One of the principles of self-defense, martial arts and just plain old healthy living is maintaining your focus on what you HAVE rather than on what you DON’T have. For example, Foul-mouthed Idiot reaches out and grabs my wrist. Now, I can spend the next five minutes playing tug-of-war over my wrist with a man 5 times my size…. or I can introduce his nose to the palm of my other hand or kick him in the nuts, and be on my way. In the cold light of day, the choice seems abundantly clear. But won’t be, if I focus my energy on the limb that is NOT available, rather than to all the ones that are.
…which brings me to this past week, which I have ostensibly spent on the couch in my living room, my right arm bound in a sling . I took a spill on my electric scooter last week. It was a short ride that ended as a long story of barking dogs, concerned neighbors, x-rays and pain meds. I separated my AC joint.
On the one hand, it is amazing how many meetings, write-ups, reports and what-nots I have managed to do pecking away with my left hand on my laptop while jabbering away via wireless Internet, Skype, two cellphones, and a land line.
Some of the lessons of this week are not surprising. After more than 20 years of partaking in the martial arts and teaching self-defense, it is no great surprise that being limited physically drives me crazy. And not being able to drive is VERY inconvenient, especially when you live in Rehovot and your office is in Jerusalem… Duh.
I am continually amazed, however, at my ability to discover alternative strategies for using my body to accomplish everyday tasks. Two decades of martial arts practice will do that for you. I am also continually amazed by the speed of the healing process— the transformation of ‘road rash’ back to healthy, supple skin. And I have done some pretty neat adaptions to my kata to enable me to continue my practice one-handed. Instructing twice a week is a great motivator.
I also allow myself a few minutes of mindful whining each day. Despite my absence, things at El HaLev are jumping. Everyone has been raving about RENT, the production being performed on our new rooftop deck. They tell me 200 people showed up for opening night! 200!!! And here I am forking down comfort foods with my left hand while my dog, cat and bird line up waiting for something to drop.
With any luck, I’ll be back in the saddle next week.