Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Kraving

While recovering from my knee operation I have spent a great deal of time laying on the sofa catching up on TV shows like Gotham and Burn Notice. I've also read a few books and managed to tidy up the flat. Hell, if really bored I might even wrap my protesting, spitting cat up in a towel and clip her claws. I managed to get the final, final draft of my latest book WALK IN PIECES: Diary of a KravMaga Practitioner done and dusted and published for all to buy as a Xmas gift.

However...as my fitness levels slide and my belly starts to push against my belt like the last person trying to get on to the rush hour Tube train....I miss Krav Maga training and the feeling of, as my normally wankish Headmaster used to put it, getting "out of breath".

It's only when something's gone that you realise what you had. This sounds cheesy but the problem is that you need a new perspective in order to look back and go "hmm, yeah, I deffo miss that!"

Training that is as cardio based as Krav Maga (twenty minutes warm up...MINIMUM including a shit load of stretching) will push fitness levels to their best limits and something I miss above all else is feeling that I always had energy, even when I didn't.

Getting up in the morning to a job I didn't like very much I would nevertheless rise about 90 minutes before work started, have a leisurely breakfast and catch up on some news, my emails or Facebook. I'd get to work with time to spare (only a few minutes mind) and have enough energy to face something I did only to pay the rent and put food on the table.

Now that I'm signed off sick, I feel sluggish and despondent until about 10am when I reluctantly heave my carcass off the mattress and downstairs for a cup of coffee and a wash. It can take my brain up to half an hour to get going, like a grizzly coming out of hibernation. I force myself out for a walk with my knee wrapped up in a sports brace and hobble around town, feeling like Victor Meldrew at every red light or queue I come across.

No longer do I come home like I did after Krav, with my T-shirt stuck to my back, my face beetroot red and craving the biggest pepperoni pizza on Domino's menu. Now I come home feeling like I could possibly be doing more. Then I turn a little too quickly or catch my foot on something...and that twinge of newly stitched flesh kicks in and the swearing starts. In front of the TV I once again find myself, with the "other" knee brace fresh out the fridge. This one's full of water and gently soothes my aching and irritating knee from the new ACL and where they scraped out the gristle to make up for 14 years of grinding bone on bone.

Last week I spoke to the consultant surgeon, the very chap who had in fact drilled holes in my knee and repaired what was wrong in there. We'd met once before but as I was spark out on an operating table I have no memory of this encounter. He specifically told me that it will be next Spring before I can train again and October 2016 before I can grade. A woman in my club has just taken P3 and I had joked with her that maybe we'll be partners when I retest for P5.

She was P1 when I was P4.

Looks like that's one time I tempted fate when I shouldn't have.

So as my days stretch into weeks and slowly, ever so slowly into months and I keep to my convalescent plan and try to avoid getting a gut so large that it restricts a vertical view of my toes...I miss training at Krav Maga and I miss helping out with the kiddy Krav class on Mondays with Russell's JSKM.

I need to be patient and wait this out. Going back early would possibly fuck my knee up for the rest of my life. Once fully fit I can jump into my groin guard and pound the floor with the rest. For now, I just need to catch up on seasons 1 to 5 of The Walking Dead and maybe buy some more coffee beans.

The Kraving can be tolerated, but it's always gonna be there. Until I go back.


  1. Capt Kravman (aka Pete)3 November 2015 at 18:47

    Hi Lance

    Hang in there buddy, the wait will be worth it.

    After having a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) I thought my Krav days were over. I was devastated.

    That was 2 years ago and then 11 months ago i passed my G1 and am now going for G2 in December.

    I know i have limitations and those limitations makes the mental challenge even harder but with determination, guts and grit you battle through it the best you can.
    Krav Maga has taught me many things but it's the mental determination to survive that has been instilled in me that i appreciate and respect the most....it's helped me in all areas of life.

    On your return some of the warm up routine's may be off limits or restricting, life sucks, but those defensive and fighting technique's you've already learnt will soon come flooding back.

    Be patient, listen to the nurses, listen to the doctors, listen to the physio but above all listen to your body, it knows when something is right, wrong or not quite ready.

    Kida my friend

  2. I know the feeling, 3 weeks into a 6 week recovery for a torn medial collateral ligament in my knee (momentary lapse in concentration while holding the pad), i can feel my waist line expanding and my fitness slipping away, thankfully i will be back training in less than a month.
    Hope your recovery goes well.


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