- “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs” – A Journey in Pain
- Antibiotic Resistance – as seen on TV
- Convalescence: From patient (noun) to patient (adjective)
- One wet Sunday afternoon….Serendipity strikes
Serendipity:The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way (Oxford English Dictionary). Devora Wolfson trains with Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo – Devora is second from right in the photo above. Here is Devora’s story of what happened with serendipity struck.
“One wet Sunday afternoon I was flicking through the TV channels and came across the programme ‘The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs’.
I began to watch intently when I saw the part which showed how a woman who could barely walk and was taking very strong pain killers was transformed through learning Kung Fu! After the programme had finished, I decided to look up the name of the Kung Fu instructor and phoned him. He told me he worked close to where I live and work. And that was my introduction to Dennis and Kung Fu and I haven’t looked back since…. or not very often anyway!
So, a bit about me. I was 59 when I started and have a lot of orthopaedic problems; – two hip replacements, a cracked vertebra, scoliosis of the spine resulting in leg length difference and frequent disabling back pain that stopped me doing the things I wanted. However, I am energetic and focused and want to live an active life for as long as possible.
That first lesson
It took me about 6 weeks to get to a class, so I went to my first class in early December 2016 and tried Suang Yang (Tai Chi). When I got to class, Dennis hadn’t arrived yet and I remember seniors Jon and Jill being very welcoming and friendly. But I couldn’t do any of the movements. My balance was appalling, I couldn’t sink down, I felt embarrassed and wondered what I was doing there. But very slowly, I began to improve. I started Kung Fu classes after Christmas and am now going to both classes two or three times a week, I have also attended several Saturday training camps.
Highs and lows
So, 10 months later – my high points; – getting my first sash for Kung Fu and Suang Yang; my daughter watching me practise and commenting on how much better my balance was; how proud my kids are of me generally for doing a martial art, showing people at work photos of me in my uniform and being able to do things I couldn’t do last December. Another proud moment – taking part in my class demonstration at the 40th Club anniversary and my partner coming so she could see what I spent so much of my time doing.
Has it been a quick fix, or all been on an uphill trajectory, definitely not! There were times I thought I would never be able follow a sequence of movements which it seemed everyone else found easy and some of the excruciating back pain I experienced when my muscles complained about being used in different ways.
Has it been worth it? – without a doubt! I’ve met some really nice people at the club; – people of all different ages and backgrounds. I’ve learnt to focus on being the best I can rather than looking at what others can do. My back is so much better now, and I feel fitter than ever although I still have back pain sometimes and do not yet have the body of a 30 year old!
Thanks SO MUCH to Dennis who always encouraged me when I was finding it hard and in pain; who inspires me to continue to develop and improve through a mixture of positive feedback, encouragement and occasionally by shouting!!! Thanks also to the seniors and the instructors, Sharon, Adam, Andy and Anna.
What next? – learning to spar, Crete camp next summer, working through my patterns and continuing to train and improve.
You may think you are too old/ too busy at work/have too many injuries/are uncoordinated – all of which could have applied to me; but if you to work hard and improve your fitness and abilities as part of a friendly Club – come to one of the classes and see how you get on.”