injury · martial arts · training

Injuries, exercise, and thank God for dogs

On Saturday I hurt my shoulder at Aikido. I was thrown and I should have rolled out of it. Instead, I went crash/thunk into the mats and even one of tough guys sympathetically grimaced and went “Ouch!” It hurt. I have a pretty good tolerance for pain and I finished the class with just the occasional wincing and shoulder rubbing. I didn’t do any more rolling. Instead, I walked out of the throws and hoped the pain would go away fast. But after a weekend of ice and ibuprofen, it’s still bothering me and I’ve booked an appointment at the sports medicine clinic. It’s odd to go from two workouts a day (often Crossfit and Aikido, sometimes with cycling thrown in) to lounging about the house.

I have a pretty good attitude to sports injuries, I think. Accidents happen. And I wouldn’t choose a life without risk. It would mean giving up too many things I like to do. I think, on balance, I’m better off for all the physical activity that’s part of my life. With Aikido my skill at rolling has helped me a few times now when I’ve fallen on ice. I recommend Aikido to all my women friends who are worried about falling. Aikido is much more useful than just self defense against other people. Learning to fall well is important and if I slip up occasionally and hurt myself, the mats are a lot softer than the pavement. Practice makes perfect. Rolling is, for me, the hardest part of Aikido. Forward rolls don’t come naturally, for me, the way backward rolls do. But I’m trying to be patient and hoping they will, as our teachers say, “come along with time.”

In the meantime, I’m taking a few days off. Just down to walking the dog. I’m no great fan of walking as exercise. I’m a bit of a speed junkie and walking feels slow. I do love walking through big cities and hiking in nature but most of London is too middle of the road for my walking tastes. The weather has also been wet. Luckily, I have a dog. And when you own an energetic dog, you walk. Regularly. Tonight we had a lovely stroll through the neighbourhood with bits of running thrown in since I get antsy when I’m without exercise.  If you need motivation to get out of the house and go for walks,  no matter what the weather, I recommend a dog.