The return of a nightmare

22 05 2017

This morning, 4 am, I woke up, suddenly, in pain: the weight of the duvet on my right knee was enough to send jolts of pain through my nervous system.. and after a few hours, when it started swelling and the slightest touch was equivalent to deep pain, dark thoughts of “The Return of the Watermelon Knee” jumped in my mind and during the day the thoughts became unfortunately reality.

right knee swelling


Besides being in the Netherlands with almost no access to the Chinese products that cured me last time (yeah, no cure from what I got, RA is the only companion for life I will ever get), and not even the first round of pain killers that had proven very useful at the worst time of the swelling period, I have a very busy week in front of me preparing 3 even busier weeks when I will travel for work around Great Britain to give hands on training to different hospitals.. standing and talking activities.

I wish I could find a laowai friendly hospital that could prescribe me again the Tibetan herbal tablets I got then in China and used for a really long time. The only solution is scavenging among the bags of medicine I brought back from my short life in China and see what I manage to put together for a fast hopefully good effect.

leftovers of the magic Tibetan cure


I consider myself having a pretty high pain threshold but today I cried actually twice. I had forgotten the full inflammation pain and the return of it has been a quite traumatic awakening. 

In the next days I need to contain this pain and manage to control it. From next week I got pretty important work tasks that will require me standing most of the day when not walking pulling heavy cases. 

I wanted challenges right? Here they are… be careful what you wish for…

The first challenges were biking tobanf from work but especially walk three flights of stairs to get to my room at home. 

Habits are also painful. I always step into my hakama first with the left foot and I always mountvmy bike from the left side, therefore passing over the right leg… that is bending my swollen and inflamed right knee: the sudden sharp pain pain was definitively a good call to pay more attention!

my hakama

After the ice and evening rest I try to follow the other two rule of the recommended R.I.C.E. procedure: Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation. 

knee elevation on the loft ceiling of my room


If I were a bat I’d probably be certainly better tomorrow… since I’m not I’m more curious about my weekend to come in Prague…





The Seventh Day…

31 01 2017

…he rested.. I mean, I rested, finally! Yesterday.. yeah!

During the weekend, feeling quite tired at practice in Belgium with Kuribayashi sensei, and going to bed relatively early Saturday night after the dinner event, I realized that I have been practicing quite a bit this month. Every day since last Tuesday (no practice on that day). At least, a bit for my own self, nothing compared with my aiki-bro Aikifreak. More or less like the Stavanger days, but there I was teaching most of the classes and it is quite a big difference, especially here in Amsterdam, between being instructor or not.

19 training days this month and my condition is far from optimal. The elbow inflammation and the probable knee bursitis are following me from last months in 2016 to now. But it was ages I did not practice that much in a month, and none of these days was a full teaching session.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bike incident, smashing on the frozen tarmac after misjudging the height of a step and try to “jump” with bicycle and all, I had landed on the same knee already in pain and for some strange Aikido reflex I had managed to not smashed the left arm on the ground when I bent the handlebar:

bike handlebar re-work

bike handlebar re-work

An accident due to 80% stupidity, 10% iced road and 10% bad luck..

Funny thing is that after the crash both knee and elbow seems to improve.. Fight fire with fire?

…but the not traditional healing method did not really stick, and nowadays I have started thinking to get back to some more traditional cures, that wouldn’t require to crash again my poor bike..

In the close future I see some more very active weeks coming and I am quite happy. I have planned to attend interesting seminars where I will meet amazing people on the mats and have more chance to test my body and mind. Last Aikido year had been fantastic. I have hopes and I trust this year will be equally great.. but I have to improve my own condition. Learn how to recover faster as well.

Tuesday’s are my days of rest but unfortunately it’s almost sure I work overtime every single one. But I also promised myself to stop on the way home at Bukowski bar, my oasis in Amsterdam. Often alone I sit in my spot, have an occasional chat with the people working there, check my Instagram or social places or write my blog… like yesterday night….





Unfit

13 10 2016

Last week I had to stop practice after the first hour and it was a bit annoying: I have a couple of physical problems that are carrying longer than expected, and a few too many thoughts on my mind, that are also not helping.

During a first hour of several beginner techniques, working especially on ikkyo and with no throws at all, I had to compensate a lot a problem with one knee that is forcing me to avoid as well all suwariwaza work. That is boring, but last year, more or less in the same period I had the same problem, that went away with some rest..

hope... for something better....

hope… for something better….

Read the rest of this entry »





Values & Time, Water & Teflon

19 09 2016

It is the time to say goodbye to shoes I had bought for 14.90 € thinking that if they lasted 3 months it would have been a good investment.

A long road

They lasted about 18 months, they have walked me all around Europe, in Japan, I’m Indonesia and in Vietnam.

I have learnt to give value to everything and everyone independently by the time things and people are around. Because this time can be short.

