Sunday, 21 June 2015

Brace Yourself



I have a snapped ACL (anterior crusciate ligament) in my left knee. It broke in 2001 and I've never had it repaired...but this year I finally will. It aches when I train in Krav and unless I wear not one but two elasticated supports on it, it will sometimes swell like a balloon and hurt like a bitch the next day. I can't go running (advice of a sports masseur/ knee specialist) and flexibility on that leg is piss poor (kicks to anywhere higher than an opponent's belly button are in the realms of fantasy). I have always regarded this injury as debilitating and something that has affected my ability to be fully effective in both Krav and the rest of my life. Last week I flew to Crete for 4 weeks holiday and made doubly certain that I packed BOTH knee supports for when I go to join Krav Maga Chania, a club on the island who have invited me to train with them.

Today I was hanging out at the beach with a few pals and got introduced to an Australian girl with a broken foot. I initially believed that her foot HAD BEEN broken and now had healed...but was probably still a bit sore.

Turns out that her foot was STILL broken and was in the process of healing. She had come to the beach with her pals, but as its access is via a rocky cliff face only...she had gone to the neighbouring beach and then swum round to join her mates....who had carried her foot brace in a bag for her. Already impressed by this I was even more inspired when she swam back round as we were leaving, rendezvoused with us at the top of the drive leading to both beaches, strapped on her brace and then clopped off down the road...at a pace slightly faster than my normal "On Holiday Stroll."

She snorted at the idea of taking a cab from the taverna 10 minutes further down the road and after we'd stopped there for lunch we walked back along a trail that required climbing fences, navigating goat paths and walking through olive groves. She didn't moan or complain once and when I asked if the brace didn't sweat a bit, she replied that it came with a sock but she'd stopped wearing it and that it now "chafed a bit" but didn't elaborate further.

On the final stretch of the walk home she asked where a good bar with dancing could be found and also a decent beach for snorkelling. She added that it should be relatively close to Plakias but only because her foot meant she was limited in range.

Meeting her today has made me realise that a LOT of what's holding me back is not actual injury or obstacles but my perception of them. While I'm not so bendy on my left side any more my main worry in training is what MIGHT happen due to the ACL being in tatters...not the fact that it actually is.

"In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision."

– Dalai Lama




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