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After several weeks of preparation I am ready to return to the dojo next week to resume my training. Basically starting from square one after many years away. One of the biggest regrets in my life but feeling excited and anxious to make Aikido part of my life again.
My right hamstring is still aggravated and I cannot tell whether it is injury or nerve related. Must be injury as the pain is localized ether at it's origin at the inferior hip or at it's insertion behind the knee. Never pain in both places as it switches off. I have been doing daily aiki tai so, qi gong (thanks for the recommendation Lynn), and stretching post warm up. Some range of motion has returned but the pain itself is still there.
Ran the Surf City 1/2 Marathon yesterday and did decent in spite of no training per se. This was not part of my prep training and was something I had scheduled several months out. Was able to do warm up this morning so, hey, I guess I still got some push and drive going. Funny how those wonderful endorphins from even light exercise make you feel great even if you are extremely sore and limping around the day after a race.
Plan is to take a few recovery days this week and then return for perhaps 2 days per week so as not to over do it like last time which caused a groin pull from lack of rest. Wish I wasn't so injury prone but that is not the case. Hopefully my preparation and then consistent study will reduce that likelihood.
I have been continuing my daily Aiki taiso, stretching, and (recently included) Qi Gong morning sessions at home in preparation for a return to training in February. Going from a completely sedentary 10 months (no excuses for this so I resist the urge to make them here) to an immediate return to training would only cause reinjury to either my groin, hamstring, or right knee...so any and all prep work I can lay down now will only enhance my training now. Additionally, I am about 15-20 lbs heavier than before. Gotta get the weight down.
As far as range of motion and lower back discomfort in addition to the snapping hip everything feels a bit stronger from doing consistent Aiki taiso. I may even consider pushing the return to the dojo back in additional two weeks to continue preparing.
Started a new job two weeks ago corporate job sitting at a desk all day but they're very progressive and they encourage the 2020 20 rule getting up and stretching every 20 minutes and walking every 20 minutes . So I do a lot of stretching at work and whatever else I can in my office without looking like a complete crazy person.
Progress is good on words and upwards will touch base again here in the next two weeks
Wow, another two years 'off the mat'. Never returned to the dojo following the groin injury I sustained in late 2014. I don't believe that taking some time to heal and go to physical therapy was a problem but life took hold and I stayed away. That said, I did continue my basic warmup exercises and deep breathing at home.
Made the decision to return and even stopped by the dojo last night with my wife (Rita) and 15 month old son (Christian). We visited with Sensei which was great and he was excited to have me back and extended an invite to the New Years Day seminar to us.
The plan of action right now is to prep at home for at least 3 weeks with daily stretching and exercise to prevent lower back, hip, groin injuries if possible. I don't doubt that this will be a recurring problem over time but I will not take a break from the dojo the next time and will simply scale back my training until I can ramp it up again. This way I can use classes/sessions as rehab for the injuries while still studying.
Sensei says that Christian can begin studies at 6 years old although I hope he can start when he is 5. Cant wait until this is something that we can share together if he takes interest in it enough to want to continue after Rita and I introduce him to it.
At the dojo Monday night,
we were warming up to get it right.
First ukemi, I went to roll,
no questions asked, insane groin pull.
I stood right up, my face without cheer
a new injury two days before the New Year.
I was disappointed and shocked,
would I be mocked?
Everyone knows I am injury prone,
even so, I hate stretching on the mat alone.
Over comes the head Yondan,
he agrees its best to rest, not carry on.
What happens next made me realize,
that everything would be ok as always, not to my surprise.
All aikidoka, one by one,
came to make sure I was ok after the warm up was done.
Use ice! Use heat!
I had this injury myself, its not something you can't beat!
You'll be on the mat again in no time you will see!
Here, let me give you the info for this chiropractor and this PT!
Everyone wanted to help and advise,
and why should this surprise?
This is the foundation of Aikido,
so, Kohai, arise!
The very next day I decided to see,
an International Taekwondo Champ turned DPT.
If any therapist could relate to the martial arts side of me,
well...certainly it would be he.
He said, Why do you need physical therapy? What are your goals?
I reply, To be a good student, to be on the mat, and painlessly roll.
We began immediately and now I can say,
I found what I will cross-train in for 2015 each and every day.
Future injuries get in line, I am not leaving the mat.
I am sidelined, but only for a time.
