My body has traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Out of service or Time for Side B

By the time you read this, I probably won't be blogging for a while.
If you've read my profile you know that a few years ago I "broke".
After 4 months of Physical therapy for loose shoulders, arthritis and trying to correct all the compensations my body created as a result, I elected to have surgery to correct the bone spurs and minor arthritis.
Simple procedure. 30 minutes, 3 days in the sling and a few more weeks of PT. Good to go.
2 hrs later and the doc found that the labrum was almost torn in 1/2 and scarred over. The major pain was the bone popping through the hole in the middle.
So he did what was called a SLAP tear repair,subcromial decompression and ground off the spurs. Drilled an anchor in the bone, stitched it up and did the originally planned work. It's considered major reconstruction apparently.
Now it was 6 weeks in the sling and 8 more months visiting the PT. And it was agonizing.
You're never sure if what you're doing is the right or wrong thing to help the recovery. Is that good pain or bad pain?
Now it's 2.5 yrs later. Is it better? Absolutely. Mechanically better than nature gave me(genetically loose sockets).
Am I pain free? No, but reasonably finally in the past 6 months. And they're much more in place. I still can't lift heavy over my head but I'm slowly getting stronger again. it's time to do the right side the same.
At the time I asked if I'd need to do the right and the advicse was that with good home therapy work (and I have been very diligent since surgery), often the other side will become stable enoug h to not need it.
At the 2yr mark I realized, it's not getting any better. It is much much improved but still considerable (and increasing) pain and in fact limiting my work tocontinue stabilizing the other side.
So since my emergency appendicitis this spring has blown all my medical deductables and out of pocket, what the heck. Time for side B. Actually, I had made up my mind before finding out it was fully covered.

So Tuesday morning we find out just how bad the right side is compared to the left. I'm at least now mentallly prepared going in. Just hoping the recovery will be much better, and it should. Overall most of my compensations are over and the shoulder is stable.
Only 3 months of twice weekly PT.

Since I won't be swinging ablade for a while, we planned out one last day of feasting and cutting for Sunday with Mushtaq, Chris, Cole, Janet and Roberta. Enough to last three months I guess.
Mushtaq made Navaho taco's from Buffalo with frybread and Roberta made seafood chowder.

some but not all the victems.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

San Francisco '09

Just returned on the redeye Weds morning from our bi-annual trip to SF for the Nike Women's marathon my wife runs. Not me, can't run. Had to learn to fight instead I guess.

I'll happily go aolng to carry the bags. SF is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. My 4th trip, her 6th or 7th.
Pretty busy getting caught up and prepared for my next big adventure that will slow my posting even more (more on that in the next post I suppose).

So, little writing but alot of great pics.

Sometimes, ya just gotta have Chinese takeout roadside (great Tshirt John btw).

North Beach is the great little neighborhood near Fisherman's Wharf we stayed near last trip. It's awesome in the early morning. So since we were up early still being on Michigan time, we took a quick trolly ride back for breakfast and exploring.

And of course, a walk through Fishermans Wharf. We got there very early which was a true bonus.

Early in the afternoon one of my favorite locals picked us up and played tour guide.

Cody Fielding is one of those true beacons of light in my life and I can thank him enough for being my friend. A good friend is someone who accepts you for who you are but also makes you want to be a better person by their example. That's exactly Cody. I'll just have to stop there.

Cody took us up to the highest point in the area to get a real sense of proportion and a lay of the land (although hearing that we had already purchase MUNI passes and taken multiple modes of transportation told us we were already 1/2 local).Then in true local guide fashion, took us to a small locals only dockside lunchspot for a great time.
Time with Cody was by far one of the highest points of the trip and over far too soon. Cody was very busy (a testament to his skill as a personal trainer in SF) and it meant so much that he squeezed out the time to spend with us. If you're in the Bay area and looking for a phenomenal trainer, let me know.

Then of course there was the marathon on Sunday Morning. This would be Roberta's third time and it was fairly routine but typically difficult, this is SF after all.

Those Dutch are everywhere. According to Mushtaq they used to use the windmills to irrigate the park

The race follows the bay towards the bridge and out to the coast where Golden Gate park and the weather was fantastic. Not to hot, not too cold.

In the afternoon, one of the people who purchased a puppy from us this spring drove in from just to the south and took us to Chrissy Field near the Presido for some reaqquainting time with the puppy. What fun!

He's a good looking boy now, will look just like his father.

Our hotel was not to far from the Castro District so we spent several hours walking around and gennerally having a great time. Just some fabulous shops and eateries and for a week night the area was hopping!

