Saturday, July 2, 2011

How My Experiment With Sparring Again Turned Out

My wife says she has "nothing nice to say to me" about the incident last night. My friend The Hulk says he's going to kick me next time he sees me.

So I'm not a very popular guy right now in certain circles.

What I did was try out sparring in my boxing class--and, in the process, I twisted my trick knee again. I was hoping sparring would be okay because you don't kick in boxing, and kickboxing is how I tore my ACL in the spring.

However, last night I twisted my knee anyway when I was moving by placing my foot improperly. Since I no longer have an ACL to hold my knee in place--and despite tons of exercise meant to strengthen all the muscles around my knee--my knee bended in a funky direction and I dropped down to the floor in pain. End of sparring.

Today, I'm using the RICE method of treating the knee and generally taking it easy.

Why did I try sparring again? Because I find sparring to be life-affirming for me--I challenge my fears, I test my skill against another person in a controlled setting. Getting ready for sparring was exciting: the trainer actually put vaseline on my face, which of course you see in real boxing matches, and put some on our gloves as well.

I was sparring with Kenny, a young man who's much stronger than me (though I may be in equal or better cardio condition). He's studied boxing for a year (and took two years of karate when he was young, which he said helped keep him out of fights by boosting his confidence--he didn't feel the need to fight.) He was really good. He moved his head very well, and I found him a tough target to hit with my jab. He hopes to go into the Golden Gloves.

Since I had been able to train in boxing without hurting my knee, I truly hoped that I wouldn't get hurt during sparring. I was wrong. We didn't even finish the first round before I twisted my knee.

I could conceivably get a metal brace made for my knee. I do think my sparring days are over unless I go through another ACL reconstruction operation. If I did, I would likely opt for an allograft, since the biggest remaining problems from my prior surgery are from the incision to remove part of my patellar tendon to use as a graft. All in all, I'd rather not do the surgery, which would be painful, expensive and take me out of commission for months.

So today I have a stiff knee--I do hope and expect from experience that my mobility will increase with rest and time--and a couple of close people really mad at me. I do hope and expect from experience that issue will also improve with time.


Michele said...

Were you fitted with a functional sports brace after your first ACL surgery? You may need to get one for your other knee. Mine was clunky and I felt like the Tin Man from the Wizard of OZ. They make better ones that are fairly streamlined.

When I tore my ACL, I could not stand in Nai Hanchi without my knee slipping out of place. I can't imagine trying to spar.

Take care. I hope your knee feels better.

Bob McG said...

Thanks, Michele. I did get a sports brace after the first ACL injury, and some people have suggested getting a brace now as well. The rehab doctor said I would find it's difficult to move around in (per your Tin Man comment) so I haven't gone that route yet.

Mathieu said...

I,ve been the tin man for 4 years now. If surgery had not happened, I would still be that man. It works!

Sorry to hear about the knee giving in. Be well

Bob McG said...

Mercy, Mathieu.