i am curious…i train to strike certain places on the body…nerve clusters, energetic junctures…i don’t know what it feels like to be struck in some of them. others, i do. but there are many i do not. i become curious to know what it feels like. also, am conscious of what a strange inclination this is. strange, at least, in context of what i usually get into. ha! now that i think of it, i think i want to have a brief conversation with my chiropractor about some of these areas. he knows a thing or two about nerves. also, it would be cool to read up a little. i’m sure the chinese have much to say about nerve pathways. these things interest me. after being devastated by a blow or two to the solar plexus when i was a kid, i had great admiration for and fascination with the power these nerves have in our bodies. just a pinch here, a poke there, a clasp there…lightning inside. and hey, i’m sure the events of the last year has certainly increased my fascination with nerves, jeez. after the whole neck thing.
speaking of nerve pathways, the game keeps branching out. we plug away with regular meetings through Skype as we map it out, brainstorm, organize…all that necessary stuff. it’s working well.
the more art i do for it, the more it grows on me. the more it grows together. the more the mystery and wonder felt inside becomes visible in the outside world. i’m looking forward to this time just ahead of us. as the workload increases, luna will be done with school, but chilling with her aunt each day. so that will give me more time. which, if nothing else, removes just a bit of pressure from the mix. for creativity to open up sometimes, i need a tight space to confine me…but sometimes i need a bit of room, too. this will open up some more room. that’s pretty excellent.
let me see. hitting people…my neck…making conscious art….what else. can i talk about.
i guess i can talk about black belt class. for a moment. because while on one hand i thought not much new was coming along the pike, that wasn’t true. in black belt class everything builds on what you learned in the geup times. so there’s a lot of new stuff to practice, new scenarios you train for, new strikes, new kicks, new variations on stuff you know. but the learning curve is very shallow and short, because we are building on a foundation that is pretty well established.
it’s actually very exciting and i love those classes. i think when i imagined being a martial artist as a kid, it was right about here that i visualized. this level of proficiency, these types of techniques, the feeling when it’s just us in a room with master lee, and the conversation is intensified, elevated; the joy, too. the happiness in the room. part of it is certainly a feeling of being on the inside of a club. everyone there didn’t give up and made that climb. but part, too, is that a lot of energy is diffused and defracted by the amount of loose discipline and loose focus you’ll get in mixed classes–lower belt and black belt–(especially ones populated with many children, though). also part of that is just that as a black belt you spend a lot of time in those classes helping and teaching others. not focusing on your own thing.
so when it is all black belts, it just tightens up, and you feed off that. it comes from all around you. more intensity, more calm. more focus, more willingness, more appreciation. it’s really a heady sip of energy, and i really dig those classes.
so where i thought i’d have nothing to write about, i guess i was wrong and i do.
on the other hand, i suddenly am no longer comfortable talking in detail about all my training. not to act as if it’s all top secret buddha palm death-touch stuff. but whereas anything else i’d write about in the past can be observed at any day in the dojang, these classes are closed, feel more intimate, and ultimately, if GGM Lee considers it technique that be more closely minded, then i do not feel comfortable acting at odds to that. plus it’s good to keep some cards to yourself, yeah? anyway, there’s plenty to write about (if i want to) that doesn’t involve those classes.
i’ve been “convalescing” as is said. i’ve not gone to class but a few times in the past few weeks. interesting. but a good break for a few reasons. i think i’ve written about those. the connective tissue in my joints is finally nearing fully healed, and only aches a little when i pivot hard on it over and over. i actually practiced a few tornado round kicks into the BoB dummy. right leg round kicks! (sloppy! need to get back in and shake off the rust). that’s the first time i’ve dared strike a pad with that foot in a while. two months, maybe. oh how i’ve missed it. the surprising part is that doing so hurts less than just putting all my weight on the front toes, be it a pivot or a push-off. so slamming the foot into a pad, not so bad. but putting my weight on that connective tissue–shaky! a deep, achey, itchy feeling if i push a little too hard, but slowly disappearing. pretty amazing. but it has taken a couple months. teach me to drift away while i’m painting on a ladder or chair. (will it? let’s hope!)
my neck and my foot coming back together almost at once. i’ve still got some room to go on the neck, too. we’re close, tho. i’m down to seeing him every two weeks. for a couple months it was three times a week. oof. those were painful (and expensive) days, when i felt little relief from that nerve pain. i was so happy to go to him and get any relief at all. and i did.
then i was down to once a week. and the pain lasted a while into treatment, lessening more and more, tho. finally, i’m into the every two weeks phase. the pain never is prolonged and agonizing as it once was. if anything, there are just moments when it will flash and my hand will get pins n needles. or a certain position will spark the numbness. but nothing like the all over you, drowning you, making you mad sort of periods of deeply-rooted pain. it’s weird…i struggle to remember it. but it was a constant cruel companion for the good part of a year, if not a little more! (how quickly we forget!) hey, it’s all noted in this blog, so when i need some gratitude, i can find it.
i’ve also come away from the experience with numerous exercises from him over this time to do; exercises to shorten back muscles and pull the frame upright, in various ways. as well as to stretch and loosen up the (Minor Pectorals) small chest muscles, which have been too tight and exacerbate the condition by providing little room for certain nerves, or rather less slack for them, to travel their route through the very narrow holes in your spine–where mine became pinched.
and i needed to see a chiropractor anyway. my posture had issues that i couldn’t fix because i didn’t understand what i was doing wrong, or what muscles i had neglected that were now throwing my frame off balance. in essence, it was too many pushups over the years which did strengthen the pectorals, but when this happens (in swimmers and weightlifters, always, he said) it ends up pulling the shoulders forward and the upper spine down in a little hunch. this will lead to problems, like compressed vertebrae. so you simply need to make sure you do exercises that isolate the competing muscle groups in the back to counterbalance the pecs. also, calisthenic back exercises and neck stretches and pec stretches are part of my regimen now, and have been for a while. that’s the kind of thing you need to fix asap, so that you’re not back in the chiropractors over and over again fixing pinched nerves, and eventually, eroded discs, and all out of shape as an older man. so it was a needed intervention!
in fact, a future purchase is going to be a desk that rises and sinks through hydraulics, as i’ve written about. this will help preserve the health of my spine.
but very soon, yeah. i’ll come back to the dojang a few times a week again. i am definitely not wanting to end up too well-fed and creaky!
let’s see. is this enough for the record? is it even worth posting? did i do what i needed to by writing it? must it really be public? does it benefit anyone from being posted? i wrestle with these things. maybe all i needed was to jot it down. if so, i can just post it privately. dunno. sometimes writing online just feels like a distraction.
i dream of writing, again, as if it matters not who reads it. the sort of writing that does your heart and soul good. writing that wakes you back up from your daze and your dozing. the sort of writing that cleans the fire from your mind. the sort of writing that ruins things, and births things, and isn’t afraid to shake up the world. writing like a scalpel is scraping everything untrue from your throat and leaving only the bare truth.
but if i did that, there’d be blood.
art…or relationships with people. not to be overdramatic, but sometimes this is the choice.
when i was 22, i felt like my eyes were opened about a few things. it made me euphoric with a desire to connect and communicate. one of the people i wrote a letter to was my aunt. she had been a surrogate mother when i was a child, here and there. we were so close once…or it felt we were. so, she was one of the people i wanted to share my emotional experience with. after she got this letter, she said she was really worried about me. that i might be suicidal. it was the biggest disconnect i think i ever experienced. i had been bubbling over with joy, with excitement for life, and with a desire to be honest and build healthy relationships…and she heard death in my voice.