From my notes on my first six Aikido classes:
Physical Info – Starting Point
Health: Coming off 2 weeks or a horrendous cold. Feeling better.
Weight: 189 lbs., goal of 160 lbs. (And then “We’ll see.”)
Fitness: Sedentary work, semi-active fun (cleaning horse pen, gardening…). Few PT exercises for shoulder. No working out or stretching for many years.
Vertigo: Much better over past couple of months. Encouraged, but concerned that rolling and breakfalls could set it off again.
Tuesday evening, May 5, 2009
Really fun, awesome people, great time, very excited about Aikido.
Very sore, tired quads later. Did lots of walking and stretching.
Started walking around park several times during the day at work.
Saturday morning, May 9, 2009
An hour before class something “went out” a little in my hip. Figured it would loosen up with work. Ha! Wrong. On very first attempt at rolling hip went into spasm.
Limped through class. (Too stubborn to bow out.)
Did lots of walking and stretching for several days. Probably piriformis muscle. Learned trigger point technique using foam roller, which helped.
Tuesday evening, May 12, 2009
Very comfortable. Feeling good. Halfway competent at where to stand, what to do…
Wednesday evening, May 13, 2009
Forward rolls from standing/walking. Great fun. Lots of work on breathing, centering, flowing… Quiet blending exercises – nothing I had envisioned doing in a “martial art” – very cool!
Right at end of class landed hard on right shoulder.
Major pain. Several days of Really Bad Muscle Spasms in shoulder. Lots of intensive work with icing, heat, and trigger points.
Breathing and centering exercises from class are tremendous for pain control. Open posture and attitude (?) reduce pain & discouragement, while closed posture and focusing on self make everything notably worse. Lots and lots of stopping, centering, breathing in the universe, focusing outward, extending.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Observed class and tests! Dojo picnic at Santee lakes.
Lucky timing, that I should have the chance to meet so many people so soon.
Shoulder much better, but not enough, by Monday. Off to Orthopedic guy who had done earlier bone spur removal surgery on that shoulder. Dx: Minor separation of the AC joint. Rest, ice, activity as tolerated. No Aikido. Next check in 2 weeks.
Tuesday evening, May 19, 2009
Paid especially close attention to things I could do on my own, trying to be sure I understand them well enough to practice the right thing: Stretches, breathing, warm-up exercises, hanmi. Walking, grounding, aligning, settling. Many notes on names of techniques, and elements to remember.
Holistic Health Practicioner (HHP) back from vacation. 90-minute massage. Many knots undone, bless her very skilled heart and hands.
Tuesday evening, May 26, 2009
Similar notes and observations. Watching classes is time well-spent, but very much like “watching all the other kids play in the pool.” Very frustrating.
Saturday morning, May 30, 2009
Observed weapons class and open-hand class
Brought two friends who have been thinking about studying Aikido. One, Sue, with whom I used to work, and had not seen in years, and a new friend, Edgar, from Twitter who I was just meeting for the first time.
Had not really considered weapons work, but am now thinking it would be a very good idea to be doing this too.
To Doc for shoulder check on Monday. Happy with progress. OK to do classes, but no falling or rolling. Yay! Next check in 3 weeks.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Back on the mat! Was able to do quite a lot. Finally remembered to say “onegai shimasu” at the right time. Progress! Sensei very kind about alerting me to upcoming techniques I would not be able to do. Some ouchy experiences, but mostly good.
Still icing shoulder 3-5x/day. Some heat, too.
90-minute massage with HHP. Many more nasty knots.
On Monday not happy with progress. Feeling worse, not better. Other shoulder starting to hurt almost as bad. Made PT appt.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Participated, but a bit more cautiously. Could not lift hands over head without pain. Sat out about half the class. Should’ve just observed.
PT appt. Turns out there’s also an injury to the brachial plexus – a bunch of nerves. Numbness & tingling in fingers. Not a good thing. I am not to do anything that causes any pain in shoulders. Now 2x/week PT for 4 weeks. Must get injured tendon calmed down so it does not irritate nerve. Benched for at least 4 more weeks, if I’m lucky, and then will have to be careful to not reinjure shoulder.
Physical Info – Current
Health: Felt like cold was coming back. Doc says allergies. Treating that, and feeling 80% better.
Weight: 181 lbs. Down 8 lbs. Goal of 160 lbs.
Fitness: Walking breaks at work. Taking stairs. Lots of stretching & exercises on my own (stepping on/off straw bale 20 reps, 2x/day).
Vertigo: No problems so far w/rolling or falls. Survived 4-hour sailing adventure, even.
Finally – up to date. Whew. Hmm… I was thinking I had done 7 classes, but it’s only 6.