Monday, October 22, 2007

Notes from the D.L.

Man, it has been a while since the last time I posted here. Most of you have heard by now that during the last class I attended on September 29th, I twisted my knee doing a sweep kick in erluquan. It happened towards the end of class, and I had been feeling the chi, mostly because my parents showed up to watch class. I guess I was trying extra hard to show off or something.

I was kind of an emotional wreck the next few days. At first, I was soooo disappointed -- I had just finished learning erluquan, and I was all geared up to test for it the following weekend. I was eager to show Shifu all my hard work.

When a visit to the orthopaedist for x-rays and an MRI suggested that I might be dealing with a torn something-or-other, I went from disappointed to scared. Not only was I dreading the prospects of surgery, but I faced a possible recovery time of 8-10 months before I could even think about returning to kung fu. Yikes!

Happily, the results of the MRI a week later showed that nothing was torn; I had sustained a major sprain to a knee I've hurt before years ago from basketball. So, thankfully, I am looking at a shorter recovery time and have dodged the surgery bullet.

I am going to physical therapy twice a week, and every time I go, they give me more and more little exercises to strengthen my inner quadricep muscle to stabilize my kneecap in its groove. While those exercises may pale in comparison to what we accomplish at Temple, part of my training now is to recognize that this too is part of training. And it's working; every day I do feel a little stronger.

So what now? People have asked how long will it be before I train again, and it's a beautiful thing to know that so many friends are rooting for your speedy recovery. At first, I said to them, "Oh, hopefully a month and a half, two months at most." But ever since I started physical therapy last week, I have decided merely to say, "We'll see. I'm taking it day by day."

A knee injury is nothing to sneeze at! I will be sure to take however long I need to ensure a full recovery, and to be dilligent about doing my exercises. And while I miss the thrill of pushing my body to the max and seeing all of my fellow dorks, I need to exercise patience training, which can be most difficult. I need to do what's right for Qbertplaya and her busted knee, so that when she comes back, she will be ready to attack (if even only from the side line)!


  1. great post! the drawings & exercises shown are excellent & are sure to help our fellow dorks who have also hurt their knees.
    patience is something we all need to work on in varying degrees. more chi on that!

  2. It was nice running into you last night.

    Miss riding the train with you.

    Keep walking straight and you'll be back in no time.

  3. Chi of the spirit is as important if not more important than chi of the body.

    Glad to hear your spirits are up again Ellen!

    Oh, by the way, I had a thought, I don't know if Shifu will let you do this, but can you switch to chikung class for the time being while you are in PT/DL? I am not sure how much movement is involved in Chikung class, but I assume you work on internal chi so the movement and stress on your knee will be much less. And it will be awesome to work on chikung! So when you do return, you'll rock us with your internal CHI!


  4. Miss my Qbertplaya! What's your doc say about swimming?

  5. Amituofo, everyone!

    Thanks for the suggestion, Leo, but unfortunately, the Chi Kung classes start way too early for my work schedule -- I could barely swing getting to Kung Fu at 7pm as it was.

    As for cross-training in other disciplines...I think for now, I will focus on being able to walk properly and securely...step by step, day by day (anyone wanna break out into some New Kids on the Block?). I need to pace myself and not drift too far into the future with respect to my recovery lest I rush and reinjure.

    The other night at Mo's party, I didn't realize it, but I had been standing for about 2 hours straight, and then I felt like I was gonna collapse.

    It's amazing how for granted we take simple tasks like walking and standing until an injury occurs. The fact that I can't even stand for that long without feeling tired indicates I still have a while before hitting that green carpet again! Maybe I'll start by standing at a concert to build up my legs again! :)

  6. Hope you train harder on your PT exercises so that you can train harder at the Temple!! Well, not train too hard at the Temple in the beginning ;)