The astute among my readers may have noticed that it has been over two weeks since I last posted. There’s a very good reason for this: I was stupid.
An explanation: two weeks ago, I did several rounds of sparring and clinching as part of Muay Thai practice. At the end of the session, I got involved with an extended conversation with one of our fighters, which allowed me to cool down to pre-workout levels. When Kru Mark told me he would be ready for pad work soon, I ignored the warning signals my body was giving me, and just shadowboxed lightly for half a round. As a reward for failing to warm up properly, I was given a pulled muscle in my right shoulder, which took me out of commission for the rest of the week. No Judo, no Muay Thai, not even strength training. A walk on the treadmill was the best I was able to manage.
These are the perils of the sorts of “mind-over-body” lessons I talked about in “Smash Him With It!” Ignoring your body’s warning system may be helpful in a combative situation, but when it comes to daily training, it’s an incredibly bad idea.
I’m better about this than I was ten years ago, but worse than I should be. Sadly, I think it’s a problem endemic to being a martial artist. The same stubbornness that compels us to keep training is the stubbornness that gets us hurt.
But we heal, and we keep training.