I remember playing a couple of “games” in school when I was a kid that involved knuckles. One was placing your knuckles on a table and having your friend flip a quarter at it until one of you gave up or bled. Another was similar to the “slap” game where you would hit your knuckles against your friends knuckles unless he pulled away fast enough, then you would switch… all until someone gave up or was bleeding.
What amazing things we did.
Modern time versions of these games include texting while walking, texting while eating dinner and texting in class. I don’t think kids do crazy things like this anymore. They are too busy talking about the videos they saw on YouTube, perusing Facebook or playing some game. Kids don’t do crazy things to toughen them up anymore. I’m not saying that what I did was an intelligent thing, but a lot of the things I did made me who I am. I’m sure I won and lost plenty of bloody knuckle games in my day and who knows where I would be if I didn’t do those things. Sometimes pain builds character.
That said… man, do my knuckles hurt today. Tuesday’s night of Kyokushin was pretty brutal. The workout itself was pretty normal. We stretched, we did some kicks and punches, we did a lot of work on the heavy bags followed by knuckle pushups and minimal rest, we did some stances and forms, worked on toughening up (punching, slapping and kicking) and then were about to head home when the Sensei decided that – in honor of Denver getting demolished – we had to do 43 knuckle pushups on the hard gym floor.
I ain’t gonna lie… I wasn’t able to complete 43 on my knuckles. I don’t think I did 43 total at that point. I did as many as I could, switched to my palms, switched back to my knuckles and then he told us to hold ourselves up on one hand by our knuckles and then switch. At that point, I was beat.
I don’t disagree that it is a good way to strengthen and toughen the knuckles and wrist, but it is tough holding nearly 300 pounds up on my knuckles. That is – of course – my fault, but I can still complain about it.
My body is pretty sore but I feel I am also getting used to doing these things. My abdomen and other parts that get punched, slapped and kick don’t hurt as bad. My muscles aren’t as sore, my joints don’t ache as much and everything just seems to be getting used to the brutalness of karate. It’s only been a couple of weeks, so it’s not like it should happen this fast, but I can’t deny how I feel.
It’s amazing how life comes full circle. I don’t know if any of my 4 kids have ever done a pushup on their knuckles. And here I am… years after playing a couple of stupid games at school… trying to bloody them up again.
Breakfast – Protein shake
Snack – Protein bar
Lunch – Chicken quesadillas
Dinner – Chicken quesadillas
Snack – Rice crackers
An hour+ of walking at work
2 hours of Kyokushin Karate