I have had 3 relevant relationships in my life of which the longest lasted about 3 years “on paper” but in reality maybe less than 3 months and the best most spontaneous and natural part has been the first 3 hours.. I valued most of the time with her and looking back I regret I did not enjoy more. But I have no other regrets. Read the rest of this entry »





2016 Resolutions & Predictions

11 01 2016

Maybe last time.. because they are actually more or less a copy from last year revised ones:

2016(5) Resolutions:

  • learn something new
  • get passionate again about about something positive, constructive (..else than Aikido, reading, taking pictures and travelling – specified since in 2014 apparently I got passionate about.. rejections!)
  • stop doing always the same mistakes, especially with people! 向前走,莫回头! (got close again, but maybe I managed to be a little adult this time!) — one add: stop comparing myself to other people! In life, work, Aikido and especially relationships! Some sort of typical masochism that results only in me feeling like a shit..
  • work for my 3.dan in Aikido (when ever it might be) and work on my Aikido in general! (since I have realized I got not so much else to spend time for)  — related to this one there is an extra goal: help a fellow Aikidoka in Amsterdam to develop, “find”, feel more her center 😉
  • maintain 75 kg rather than reach 72 kg: the path to this target has started already! I had been almost steadily around +/- 75 kg during the summer, but I certainly failed to keep it or push for the 72 kg goal.
  • the most important: care less!!!

2016(5) Prediction:

  • I will travel a lot
  • there will be some changes

Time to eliminate the learning part: I had of course in mind learning to play the guitar (there is a guitar in the room I rent now!) but I failed so many times that I think I am too stupid.. I’ll try again, but not as a resolution..

The most important part for me though is step forward in my life, both Aikido life and “the rest”. Not easy, in neither of them. But I got some motivations. Some thoughts/plans that need a bit more working on and maybe some further changes. I tried some this year, but the reason behind that change was not worth and I was never convinced about what I wanted. That is probably a first step: know what (not who!) I want, more or less..





On the way to Trondheim!

8 01 2016

First seminar of the year even if I am not sure if I’m allowed to count it or not… since I will be the “teacher”.. With “” because as explained before I am just a student working on my path..

leir med andrea 🙂

I posted about this seminar but I think (or maybe many think) it has been my ego talking there.. As a matter of fact I miss teaching, but not for letting my ego grow stronger (again?.. I know many think that..), but for having a chance to practice the Aikido I love, work on the mats with like-minded people and try to understand something that at seminars one has not always time to doing that.

This is a chance to work both on the Aikido I practice in Amsterdam and the Aikido I manage to practice very seldom, ie. Irie shihan‘s Aikido. A chance to work a little on that and introduce it to my Norwegian friends, certainly something different (not better, not worse, just different, hoping to leave them with something to think about and maybe some curiosity to meet the source!).

If people think it is my ego talking I am actually not so concern: I hope some of this people will be on the mats with me to try and experiment and see if some good feelings come out from the practice as well.. I can only repeat what I always say to people that call me teacher, as my Aiki-brother says:

So who am I? What do I want? Well, I am a student.

That is exactly what I am, what I have always been, and what I will be, independently where I will sit at the beginning of a class.. and I love it!

 

dry kiwi and papaya

Sitting at the airport, eating some dry fruit in the best Chinese tradition (I mean, my Chinese life experience tradition!), feeling a little like when I was going to Hangzhou for teaching weekend seminars… and still working on my practice notes!

It’s going to be a good weekend!!





2015 wrap up

8 01 2016

A few thoughts about last year. At some point I updated my commitment:

2015 Resolutions – updates:

  • learn something new
  • get passionate again about about something positive, constructive (..else than Aikido, reading, taking pictures and travelling – specified since in 2014 apparently I got passionate about.. rejections! Got worse this week, indeed)
  • stop doing always the same mistakes, especially with people! 向前走,莫回头! (got close again, but maybe I managed to be a little adult this time!)
  • work for my 3.dan in Aikido (when ever it might be) and work on my Aikido in general! (since I have realized I got not so much else to spend time for)
  • reach 75 kg reach 72kg: the path to this target has started already! I have been almost steadily around +/- 75Kg. in the past few months, so it is time to raise the bar!

…and failed!

I closed the year around 78 kg: not bad, but remaining at 75 kg is also a challenge especially if I do not practice every day and I have some more parties than expected!

Aikido is a difficult topic: I practiced a lot, almost as much as I could (I dropped maybe a couple of possible seminars) and I am feeling a slight push to “confirm” my level woth examination. But if I have no motivation in grading for Dutch federation, even liking Tissier sensei style: dan grading for me is a sort of tribute to the sensei I am following, to show him that I want to practice his Aikido. And right now this is impossible (Dutch federation would not grant me the possibility to grade out of Dutch territory: understandable, maybe, it was, for someone.. not open to discussion though).

For the rest, it is like I have never written those resolutions. Next year, maybe. In particular, for the mistake part, last night I got confirmed I had made a big one with some new Aikido friend. Sometimes I should shut up and get out of my own head. To be remembered. All it’s part of the learning and growth. Mistakes made with interesting people are probably a better teaching. Fate wants maybe that I take this as learning of something new for the year?

2015 Prediction:

  • I will travel a lot
  • there will be some changes
  • if I do not achieve the majority of those resolutions I will go nuts!!!

I changed house; I did travel a lot, mainly/only for Aikido, and a little for work; I did not manage to make real the majority of resolutions, therefore I am nuts.. On the other I have been going nuts for some time anyway.. it has not been an easy year.. again! My fault..

Let’s see 2016.. where I will be more realist I suppose!