It’s a double-bacon gimped leg burger!

Injury + injury + injury = Cranky Sean.

But hey, at least I’m blogging!

You’ll have to indulge a slightly grumpy post, as I’m a bit grumpy tonight. I was warming up in prep for class, as I do every time before class. I’ve found doing a full round of leg stretches before class allows me to push my legs farther than I would in class since it doesn’t matter if I break the suction seal on my leg, which will normally happen a few times when doing a full round of leg stretching πŸ™‚

Anywho, I was doing this and checked up on my foot, and you know what? I’ve gone and split the bloody toes on my foot shell again! Wifey said to stand up and try a few techniques to see how stable I was; sure enough, the thing’s gimped (i.e. I fell over) πŸ˜› It doesn’t provide much of a problem when I’m in shoes or stomping around the house, but as soon as I roll into some exercise (especially when doing partner work!) that puts pressure on the “toes” of the foot, it’s just too easy to mangle myself or inadvertently injure my training partner.

The frustrating part is that this has come after two more weeks of missed classes – two weeks back I sliced open one of my fingers (don’t laugh!) trying to put away an airing tray in the baking tray drawer when it got caught between the sharp end bits on the wire of the airing tray and the raw wood on the cabinet. This meant that I couldn’t perform locks/holds with one of my hands, let alone form a fist!

Then last week I had an infected sore on the base of my stump that I ended up having to lance and drain in order to relieve the pressure. Normally I can heal up overnight when I do this, but this one required a bit of extra love as it turned out to be 2-3 infected sores close together once I opened it up and all three needed draining and a little bit of extra time to recover. Thankfully I had the week off work (took some much overdue annual leave from the office for a break) and could take it easy, but still, it meant that I missed another week of training.

So yeah, three weeks of inconvenient setbacks to heading back to the dojo.

Still, it’s not like I’m in a rush or anything, it’s just that I really enjoy training and martial arts and can see how it has had such a positive effect on my condition, and when I miss successive weeks of training due to issues with my leg, it’s frustrating.

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Oops, my knee’s busted again :P

Being the clever person I am, I was running around most of this afternoon in the office attending to stuff; when I came back to my desk towards the end of the day, I heard the familiar clickity-clack my knee makes when the spring’s munted… and sure enough, my hunch was right – I’ve mangled my prosthetic knee again πŸ˜›

This is an ongoing thing for me, but thankfully it’s not too difficult to fix, as the knee unit I have can get serviced locally. For those interested, I’m expecting something similar to this when I drop in next week to have it looked at:

I borked it

That’s a shot of one of the best mangled springs I’ve managed to accomplish over the years – on the right is what the great big spring inside my knee is supposed to look like; the right is what I’d managed to do. My technician’s normally just as amused as I am when it comes to checking out the damage done by my general use of my leg, so hopefully I’ll be able to take another happy snap to share next week, though this time it’ll be with a phone camera with a significantly higher resolution than my old VGA one from a few years back πŸ˜‰

The bummer is that I was planning on going to two classes next week, but with my leg munted, it’ll be a no-go – with the knee this buggered, it’s prone to locking up and causing me to randomly fall over more often than usual, which is dangerous in class. Instead, I’ll do some extra weight sessions with an emphasis on bench work next week, and I’m confident I’ll have everything all fixed up in time for class later on next week!

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My foot’s fixed :)

In awesome news, I managed to get my prosthetic foot enclosure fixed yesterday! Is very awesome, I’m extremely chuffed! While the fusion they did to hold the busted one together has actually proved to be extremely good in light of things (especially seeing it yesterday off the foot – I’ve got it as a just-in-case [better to have a busted enclosure than none at all]), that inherent weakness in the toes has now been eliminated.

This was all very good in the grand scheme of things, as last night I ended up doing an impromptu karate training session. Normally between classes I’ll do weights and some light bag work, but last night after doing my usual warm-up and strengthening exercises, I was really getting into the bag work and had a good look at my surroundings where I train at home, shuffled some things around, and started doing my basic drills as I had enough room to go up and down 5 paces as per the usual class stuff. After doing that, I shuffled a couple of other things around, and ended up making just enough space to accommodate a slightly cramped kata. I know that I need work on focus, breathing and technique (I’ve got the pattern down reasonably well at this point), so I deliberately took it slow and methodical in approach. Turned out to be a really good session – after one or two run-throughs I started hitting that quasi-meditative state you can find when doing kata, constantly practicing slowly but with an emphasis on correct, deliberate and focused technique (and breathing – the neighbours probably weirded out if they were able to hear me :P). I’m not sure how often I repeated my kata, but on the last two I sped up the sequence in order to move into a more dynamic form. At the end of it I came inside exhausted, sweaty but definitely stoked πŸ˜€

The cool thing is that hopefully my little re-arrangement of some of my equipment will mean I can do this more often, which will be a huge help.

