Enter Stage Right: Mr. Hobbles

Some of you may remember the Behemoth of my yesteryear.

Thar she blows captain! The Twinkie Whale!

There is a trend that I’ve been following for the last few years. I seem to throw out my back or experience some other type of relatively minor injury that puts me out of commission for a week or so.

This usually leads to some serious introspection and irritation. I feel especially perturbed I can no longer make it to the gym or be as active as I normally am, which absolutely means I’ll suddenly put on 300 pounds, forget all of my karate and become a horrible person.

This may surprise you, but I’ve been told that’s not how it actually works. Last time I threw out my back putting on my left shoe. This time I partially tore a hamstring two weeks ago racing a bunch of ten-year-olds in a front kick challenge (Up until the whole “meaty pop” thing. I was SO winning!) Yesterday there was another minor pop whilst I was babying the crap out of it which has apparently put me back to square one.

This, on top of the MRI results I got on my knees which were pretty much what I expected, including depressing, has culminated in a sudden, somewhat gut-wrenching and slightly heartbreaking realization that I’m no longer bulletproof.




When I was younger, I never worried about things like my knees in 10 years or why my shoulder felt funny.

White karate gi, black eye, training.
Or if I shouldn’t block with my face…

I just went for it at 200 miles an hour.

But now, things are a little different.

I’ve been privileged enough to compete all over the world, to meet an incredible cadre of people, and to make friendships with wonderful souls. These latest setbacks are a little different than my previous ones. Before, I was concerned about the twinkie behemoth and gaining three hundred pounds. Now, there’s a small part of me terrified that I might be done.

I’ve lived and breathed competitive karate for 19 years. I don’t think I can just switch it off and walk away. I have plans on competing at the US Open at the end of June, I got onto team AKA just a handful of months ago, I started a Kobudo program and am taking over a dojo in a terrifyingly short period of time.  Things are spinning faster and faster and now, for the first time in my life, I can’t just assume I’ll be able to run, kick, jump, and sprint fast enough to keep up.

Actually, I know I can’t.

The wonderful silver lining to all of this is the confirmation that I have a wonderful group of people around me. I have received offers of help, ideas, and bad jokes from families at the dojo, my co-workers, and my wife has been straight up amazing. I am continually humbled and reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people.

But the main issue is still there.

This blog post started out with the idea of being light and funny. Of talking about injuries and how we get past them. But the truth is I’m a little too worried right now to make it all that funny. I know that this too will pass, and in a year from now, I’ll be able to look back on it and remember the panic. But right now, in the thick of everything. That vantage point seems an awfully long way away.

Best start walking. Albeit, with a bit of a hobble.





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