The Casto district, if you're not aware, is the predominantly Gay area in SF and is just a fantastic place to go. The shops all have a bit of humor in their names and the restuarants are fantastic.

On Tuesday we followed our usual plan and rented a car for the tip to Wine country.
I convinced Roberta to stop off at the Japanese Tea Gardens in GG park as it is such a beautiful place.

And the Wine

Yeah, I was soaking in the sun too.

The dreary ride back to the Airport for the redeye flight home and right to work the next morning.


Monday, October 26, 2009


OK, Mushtaq tagged me so I get to play along.

Five random things I love (in no particular order).

5. Michigan weather - If you don't like it, wait 5 minutes, it'll change. I was mentioning this last week. Yeah, Michigan has tough winters but get a Hummer and a Snowmobile and learn to love the beauty of it or move. There's a continual rebirth of nature in one way or another all year.

4. Training with my son. It hasn't always been easy. He was actually my one difficult type of student and alway challenged me to find ways to get to him. I couldn't control him, he had his own plans. It's been a challenging road but it's what makes the current times so, so much more fun to do together.

3. San Francisco. Just got back last week and it's still one of my favorite places to visit. Working on a post now.

2. Friends - Yeah, it's one of the obvious ones but it's true. I value my freinds very highly because good friendships need to be cultivated and it takes two.

1. My Hummer H3- Just mentioned it last week to someone. (figure if it's something I mentioned in just under a week, it fits this list). It's only an H3 (baby hummer as the wife calls it), gets pretty good gas milage, good visibility except for changing lanes, and there is next to NOTHING that it can't do in the winter. We had some pretty bad storms with heavy snow last winter and the confidence that it gave me automatically made me fall in love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicago Pacific Island Gathering and Tournament

Got back late Sunday from John Bednarski's Gathering and Tournament in Chicago and it was a great time.
I first got involved with it and John back in '06 by fighting and immediately pledged my support in any way I could. We've been involved in constant organizing support of each other every year to make it better and bigger each time and we succeeded again. John works tirelessly all year to make it work and we do everything we can to support him and help make it better.

The tournament started far earlier than last year, the rules vids we put on youtube meant that everyone had a much clearer idea on the scoring and the rules meeting went very quick, everyone had a fantastic attitude and the skill of the fighters displayed was phenomenal. Just outstanding skill and sportsmanship.

We arrived midday on Saturday while the seminars were going on. Currently I'm narrowly focusing my training specifically on Combat KravMaga TacRope and Knife as well as Navadisha. So I choose to respectfully sit out the seminars going on but I know they were some great ones. We did get to meet up with some other Moro Stylists, compare blades and as usual when there's a Bangsamoro gathering, stuff ends up getting cut.
After a great family Style dinner in Chicago's Chinatown, we returned to the dojo to stay up late and try to prepare for the bedlam of the pre-tourney registration.

For awards this year (in keeping with the blade theme) we gave out Balisongs from Batangas, exotic Hardwood flatsticks and a pair of rattan sticks for third place.
i had planned and prepared for fighting in the tournament this year, the first time in 3 years. But there really wasn't anyone in a division for me (I'm not fighting the young guys). So it was best for the tournament that I focused solely on officiating and such. I was feeling fairly ready too which was the real point of the training. Not competing but getting myself in shape and developing my skill set.

One of the kewl things we added this year was Combat Knife division. We used marking knives and lipstick along with plain white T's and let them have at each other for 30 secs only counting the torso hit. Every single competitor after their first fight stated simply that they absolutely LOVED it. So a big hit.
Next year we're hoping to add knife, tomahawk and Special Forces Shovel throwing as a division to further push the blade combat concept of the tournament.
The whole Team Navadisha family was involved with helping run the tournament so I only got a few pictures. Mushtaq judged at least 3/4 of the time. I refereed all the matches but one, Cole was pointkeeper for the point fights (along with competing. He won 1st in adult forms, 1st in youth sword, 1st in lightweight adult point knife and second in combat knife as well as voted 2nd place Grand Champion winner of a custom sansibar) and Chris did all the timekeeping and sponsored/refereed the Combat Knife.

My finest trainer yet delivered to it's new owner

Team Navadisha - Embrace the Chaos
From left Mushtaq Ali aka Dark Alley
Steve Van Harn aka Yeah, that guy
Chris Renfroe aka Disturbed
Cole Van Harn aka Kid Chaos

Honorable mention awards given out by Chris

Grand Champion awards with the judges

Winners of the Combat Knife division

Glen Young of the Backyard Brotherhood declares "I LIKE IT!"

"Yes, it is cold in Chicago in Octoberrrrrr"

"This is for 1st place boy!"
Brother and sister!

Good form!