I'm about to apply life to martial arts instead of the other way around, although this story is definitely martial arts-related.
On Wednesday I didn't have my hands up when I needed them to be while sparring and I received a very solid roundhouse kick to the temple. I thought I was alright for a little while, but my head hurt and I started to feel really sick, so my mom picked me up from karate and took me to the ER to check for brain damage.
My parents are in the military and I am still on their insurance, so we had to drive about 45 minutes away to get to the hospital on the local air force base, Lackland. The military is great, don't get me wrong, but they are required to serve people in uniform before they serve people in civilian clothing (unless, of course, said person in plain clothes is bleeding on the floor or having a heart attack), so Mom and I waited for a total of about 6 hours before we were seen.
It was a long wait and my head was killing me. But somehow I managed to stay positive...even through the loudness of Fox News and Glenn Beck. There were some times where I became discouraged from having to wait so long, but I found that it was easier to sit and wait while I was making jokes and trying to keep a good attitude about it. I think life is easier when we keep a sense of humor.
They did a CT scan and found no internal bleeding, so I was diagnosed with a concussion and told that I can't go back to karate or do anything physically demanding until I go for an entire week without headaches, nausea, or memory loss.
Well, this was a little discouraging because I love karate. It's the highlight of my week. I hate having to sit out when I get hurt, I hate getting sick, and I hate missing class. But I'm trying to keep a good attitude because I realize that having to miss karate for a little while is much better than going back and injuring myself further, and then having to stop doing it altogether.
It's my third day since the ER visit and my head hurts worse than it ever has, but again, I am trying to stay positive because I've learned that the entire experience is easier and doesn't seem quite as bad when I keep my attitude good and my sense of humor handy.
It might be awhile before I'm allowed to return to karate, but if karate has taught me anything, it's that attitude is everything. Pain is pain and it hurts no matter what, but it will surely hurt more if it's the main object of my focus all the time...just like push-ups! Push-ups hurt sometimes and they're physically demanding, but they always hurt worse when you're only thinking about how much you want to stop.
Indomitable spirit definitely exists off the mat. This is probably a great time to practice it. And whenever you're practicing indomitable spirit, you're practicing karate. Whenever you're practicing having a good attitude, you're practicing karate. Whenever you're doing something you must do even though you don't really want to, you're practicing karate. When you're kind to someone, when you're helpful, when you don't give up, when you push through the pain...you're practicing karate.
I'll miss going to class for the next week or so, but I don't need to be in class to practice. I'm always practicing...in everything I do.