... and fruit flies like a banana.
Yeah, yeah. I know it's been months. It's turned out to be a pretty insane year, work- and life-wise, and blogging has fallen way down to the bottom of the list of "Things I Have Time To Do These Days." Apologies.
So, training continues along at a steady pace, and happily the vast majority of injuries I've been suffering from are in the manageable, under control, or resolved categories. Had a really fun new one pop up in the interim -- while trying to vacuum up some water that was leaking into the dojang during some nasty storms I bent over and dislocated my sacrum (joint way at the end of the spine), causing every muscle in my lower back to seize up in order to protect my spinal cord and resulting in my typically "S" shaped spine resembling a "Capital B" instead.
The pain was … well, extraordinary, to be honest. Couldn't stand up straight at all, could barely walk 100 feet without having to stop and rest. Couldn't sleep. It was really something else. Happily, a few days of intensive PT with Pieter got me functional and pain free again. But still, enough with the damn injuries already!
It's been an interesting few months in our dojang. We've moved to a much larger new location -- probably double the total floor space of our last (also quite large space). The new space is in a fantastic new location, and as a result we've seen a pretty exciting influx of new students: lots of white and orange belts floating around these days, and even a couple of students who'd left the art coming back into the fold. We've also had a couple of our senior members unexpectedly jump ship, creating some more opportunities for teaching, and as a result I've been teaching as often as I can -- at least a couple of Saturdays a month, plus assisting or taking entire groups during classes as well. I'm hopeful that this will all help me to be ready to test for Kyo Sa this Spring.
This Spring. Yep, it's coming. The next dan classing for our region is actually occurring on Saturday, in just two days. Kwan Jhang Nim Ferraro arrives tomorrow, and we'll have a clinic with him at our dojang Saturday morning. After that, I'll hang out and watch many friends and fellow students test for the midnight blue belts or for their next stripe. And then, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'll begin preparing in earnest to test for my Ee Dan (midnight blue belt 2 stripes a.k.a. second dan) in the next classing in our region.
Not that I haven't been prepping already. Even on a slow week I train 3 times in addition to teaching, and thus far preparation is going smoothly -- even with the succession of injuries I've been coping with for the past 9-10 months, I feel solid in the majority of my techniques. My forms feel great (in fact I clinched Gold in my grid at Nationals this year for my Chil Sung Sa Rho Hyung -- very exciting. Totally blew my Dando Hyung Cho Dan, but that's what happens when you show up to compete after overindulging in Vegas the night before…), elbow techniques are solid, sleeve grabs are there if not polished to a high shine just yet, knife defense is coming along nicely, and all of my line drills techniques are doing just fine. Jump kicks are so-so -- have been going easy on them because of the injuries, but my kicking skills are pretty solid for a 40-something dude and I know that once I'm comfortable that my injuries are resolved I can get them back to the level of proficiency where I want them pretty quickly.
Only sparring really worries me, as I'm hardly sparred at all in the past year due to all the garbage I've been dealing with in my back/knees/ankles/feet. I'm trying to get back in the swing of sparring, but honestly my confidence is quite shot after being out of it for so long. Need to just accept that I'm going to kind of suck for a few weeks/months as I try to sand the rust off my sparring technique and try not to worry about it too much. Regardless, I know that I'll be ready on test day.
In just 6 or so months.
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