Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just like that scene in Napoleon Dynamite

It's Ed’s fault that I can’t do Downward Dog.

Ed was a really warm and friendly guy. But sometimes too friendly. His signature greeting was to administer a violent hug, while pounding on my back and yelling in my ear how great it was to see me. I always staggered out of his embrace feeling slightly stunned, in need of a moment to re-orient myself.

Around 12 years ago, I was over at Ed’s place one afternoon, with several friends. He had just started studying Aikido, a “non-aggressive Japanese martial art”.

“Shake my hand!” Ed demanded, and, like a fool, I did. Next thing I knew, he had me in a wrist-lock and I was being forced to the floor. All in attendance were suitably impressed, and Ed was mightily pleased with himself.

My wrist never fully recovered. It didn’t hurt too awfully that afternoon, but for the next several years it swelled up and ached anytime the weather was damp. I had to wrap it in an elastic bandage to immobilize it until the swelling went down. Also consider: I had given him my right hand to shake. I am right-handed. Inconvenient!

More than ten years later, I still have to be careful how I treat that wrist. I can’t do push-ups, or any yoga pose that requires me to support my weight on my hands. Annoying!

Surely, it could be much worse. Ed never meant to do me harm. I never told him that I’d sustained an injury. I’m sure he’d feel terrible if he knew. But every time I overdo it and have to put on the splint, I think of Ed again.

Kids, martial arts are not for fun and games! Be careful, and use your skills wisely, or you could hurt your friends.


jameil1922 said...

i would totally tell ed and ruin his joy. that is ridiculous.

Sparkling Red said...

You're right. It is ridiculous. If I were still in touch with Ed, I would tell him. I used to not stand up for myself much.

These days, if someone pulled a stunt like that, they wouldn't get away with it so easily!