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Thursday, 21 November 2013


This is the first blog I've written where I didn't train yesterday or today and won't be training tomorrow... I'm lying on my sofa with a swollen knee following surgery to sort out a locking issue due to a torn meniscus.

Before I went in to surgery I hadn't had an MRI done as the doctor said with locking it would definitely need surgery to remove loose tissue, so he would just go in and do whatever was necessary at the time. This meant I was looking at a best option of removal of loose tissue and cleaning up the damaged meniscus, and worst option of a full meniscus repair which would need suturing. So as I went into surgery and under anaesthetic I had no idea whether I'd be waking up to 6 months plus of recovery time, or as little as a few weeks. Scary thought.

Luckily, I woke up to find my knee was not in brace, just very swollen and bandaged. Result. Unlike last time I had anaesthetic (for a septoplasty) I didn't wake up and try to remove my oxygen mask, ending up hand fighting with a nurse... although when I recounted that story to the nurse she did explain that I had in fact woken up earlier and tried to get up, and it took four of them to hold me down. She said "You're quite strong for your size"... I said it's not strength, it's technique, haha. I'm just thankful that a morphine haze prevented me from wrist locking any of them!

Anyway, I now find myself housebound (I'm not allowed to drive for a while) and sitting at home all day for a week is not a prospect I find attractive! I don't know how people can sit at home all day, every day. It would drive me crazy. I only watch about three or four programs on TV, so I've caught up on all them on Sky+ today, but I do enjoy computer games... but although that entertains me, it would never give me any feeling of satisfaction that I'd actually achieved anything. With that in mind I've arranged transport to get me to a class on Saturday morning so I can teach a little bit, then I have transport on to a competition the other side of the country on Sunday where I'll be coaching and maybe reffing. The only negative about that is that I should be competing... but there is plenty of time for that in the future.

As much as I am desperate to get back to training, and I'm yet to compete at black belt, I am going to make sure I take my time and rehab my knee fully. I've suffered with the injury for about 3 years so the last thing I want to do is cause myself more problems. However, I know that saying I won't rush back to full training and actually following through on that are two entirely different things... but I will do my best to stick to it, no matter how tempting it is to jump in for a tough roll as soon as I'm back teaching.

With that in mind, I have set myself a plan of attack from here on;
1. Rehab... this should take a couple of months to full strength in the knee again I think.
2. Back to full training, and start to incorporate S&C to my routine (my son has started school so I have 2.5 hours free each day).
3. Get a load of black belt competitions under my belt.
4. Go to the European Championships in 2015 and take gold. I'll be senior age category by then, and plan on getting down to lightweight (which I've done twice before).

Right now, being at the start of point 1 it seems like the Euros is a long way away, but I know I've set myself a tough challenge so won't be able to slack off at all. Let's rock and roll!


  1. I'd add something to that list Rob - diet. I'm 2 mths in to recovery from a shoulder operation which takes anywhere from 5mths to 12mths for full recovery. Whilst I have been super strict with my rehab, never skipping daily exercises or physio appointments - my diet has been crappy and I picked up 8kgs as a result.

    You forget how easy it is to maintain weight when you are active so you need to be really careful when that activity goes away

    1. True, but you assume I care about my weight, haha ;-)

      (but seriously, I do try to keep my weight in check but will no doubt be over 80kg by the time I go back to training)

  2. "I do enjoy computer games... but although that entertains me, it would never give me any feeling of satisfaction that I'd actually achieved anything."

    Yesss. Excellent description. Before I began training, I was very much in love with StarCraft 2. Martial arts basically replaced my gaming and it feels tremendously more satisfying. I could never figure out why, but I think that's a very succinct description. Gaming is missing the tactile, real-life feeling that sports provide.

    1. Exactly. Computer games are awesome but other than improving hand eye coordination the skills don't transfer across to anything else.

  3. I'm with you brother!! I went in for surgery on my meniscus in October. I had waited so long that the doctor had to remove most of the cartilage.
    The good news is that I can sit on my heels again. The bad news is that I won't be back to class for another month, and not fully rolling for another two.

    Matt Meyer
    4 stripe Purple

    1. Ah rough mate, that was a possibility I was dreading but luckily avoided. A mate and student of mine just had the same thing done and he's just started back rolling. Hope you heal well!