Returning Again

I feel like I do this a lot. I am in the classes then I am not. Well actually that is sort of what is happening. There are a lot of personal things going awry in my life so sometimes I have to take time off from my favorite sport (after volleyball).

So back in September I had to have a total knee replacement of my left knee. After my last post here I found that classes were getting more and more difficult. By the time mid August rolled around and it came closer to testing I was starting to be unable to do even the most basic of moves without incredible pain. I had been seeing an orthopedic doctor and he told me eventually exactly this would occur. Unfortunately, because I am overweight and spent 23 years in the military, many of my joints are shot. My knee had severe arthritis and bone spurs so I knew at some point surgery was the only option. Well I had the surgery (crap recovery was tough) and finally got cleared to go back to taekwondo. I was super excited and could not wait to go back. So after the holidays back I went.

Yesterday was my first class and let me tell you the emotions. At first I was terrified to even go into the dojang. All I could think was what if I can’t do it. What if I fall (real possibility)? What if I can’t make it through the forms (it is form week)? Can I even meet a portion of what is expected of black belts? I put on my uniform and realized the 32 pounds I lost really does make a difference. Yes that is a lot of weight, but I still have more to go. I tied my belt, took a deep breath and used the 20 minute drive to remind myself that they knew why I was out and that they would not try to hurt me.

Class was four black belts, three third degrees and myself a first degree. Thankfully I knew two out of three so figured I would not be killed during the partner exercises because in fact they did know exactly what had happened (the Master Instructor only knew I had had surgery). Wow it felt awesome to be there and working out!!! I loved it but yes it was difficult and at times a bit painful. I had to modify a bunch of things since spinning on the leg is not possible yet (should be eventually) and I have limited abilities to kick hard as it reverberates and hurts. My partner was awesome and had me do only what I could do and held targets super low for the left side since I can straighten my leg but not to the usual degree most folks can.

So grateful to be back. The 30 jumping jacks didn’t hurt until 23. The pushups were surprisingly painless and not too hard. The sit ups only posed a challenge because rolling from my back to standing typically requires me to hold onto something but I can SLOWLY do it without an aid so the instructor was super kind and waited for the extra 5 seconds I needed to get up off the floor. I was embarrassed but I just didn’t look at anyone, not that they would have given me a disapproving look. Forms were a bit tough as my stances were way off due to my lack of practicing the “deep” part. The instructor was not concerned he was focused on making sure I knew the moves and said, no worries the rest will come back later. We did Tae Gueks 1-8 sooo here is the catch, I sort of know 1-4. I did not know 5 and 7 but did know 6 and 8. When I relayed this the instructor he laughed and said how did that happen we teach them in order? I said selective memory? He laughed and I shadowed the others for those.

I was thrilled to be back honestly. It felt so good but yes I am a bit sore. No I did not over do it as I don’t want to reset myself or seriously injure myself. I did lose my balance a few times but nothing serious and so I was much more confident. I have to review my actual form a lot more as I am forgetting pieces of it but then again it is 46 moves so that makes it a bit more challenging.

So we will start again and see how far we can go for this duration.

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