I figured while I’m on the subject of change, I may as well talk about my own changes…in my body of course. Just in case you haven’t thought about what would happen to your body after 6 months of intense (Kenshusei) AIkido training, I’ll give you a moment now…
Ok, so as you probably imagine, there are indeed some changes that have occurred in my body. I’ll simplify it by breaking it into three parts: The good, the bad, and the internal (I know, not quite the Dirty Harry title you were expecting).
THE GOOD – When I started the course in April, I had just finished doing 2 months of jiu jitsu training 1-2 hours per day 5 days/week…thinking that would help…hahaha! Actually it may have a little, but seriously, there’s nothing that could really have prepared me for the first month of this course. Prior to that, I was exercising 2-3 hours a week if I was lucky. Now? 4-5 hours a day. On most days, at least 1-2 hours of that is high-intensity cardiovascular exercise. My weigh-in at the start of the course in April was 83 kilos. Now? 77 kilos. And a noticeable change in my appearance. The training hasn’t made me develop larger muscles, but it has made me more compact and aerodynamic. I can honestly say that I am more fit now than I have been in a very long time.
THE BAD – The downside of this intense training is the inevitable chronic and acute injuries. First there’s the little injuries, which are hardly ever even worth mentioning at the dojo – but they can be identified by tape on the toes and heels, blood splotches on the elbows, backs, and knees of the dogis. And the perpetual feeling of some (or all) of the body aching – joints, muscles, the works. Secondly, there’s the acute injuries like a separated shoulder, knee injuries, lower back injuries, wrist, and elbow injuries, oh and we can add ankle to the list now too. Pretty much every joint in your body becomes prey to this training. Most of these injuries last a week or less, sometimes a little more. Thirdly, we have the chronic injuries. Most of these have some historical origin prior to the course, a few not. These are the kind of muscle or joint injuries that stick around and nag you like your mom telling you to do your homework. You can’t ignore them, and they come back again and again – Yes, like your mom telling you to do your homework.
THE INTERNAL –
Just today I went to the hospital to see a doctor about some kind of bug that I caught. Fever, chills, body pain, and other pleasantries. While I was there, the nurse checked my pulse, blood pressure, and Oxygen Saturation. My blood pressure turned out to be about the same as it was 6 months ago, a little high, but not of concern. My pulse and O2 sat had both changed. My O2 saturation was up to 99%. I’m pretty sure the last time I was checked it was in the 96-97% range. And my pulse had an even more dramatic change – 51. As I can recall, last time I was at 62 or 63. So I dropped up to 12 points. The nurse asked me if I was a basketball player or a runner, because ordinarily the resting pulse rate for athletes runs low like that. I guess that means my heart health has improved!
The course is good and bad for your health. You should do it!