“There are muscles hurting I didn’t know I had.”
My son’s very glib response to this announcement was, “Well, at least now you know you have them.” I wanted to go a round with him after that one, but in my state, he would have won before I moved a finger.
I attended Sanshou class Monday night for the first time and walked myself into a state of contented numbness. We did footwork drills – forward and back, side to side – for so long that the pain in my knees and calves had me moments from telling Siheng that I had to bow out of the exercise, perhaps even the class. But a funny thing happened on the way to paralysis.
While chanting in my head “get to the end” in the middle of what turned out to be row ten, the searing pain in my tense, overworked, pissed-off knees and calves dissolved. It just disappeared into the steamy air that covers the windows with condensation. In its place was a numbness that enabled freer movement.
What just happened here? I thought, switching directions to do the sideways two-step back down the floor. There was the obvious, clichéd reality that by continuing to do what I was supposed to do, I’d made it to the other side. But something brand spanking new had happened, too; I could literally feel it in my bones through the aching that set in later in the night.
Sure enough, I woke up Tuesday feeling like mind and spirit had been transplanted into someone else’s body. Nothing hurt! I mean nothing. The last time I could say that without aid of a shot was about the middle of last decade! If I’d known that moving around with bent knees for the better part of thirty non-stop minutes (and then another hour of it, with a handful of standing-up and sitting-down breaks sprinkled in) would be some kind of cure for what physically ails me, I would have joined Sanshou on day one!
Perhaps it’s a fluke, and my knees and lower back will be killing me by the end of eight hours at a desk. But for now, I’m a convert on a cloud of happy anxious to practice more footwork.
Did I just say that?