Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Zooming In On My Progress

Online learning is getting to me. In karate tonight over Zoom I tried Sepai kata for the first time. I miss my dojo. It'll be interesting to see how my body tolerates karate with no port and overall reduced activity after the pandemic ends. I look forward to building back up because looking back won't do me any good.

I've been in physiotherapy for a year and a half now since sepsis ended. I've been out of the dojo since before the pandemic hit the United States, where I live.

Learning karate online has been a lot of fun because it's different and I get different things out of it. I can turn the volume way up on my Sensei's voice, for instance, whereas in the dojo I'm almost totally deaf. Learning online I can write notes down and scribble out my questions and their answers. I can rest, add a fan, hydrate, and manage blackouts more easily. The cats are distracting but that's only because I want them to meet my dojo family.

It's frightening that my body has deconditioned in so many ways because of sepsis. My muscle memory is carrying me further than my actual memory in some cases, and in other cases I'm choked up from drawing a blank.

My Sensei is extremely generous with my schedule and my abilities. He has things he wants for me and I have things I want for myself. At the end of the day we're glad to be alive and we have faith that this is the foundation for anything else we can imagine to come true. :)

Sepai, though, which is thought of as the oldest kata, has a lot of moves in it that are new to me. It looks like Sepai bunkai might be easier to perform than the kata itself (at least, kihon bunkai).

I'm frustrated most moments of the day with the pain, which is a lot worse, a lot sooner. Pain control in the U.S. is a strange racket. With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome it is unrealistic to expect that one may ever be completely out of pain. But it is realistic to expect that I can learn to defend myself. I don't need every kata to be lovely. I don't need every bunkai to work. I need to practice and ingrain a few solid techniques that will work for me in different situations against different types of people. I choose to see my life as worth defending. There are many people in my life I wish saw themselves that way, but I can only control myself and invite others to join me in the adventure, in the work. And boy, is it work.

Eventually, everyone gets seasoned at working toward or fighting for something, so long as we do not give up and check out. And even that is another type of fight altogether worth besting.

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