In other news, the weekend saw some back-to-back movie awesomeness – Saturday night saw Wifey and I sitting down to the schlocky awesomeness that is Best of the Best, and on Sunday I indulged in the utterly sublime Kuro Obi (Black Belt). Will dedicate some posts to both of these films during the week, as they offer extremely polarised takes on martial arts in films πŸ˜‰

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The importance of breakfalls as an amputee (read: I fell over, and didn’t mangle myself this time :P)

Hmmm, definitely a candidate for “longest heading ever” on this blog πŸ˜›

Anywho, just a quick one to start off this morning – last night while getting ready for bed my stupid foot decided to weird out and my leg collapsed beneath me out of nowhere, throwing myself flat on my back without warning. In what is a pretty crazy outcome, the brief breakfall training I’ve had instinctively came into play without even thinking about it – I tucked my head in, braced my belly to reinforce my lower back, stuck my arm out and went with the flow of the movement rather than trying to fight it. The end result was that I ended up on my back, but didn’t crack my head against any hard objects (a bit of a miracle fluke if you ask me) or wind myself. Mind, I was trying to come to bed discreetly as my wife was asleep and I was trying to avoid waking her up (especially as I got distracted doing stuff online instead of being a dutiful husband and coming to bed earlier ;)), but wake up she did – bolted upright in a freakout-ish state of mind. First thing I said was “I’m not hurt”, but think about it – how trippy would it be that you suddenly snap awake despite being deeply asleep to see your other half just collapse without warning and for no apparent reason? I think she did better than I would have to be completely honest, maybe after all these years she’s starting to well and truly expect the unexpected with my ability to fall over at will πŸ˜›

Thankfully now that its the next day, I don’t think I’ve sported any injuries. So far my muscles are a bit achy, which could also be due to training on Wednesday night, and one of my wrists is a little sore, but apart from that I’m fine. I’m just damn lucky that I didn’t hit my head or back against anything on the way down. Will totally be calling and making an appointment asap sometime during the day, the last thing we need is for me to tempt fate any further with this mangled foot!

So, moral of this story – learning proper breakfalls for the general populace is definitely a good thing, but for amputees who might be a little accident prone like yours truly, they might just be an essential technique in your toolkit for scenarios like this. I’m just so glad that Sensei had us work on them last month, came in very handy!!!

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Trained last night, and I busted my foot up again!!!

Well, I finally went back into training last night, and it was awesome πŸ™‚ I’m a bit sore today because I tried to push myself as far as I could, but it was definitely worth it. There’s a grading on this weekend, but I’m definitely in need of further practice so I won’t be attending. At the moment the biggest thing I want to work on is my kata – I have pretty much the basic form sorted out for Heian Nidan (though, let’s be honest – it isn’t really all that complicated to begin with compared to other, higher-grade kata), now its moving to refine my technique. The biggest problem I had last night was my breathing. I’m generally/reasonably good with controlling and utilising my breathing during training, especially kata, but I just didn’t find my center with it last night, there wasn’t the natural flow I aim to achieve. Sensei made the comment that I looked like I was going to explode some times because I wasn’t regulating my technique correctly, and looking back on it immediately afterwards and again tonight, he was definitely on the ball.

In the past, I’ve tackled this by slowing my kata right down, focused on the detail, rhythm, breathing and visualisation of each technique’s application, and would repeat until hitting that crazy, transcended state you sometimes get through really good, focused kata. I don’t get it every time, but when it hits it really makes you appreciate the continual uses of kata, not only as a test for form and the key to technique usage/application, but as a means to use physical movements as a form of meditation.

The other bemusing thing that happened last night was that I ended up splitting open my foot enclosure again, and I think I’ve started splitting it open in a second spot as well! Ah well, serves me right for not being super pro-active in calling up and making an appointment to see if the replacement’s in. Will have to do as such tomorrow and get it fit asap. I stumbled a couple of times as the foot crumpled up beneath me, but I didn’t seriously injure myself or any of the other students, so at least that was good!

Oh, and I dragged Jyastin-kun along to training last night and by the sounds of it he really enjoyed himself. If he’s keen to continue training with our school, will be good to have him come along as he used to be an excellent training partner at our previous club, so we’ll see how it goes!

For those checking out the blog on a semi-regular basis, apologies for being a bit slack with posting this week, it’s been busier than I anticipated. I’ll make sure to get another one added tomorrow so I can at least the lower-portion of my average, which is two posts a week!

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