Tuesday, August 02, 2005

There better be some 'gain' from this

You may recall my attempts to keep fit with Tae Kwon Do.

Last night, in the adult class, part of the drill session involved using a hand pad -- think of an 8" diameter, ¾" thick pad stitched to a glove, used for kicking and punching exercises -- held in your left hand, about chest-high (or higher), perpendicular to your face. Your drill partner executes a right-leg round-house kick to the pad. As she returns to stance, you begin your round-house, in the anticipation she will get her pad up to similar position. This repeats 20 times or so, then the pads are switched to the other hands, and the drill continues. While such a move is never used in street-fighting, it makes for an excellent point scored in competition (not that I would know, but that's another story).

In one of my right-leg kicks, my left-foot decided it was getting bored. Either that, or it didn't like the puddle of my own sweat it stepped in, because as my right foot connected with the pad, my left foot slid out from under me. Down I went, landing on my knees, right elbow, and on my left, pad-cladded hand, roughly at the same time. The sound was deafening, so I am told, probably by the clap of the pad on the hardwood floor. The other 14 teens and adults stopped in their tracks.

The instructor, a good natured but tough 6th Dan (6th degree Black Belt), came to my side, speaking in both whisper and shouts:

He: (Chas, are you alright?) Get up! Who said it was rest time?
(Take it easy) Come on, I gotta see what damage you did to my floor! (Can you move your legs?)

Meanwhile, the fall knocked the wind out of me. I don't pretend to know the medical science behind it, but if you've never had the wind knocked out of you, it is indeed a weird experience.

Suddenly, it seems, your diaphragm is out of sync with the rest of your pulmonary system. You try to inhale, but your chest compresses to exhale what little air you have left. Then you rhythmically want to exhale, and suddenly you find yourself sucking an insufficient amount of air. While I try to negotiate my oxygen supply, my head is spinning and I am trying assess whether any of my bones are broken.

In a few moments, I have enough air to tell him I can move my arms and legs, but I am not getting up just yet.
He: (to the others) What are you all looking at? There's a drill going on! Lets see some kicking!
(to me) (Take it easy... you know you falling like that sets a bad example for the low belts)
In the midst of my pulmonary episode, this predictably causes me to laugh (or at least something that passes for a laugh). In another minute or so I am holding my pad up for my partner, but I decided not to kick for a few minutes. Then we switch hands, and while my left leg is never as high as my right, I was back in the game at about 75%

This morning, as anyone would have guessed, my knees are bruised... so is probably my right elbow. I was able to crawl out of bed at 4:15, a bit more sore than usual, but I made it. Thank heavens for NaProx...

There had better be some gain for all this pain.

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