hip sled or calf raises, I did abductor, adductor, leg extension and leg curls instead). Easy breezy! - although I'm still a little sore today from working the inner thighs, LOL.

Injury has also made me remember a technique I used in my track days: visualization. Back then, I'd take "practice jumps" in my head while cooking, driving or during work breaks. This morning, I ran through Gankaku kata in my head while icing my Achilles before work. Between physical therapy sets, I did the upper body techniques in the entire kata from a chair in my kitchen. Gotta love good ol' Mother Necessity :-)

Tonight, I'm scheduled to help teach the adult Salvation Army class with training partner Ed. Trust and believe the warm up and kihon will be all about jabs, reverse punches and back fists - and they'll be demonstrated from my handy-dandy chair. Why not?

Right before my shodan grading, my Sensei completely tore his Achilles tendon. He showed up to support me in a cast, and I found out later that he'd taught in that cast from a chair in front of the room almost from the day he was released from the surgery that repaired his tendon. Weeks later, when I'd finally made it down to train with him and his students in what is now my school, everyone was use to hearing his cast click across the floor. It was hard to make him stay in that seat much of the time, but he never missed a class. Not a single one. At the very least, his students are due to follow that lead, I think.

That means I have no excuse not to train. And if I hafta crawl across the dojo floor to make it to that chair, I will.

Train what you can while you can, I say. Making "due" is absolutely better than doing nothing.


  1. Hold on to the hard things and your mind will open. - Kushida Sensei

  2. That's the attitude! :D
    Hopefully your positivity will directly influence your healing rate too.

  3. There's always something you can do, whatever the injury. I admire your courage and commitment. Hope the injury heals quickly :)