fitness · martial arts · training

On the Other Hand: Christine’s Plans Go Awry

In my last February post,  I had great plans for how I was going to advance my Taekwondo training in the next month. I was working hard on my patterns and I had a 15-minute a day plan. The emphasis here is on ‘had.’


I did 4 days of great practice, Eui Am really came together and the first part of Juche was starting to seem feasible. Then this happened.

The author's right arm in a white plaster cast. There is a tile floor in the background.
Not getting your first cast until age 45 (and after 9 years of TKD) is a victory of sorts, right?


On Tuesday February 27th, I took three TKD classes in a row.  In the middle of the third class, while evading someone during a sparring  drill, my foot stuck on something on the floor and I fell backward and broke one of the bones in my wrist.


My right wrist. I’m right handed.


I had the above cast for a few days until I saw a specialist and now I have a brace until April 16 (at least).


I am not supposed to lift anything heavy with my right hand, and I am not allowed to drive. Those things are inconvenient but given that I work from home and I can use voice dictation, they are not a crisis.


I’m also not supposed to rotate my wrist which makes it a challenge to open cans, use a key to get into my house, and it prevents me from fully practicing my patterns. I can do the stances and left handed arm movements but nothing with my right arm at all.

The author's right arm in a black cloth brace with lacing up the inner side. There is an orange wall and white window frame in the background. She is giving a thumbs up.
The brace is a bit more badass.

And the fact that I am supposed to take care not to lose my balance* means that I cannot do  the complicated jumps in my patterns. It also means that many of my other kinds of TKD practice are off limits, too. Kicks, footwork, punches, drills, all out of the question.

Needless to say, that put a cramp in my plans for 15 minutes a day.


It’s annoying and frustrating but I am trying to focus on the things I *can* do instead of the things I can’t.


So, for the last few weeks, I have been focusing on exercises for my legs and my abs. And the narrowing of my activity choices is actually making it a bit easier to do that work.


Often, when exercising, I find myself wondering if I should be doing some other exercise instead. Having fewer options right now limits that type of thinking so I can just do what I’m doing instead of overthinking it.


I’m still going to TKD but instead of practicing myself, I do some exercises and then I help other students to figure out their patterns. Going through the mental exercise of explaining movements I can’t currently demonstrate has been interesting to say the least.


I recently read the following tweet and felt oddly inspired by it. I am hoping that my willingness to focus on what I can do will help me be a ‘fitter’ version of myself by the time this brace comes off. (Yes, I know the context is different but I’ll take inspiration where I can.) I am adapting to this temporary change the best way I know how. 

I’ll let you know how it works out. KIYA!

A screen capture of a tweet from Alex Flis that reads "That's the thing people get confused a lot about evolution. Survival of the fittest is a very misleading statement. Nature doesn't care if you're the smartest or the toughest, it cares how quickly you are to adapt to a changing environment."
Yes, I know my injury has nothing to do with survival per se but I liked this reminder about the importance of adapting to change.


I would like to note that I realize that being able to approach this recovery period with this attitude is a mark of my privilege.  My livelihood isn’t threatened by this. My family life isn’t greatly altered. I have health insurance so there is no huge financial impact. I am not suggesting that anyone else who gets injured *must* approach their recovery period in the same way, I am only writing about my own circumstances.

And, I fully recognize that this temporary injury is not at all comparable to a disability and I hope I avoided implying that it was. I do not intend to be ableist but, as a non-disabled person in our ableist society, I realize that I run that risk (and that my ‘intentions’ are largely irrelevant.)  I am prepared to change any inadvertently offensive language I have used in this post, please just let me know.


*This is to prevent a fall.  The small break in my radius will currently heal without surgery but, if I were to fall on it, an operation would be inevitable.

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