Friday, July 27, 2012

Movement

My legs are shot.  Have been for a while.  Very tiny broken bone in the socket of my big toe.  Broke it the first time in a match a long time ago and every time it almost heals it re-breaks.  On the same side, the ankle is popped.  Finally got some good advice from a physical therapist and it is slowly improving.  On the other side, I tried to brace to block a pair of rolling bodies in Greece last month and something popped from my knee to my hip.  It doesn't hurt most of the time, but the knee has collapsed suddenly a couple of times since then and the hip doesn't like  certain angles at all...

Just whining.  It has interfered with working out and I can feel my wind getting weaker, imagine my legs atrophying...

Movement is a physical skill and takes physical practice.  It does degrade over time.

Not quite changing the subject-- went caving yesterday with my son.  I used to love it, but years ago, when I hit that stage where my adrenal glands were completely burned out, I gave it up.  I gave a lot of things up.  Caving became just a hike underground.  Kayaking was a cold, wet, upper-body workout.  Climbing Mt. Adams was just a cold uphill hike in the snow.  No adrenaline, no thrill, no joy.  The petty annoyance of getting the gear together wasn't balanced by the excitement of the climb anymore.

Anyway, the boy said we hadn't hit a cave together in a long time.  Years, in fact.  And he wanted to.  And hike and shoot a little, as well.  Side effect of all the travel and my lovely wife reorganizing our home multiple times while I was away, I couldn't find my technical gear.  Somewhere in the house or the garage is a big bag of carabiners and jumars and webbing and extra helmets and gloves and kneepads and... couldn't find it.

So, since it was all free solo, we limited the climbing.  Some.

At first, everything hurt.  Knees, ankle, broken toe.  And I was clumsy.  Clumsy by my own standards, anyway.  In a lava tube, you spend most of the time moving over breakdown, piles of rock fallen from the ceiling.  It is the ultimate broken-country hiking.  The lava has never weathered and is sharp.  Some is stable, much is not and shifts under your feet.  Holes and spikes.  Slippery areas from the constant drip.

I remembered, in that dark place, that this was what I loved.  Not the view, although it is always cool to see something rare.  But the feeling of moving, swiftly, reading the rocks with a glance but mostly by feel.  Adapting as a rock started to roll and using the roll or countering it.  I had forgotten, but in the dark I remembered.  And my body remembered.  Starting like a clumsy noob with twinges of limping pain in an hour I was flowing again, foot-to-foot, using gravity in a falling run sometimes, pushing off boulders or wall with my hands to leap rock to rock to rock... and my ankle didn't hurt much.  And I didn't notice the twinges from the toe.  The other knee started to collapse a few times, but even that was better.

It was a good time.  Found a new beautiful place to camp.  Did a little tracking.  Got my son to tighten up his grouping to almost acceptable standards.  I'll be sore later today, but it was glorious to move like that again.

9 comments:

Nomad said...

Hey Rory,

Get that knee checked out! From the "knee collapsing" part, it sounds like a torn ACL might be the culprit. If so, this won't heal on it's own, and each time it does the collapse, there's a good chance that the injury will worsen (tearing meniscus, possibly dislocating knee if PCL goes too). Not fun.

Katherine Turner said...

Thanks for posting this... And thanks to your writing (and sonnen and mushtaq's) and following some deep intuition, i'm working out regularly, strongly for the first time since 2005, seeing and feeling muscle tone, and Yes, that feeling of strength and exhilaration. So wonderful...:) next? Smoking and diet...

Jim said...

Those times are priceless...

But do get the knee checked. The artificial replacements just aren't all that great...

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Raziel said...

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Kasey said...

Every time I have trained with you, you have teased me for warming up before the class. Saying things along the lines of when attacked you won't have time to warm up.

I agree, I won't have time to warm up and may get hurt because of it.

But actual physical ambush attack is rare. Much more rare than training a couple of times every week.

So maybe, just maybe if you took some time to warm up before beating the hell out of your self (and others)on a regular basis you would feel much better and be able to enjoy that sensation of flowing more often.

I'm just sayin'
:)

Anonymous said...

You hear folks say things like this often, but it had more depth coming from a friend ...an elder and a teacher actually, who at one time in his storied history found himself on Iwo Jima, back before anyone realy knew what or where it was.

"Whatever it is in life, just show up. That's all. And, keep moving because they can't bury you if your still moving"

:)

-Billy G.

nry said...

@Kasey - you can 'warm up' by training though, so you then get more training time...start slow and easy, before building it up - no different to a warm up really.

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