I’m supposed to be writing, but I’ve been mostly fretting, and reading. Travel is coming up, it’s tax season, and I’ve switched karate instructors after, oh, 25 years.
The main reason? Injuries. “But it felt good at the time” has become a sore refrain.
I was riding horses for a few years, and that sure felt good at the time, especially dressage. That fine, tight, exhilarating control came with the not-so-exhilarating tight hips and loss of flexibility. But it did feel good at the time, and I hope to resume once I rebuild a torn muscle I had suffered in ballet.
Ballet isn’t my forte, but I had joined my teen daughter in her open-floor class hosted by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and… it felt good at the time. The second class in, it felt so good, I launched into a grand battement, which is just a fancy way of saying that I kicked my whole leg to the side as high as it could go. Or, as high as it USED to go. Needless to say, after few years of riding, it no longer wanted to go that high… which is why I have been rebuilding a torn flexor for almost two years now. But it did feel good at the time.
Studying a martial art seriously requires being in the possession of a functional instrument. That is, a fit body. Even when you adapt your technique to exploit soft targets, you need to be able to 1. get out of the way, and 2. reach the soft target. My hip hurt during some of the moves, my knee was killing me in sword class, and I wasn’t having fun anymore.
I had considered quitting.
I had considered joining a solid MMA gym, or BJJ (Brazilian Ju-Jitsu), where I’d work that body differently, and equalize my strengths and stresses out a little bit. There’s much to say for cross-training.
In the long run, instead of quitting, I adapted. Working with a personal trainer, I’m rebuilding a knee (hello, no more running when the roads are icy, even if it feels good at the time) and a hip (and no more saddle-time, not until that hip is good and strong again.) I’m working with a karate instructor who is part of the same school system. For some reason, his instruction style fits where I’m in life right now, and I’m injury-free so far. I’ll still be around for special classes, sword, and so on at my old dojo, but… when I do something, I want to make sure it feels good even later, not just at the time.
I gave myself the permission to adapt. To the surprise of my younger friends, I’m older than I look. It’s time to get smart and work my instrument strategically. Condition differently. Sleep more, play more – and do the kinds of things that will feel good for a long time to come.
While I’ve been sulking over sore body parts, and torn over the emotional upheaval that changing karate instructors entails, I’d found a lot of succor in two books, which I’ll recommend to you below. One is Devyn Morgan’s MMA-based gay romance. It has guys fighting as well as loving, and reading it put a smile on my face. It’s on $0.99 until Sunday, and you can get it here:
The other is a new-to-me author, and the “Ace Locke” series is one of those best-sellers I was only too glad to discover. An emotional MM romance between a Hollywood action star and a supermodel, it took me to a world I never visit when I write, which was refreshing:
And now I’ll return to “Like a Torrent” and see if I can wrap it up! Have a great weekend everyone!