I discovered that I had actually developed two blisters. One of them was right behind my big toe on the front pad of my left foot. It was round and covered half of the pad. It was nice and robust and basically prevented walking for the next two days. The other was toward the center of my foot and sent sharp pains in response to my attempts to investigate further.
These were the two push off points for my sparring combinations. It was solid evidence that I was pushing off properly. This sinister evidence also prevented me from practicing any kata or sparring combinations for the next several days. I spent the two days afterward walking on the outside blade of my left foot like some sort of hobbled circus performer. This created such an odd habit that when I shifted back to regular walking, I found myself putting too much weight on the outside of my left foot. I think I’ve corrected this, but please tell me if you think I’m walking funny.
I’ve been running and strength training while waiting for the blister to disappear. While this may not sound bad, the lack of karate practice has made it a very frustrating period. You see, the mirrors in the aerobics room at the gym (aka secret dojo), have displayed my flaws. My stances are too high. I need to square my shoulders more. The whole opening of the kata looks flat. Time is precious! I’m not sure if I can change all this in the six weeks before Nationals, but at least I can try.
But this dreaded blister is holding me back. Today is different. I think the blister in gone. Time for more kata and sparring drills.
May 14, 2013
I’m getting better at the 1965 Hak Keung Gymnasium workout. I’ve even started increasing some of the weights. I’m now doing 30 pound concentration curls (6 reps, 4 sets). What’s tough about the workout is how many exercises there are. There are 13 exercises for a total of 51 sets. I’ve now put the pushups at the end of the workout and when I get to that point, I struggle to get to the 20 reps on the first of the three sets. I imagine that this causes much amusement for the all the people stretching and doing plyometrics in the aerobics room.
Earbuds are in and I’m blasting the complex rhythms of obscure indie rock. I think I’m grunting and scaring the woman next to me who has been stretching for 30 minutes. No yoga, just stretching. Strange. This is not the vibe she’s looking for. She leaves. More room for me. Nice.
Right foot forward. Step up with the back leg, lead punch. Right leg forward, reverse left punch. Right roundhouse to the head. It looks like my flexibility is coming back. I think I’m consistently making it to head level on the kick (best way to get a full point!). The blister’s gone, but I can feel the loose skin from the former blister, moving around and wanting to tear away. I was hoping it would be a solid callous by now. Against my nature, I decide to proceed with caution.