Sleepless night in pain – stretch!

by Terry 6/13/2008 9:25:00 AM

I played substitute the last two nights at DMW Martial Arts. I covered the ‘Black Belt Club’ class the last two nights teaching Bo staff drills. Scott, the instructor who had been teaching these classes broke his leg hiking last week. Normally, instructor Leni teaches this class, but she was unavailable for the earlier class, so to be consistent, I taught both.

Bo staff is not my best weapon. Forms with the staff, for example, I have the most difficult time remembering. I am good with technique in general, with and without weapons. So I spent most of the class doing various drills going back to basics in weapon handling and technique with specific combinations and moves.

Last night, in the first minute of class during the warm-up, I strained my lower lumbar muscles in my back. Have I mentioned the Bo staff is not my best weapon? That should have been a clue to me. I finished the class, and the following class on Leadership skills gritting my teeth in pain. I hope the students don’t think I am mad at them, as they had no idea what I did to myself.

My night was largely sleepless. Sitting hurts, laying down hurts, standing hurts, walking hurts. Stretching helps. I will take today off from a martial arts workout and just stretch at home. I have no classes this weekend. I see a weekend of stretching. Stretching is better than drugs, for me anyway, for back injuries. Stretching gets me through the otherwise sleepless nights of pain.

I first injured my back sixteen years ago or so, when I worked at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Washington, as a building-maintenance engineer. The short story is when a fire alarm went off on the roof of the building, I was moving a manhole-cover six stories below street level; I swung the manhole-cover back in place and ran up 27 flights of stairs. That combination sprained my lower lumbar. The advice of the doctor I had at the time was to take the pain killers and muscle relaxers and not worry.

It took me twelve years to realize that was not good advice. That realization is, in part, what lead me into martial arts. Stretching and strength building of the abdominal muscles has been a blessing coping with periodic re-injury. I will forever be at risk of re-injury, but the strength and skill I have built in martial arts has made recovery faster and more bearable. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch! It makes recovery faster and more bearable.

I have re-injured myself vacuuming the living room, lifting Kaitlin from her crib, and so on. Last night, I simply jumped straight up from a standing position. So, in this case, I don’t blame martial arts for the injury. I will take a few days off and stretch on my own. I should be good to go next week.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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