Sunday, April 20, 2008

If I could save time in a bottle...

Hey, everyone. Send a special welcome to Chad.

While I'd never wish the pain and suffering of ACL injury, reconstruction, and recovery on anyone, I do sincerely welcome him to this growing circle of Martial Artists blogging about their experiences. While Chad found my blog first, I still have to tip my hat to BobSpar for being the blogger I first found!

My usual posting time at work has been consumed with, well, lots of actual work lately! I never did post the milestone at PT back on April 9th: I am cleared for exercise with no restrictions.

Does this mean I'm back at Karate? Not at all. But it does mean I can go beyond linear motion and really dig in to my final phase of rehab.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now slow-count kicking on both legs, and it feels great! It's amazing how what once was a dreaded class drill in strength, balance, and muscle memory is now something I embrace with gusto. I feel a lot of pride in being able to stick a leg out there and hold it rock steady again.

I've pushed my running to a strong 2 miles, typically 7-10 minute bursts with a minute or two of walking to give the knee a break. I mix up the walking segment with backwards walking, and do some drills running in all sorts of ways.

Working myself around in a circle:
- Running forward for a 10-count (1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4, etc.)
- Grapevine sideways, left (good) leg leading for a 10-count
- Running backwards for a 10-count
- Grapevine sideways, right (operative) knee leading for a 10-count
- Back to regular running

If you're a regular runner, give this sequence a shot to break up your routine. Just one of these gave me the muscle burn of an extra 1/4 mile sprint!

I tried skipping rope for about 2 minutes before I had to give up. The one I bought is plastic, which is rather stiff in the cold morning air. Not only does it tend to trip me up just as I'm getting into a rhythm, it also whistles really loud, and I don't wanna wake the neighbors!

I plan to buy a spool of cotton clothesline that's heavy enough to be effective. My hope is to work up to about 5 minute jumping sessions, mixing up alternating feet with one-foot hops. I really want to be light on my feet when I return to sparring, and this is the best exercise I can think up.

Coming soon: visits to the local park for some more interesting drills such as running figure-8's, walk/run uphill backwards (there's a variety of slopes available at the park), and the occasional break for forms / kata.


BobSpar said...

Congrats, you're doing great; I love jumping rope, but I find it hard nowadays on my feet. What surface do you jump on, grass?

Hack Shaft said...

We have a nice 8X8 patio that's a perfect size, at least until we put the gazebo out.

Then it'll probably be concrete, or maybe clay at the edge of a baseball field in the park.