In Chinese, the word for crisis is…

…well, crisis.  There is an interesting article here that points out the common misconception we’ve had in our time that the Chinese characters for crisis is “danger and opportunity”.  It’s just crisis.  How could it not be. Crisis is crisis.  I imagine that this would be the same in French, Arabic, English, Ethiopian and Chinese.

So, that said, my body is having a bit of a crisis right now.  My lower back has steadily become more painful, my left calf is continually cramping, my right shoulder has had some sharp pains.  These all started coming to a painful head about a week ago and it’s been hard to move, hard to get to work, hard to deal with the day to day.  I have been hoping that the work I’ve been doing stretching and foam rolling would help but it hasn’t.  Today, I’ve gone to my first ever chiropractic visit.  But I’m good.  I’ve had pain and have had to make some decisions about Aikido and my work out regimin, but I’m good.  And I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made.  Those decisions, by the way, are:

  • Getting off the mat.  I’ll do this and then evaluate my ability to get back on in the new year.
  • Stop going to the gym.  I love my gym but I need to work at a much slower pace to rehab.  The circuit that we use is not conducive to the slower pace I need.
  • Stretch… a lot.
  • Start a yoga practice.  Yoga will help me build core, gain flexibility and, being an embodied practice, will still give me that mind, body, spirit integration that my Aikido gives me.
  • Go to my Sensei’s Energy Awareness class.  Our aikido teacher started this class and holds it every friday.  He started it specifically for one of his students who, in his 90s (yes, in his 90s!) could not practice Aikido anymore but still wanted to get the benefit of Sensei’s teachings.  This class is held on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 10:15.  I’m glad that we have this available to us and I will look forward to gaining a different insight.
  • Rediscover my T’ai Chi practice.  I will look forward to moving chi through out my body and getting the healing benefit of T’ai Chi.
  • Think about a different way of exercising.  I have to let go of the squats, rows, impact exercises and think more in terms of core exercises, lighter weights, rehabilitative exercises for my shoulder with resistance bands, and range of motion movements.

So… I’m ok.  I think that naming crisis as crisis is a good thing.  It’s not scary.  it’s something that happens.  This is a fairly minor crisis compared to the myriad of things that can and do happen to us in our lives.  The “opportunity” is separate.  Opportunity is different than crisis.  It lies in our actions.  Pema Chodron talks about the little things that we can use to practice how we can act when faced with burdens, so the fact that this is a minor crisis allows me to see how I can formulate a solution and prepare myself for the bigger things that I’m sure are right around the corner.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Mark-sorry to hear about the aches and pains. Good plan to deal with the pain. Also, add some heat therapy to your plan — soaking in a hot tub or sauna or even using a heating pad while you’re sitting around can soothe the aches. xxoo

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