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My Life in Slow Motion – Jiu-jitsu Comeback

December 17, 2009

Every great journey must begin with a simple step. This is mine. My Jiu-jitsu Comeback.

Hey, it’s been four months since my knee surgery – STG type (hamstring) ACL re-construction and meniscus repair. Aside from my regular workouts, here’s what it’s been like for me.

At the post-operative four month marker I cannot: run, jump or do the electric slide. Clearly no sudden quick power movements.

Sometimes it hurts when I walk. I place the blame on my meniscus. My new ACL has nothing to do with that. Then there’s the pain in the sole of my right foot. Some days – usually after a hard rehab workout and sometimes not – the arch of my foot feels like I’ve overworked it, almost cramp-like in pain.

Walking moderately I give off the ninja appearance that nothing is wrong. If I walk briskly, push myself to walk as quickly as possible, my Michael Jackson moonwalk-like-smoothness disappears and I turn into Quasimodo.

Going up and down stairs, most especially going down, is at a snail’s pace. This reflects my rehab; I can do squats, straight and side-to-side duck walks and single leg squats now but I’m doing them as slowly as possible. Two weeks from now I’m supposed to quicken the pace of my exercises. I think rehab works strength first, flexibility and explosive power come later.

In terms of range of motion, I’m trying to mimic my left leg as best as possible. I can match both legs when I straighten them, bending them is another matter. I can pull my right leg to match my left leg when it comes to the distance between my ankles and butt. However that’s “passive” movement. Passively I can pull my left ankle in until it touches my butt and thensome. I’m still one fist away with the right leg. Also if I “actively” (under the leg’s own power) bend my legs, lefty goes all the way to half a fist, righty is still two fists away. Sigh.

Finally, I’m at the point where I hate wearing my brace. At home I can take off my brace. My instructions are to wear it whenever I leave home. Without the brace I can bend my leg more and it actually feels “good” to move around without it. Now my brace shifts around as I walk and slips down my leg. If I want it to remain in place I have to wrap it tighter around my leg but that makes things very uncomfortable as it constricts my leg whenever I sit down or bend my knee.

I want so much to get better, to get past my recovery stage and get back to just training jiu-jitsu. I want it so much it feels like my life is in slow motion.

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