My return to the dojo after an 8 year leave of absence started 2 weeks and 8 training sessions ago. Feels like it has been much longer than that already. I feel incredible both mentally and physically, but being gone for so long will be a lifelong regret for the main reason that Sensei is visibly struggling with his physical participation in class. He is 80 years old at this point and can no longer do what he could when I initially began my aikido journey 10 years ago. It is my goal to get as much one-on-one with him as possible going forward.
That said, everything is coming back to me to the point that it feels as though I never left. Muscle memory is an incredible thing as rolling, breakfalling, and shikko are back in full force. My scoliosis is not acting up (yet), but I remain conscious to take 5 and stretch about 15 minutes before class ends otherwise chances are I will not do so before getting in the car or when I get home. I have been taking some NSAIDs before class but perhaps I should take them after so that I do not ignore pain and overdue it. Had been thinking about training in a second art on the side, but I think I will stick to cross-training in the form of running and general cardio right now.
When I first returned both Sensei and a Yondan asked me what level I left off at before which in our system is 6th kyu (orange belt). He stated that Sensei would probably want me to come back at the same level. Originally, I was not going to say anything and just
First week back and I logged 4 days of training. Talk about a welcome back.....the soreness is here, but I am very satisfied. School is done and I live less than a mile away from the new dojo location.
What amazed me the most is the fact that I went right into all of my ukemi as if I never left. I guess I really did commit a lot of this stuff to muscle memory in the two years of training before.
It is becoming quite common that I only post an entry in this journal 2-3 times a year now. I swear this last break was not my fault this time. I have taken two years to come to the realization that I MUST return to my Aikido studies. I have mentioned sufferring from back pain on here before, and still trying to overcome to return to Aikido.
Turns out, after getting some x-ray work done, that I have stage 3 (advanced) scoliosis ranging from my lower lumbar to upper thoracic spine. My lumbar spine has a 17 degree curvature (spaning 5-6 vertebrae) and my thoracic spine has a 24 degree compensatory curve (spaning 2-3 vertebrae). I am in pain everyday, but when I excersice, it subsides. Doctors told me that it is ideopathic, and has probably been developing for my whole life as a result of my left leg being 2mm shorter than my right. So, my spine is shaped like an S. How can this happen???? I am only 23 years old!!!! I have played sports for my entire life (baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.), and now my doctor is telling me that I should not even jog or run. Apparently I can only do activities that are non-impact, or it could progress the curves further.
Over the past few months I have concentrated on staying stretched out and doing various strenthening excercises for my spine. What if.....I modify my Aikido training when I return, and remain conscious at all times of things I shouldn't do while there. I
Today I was late to work (2 hrs) because not only was there a book signing at the dojo for my Sensei's book, but a weapons demo!! Who wants to miss that!? Not me.
Anyhow, my back issue is still present, but I will be getting back to training non-the-less. I plan on being back at the dojo full-time (2-3 classes...full-time for me) on Janruary 1, which is the date of the New Years seminar. I will need to get two prep classes in between then and now. I have been away from the dojo for 8 months now. I also found out today that there are many students of aikido that study regardless of injury (specifically back). I think the stretching and rolling will relieve some tension.
I swore before that I would not take breaks from training. Well....Monday night I went to class after 9 long months of no training. I have not felt this good in months. Partly, the reason it took me so long to get back was because of a lower back strain/injury which has improved. I think attending class the other night has actually helped stretch my back out. Love this stuff.
This morning was my first class back since taking a break for two months to finish the semester of school. I realize now that I hate taking breaks from training. It is not so much that I forgot things, like I thought would be the problem, but it is that when I took a break from my Aikido training, I almost stopped working out all together. Then, when I went back today, I was struggling just to keep up with the warm-ups, because they work the whole body. By the end of the warm-up period, I had already broken a sweat, which normally did not used to happen until about half way through the class. Anyways, it went well for the most part and I am going to strive to not take any more breaks, and if I must I dont want them to be two months long. I am also going to start taking my training more seriously.
Today I bought 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere'. I am looking forward to it for a good summer read and hope that it will give me a little more in-depth knowledge. The beginning of the book also states that it will later discuss a workout routine specific to Aikido for 'off-the-mat' time, which I want to incorporate in my training.
Lastly-I think I am going to start running to the dojo in the mornings. It is 2.3 miles one-way, but I think that it will be good for me. I am more worried about the run back. haha.