New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sore Hand

I injured my left hand at the pool party yesterday. Four of us were tossing around a football on the lawn, and when I went to catch a pass I jammed my left pinkie and ring finger and it hurt like heck.

Nothing was broken and I can bend my fingers and type, albeit with some difficulty. I'm a fine typist and a lousy football player. I fumble many catches. My passes are wobbly and off-target. They look like a salmon swimming upstream, or an injured duck trying to fly.

When somebody other than me missed a pass and had to take a walk to retrieve the football the remaining three players would toss around a Frisbee that I brought. With the Frisbee I have supreme confidence. With the football, not so much.

Today was a fine day in New York. It was hot outside but I was refrigerated in an office all day. I like it cool but it was too chilly even for me. But stepping out for lunch was like walking into an oven. It felt really good for the first five seconds after the office deep-freeze but pretty soon it was roasting. New York in the summer. I'll take it.

It was a very slow day at work today so I took the opportunity to write a freelance story for The Star-Ledger. I was finished with the interviews and only needed to write 750 decent words on the subject of schools of higher learning in New Jersey for the Fall Education supplement. Even with my injured left hand, I emerged victorious in this endeavor.

After work I went to karate. It's Wednesday, and that means black belt class. Today's class was very interesting and a lot of fun. The focus was on footwork, which is extremely important in all types of martial arts and more difficult than you might think.

We paired off with partners (lower-level black belts paired with higher-level black belts) and practiced several different fighting techniques and strategies, focusing on foot movement and taking good angles on opponents for attack and defense. For the last 20 minutes or so we used rubber knives, like the knife in the center of the page in this link.

We were practicing street knife self-defense, where one person would have the knife and would attack his unarmed opponent using various different knife techniques, and the opponent, obviously, would try to avoid being stabbed and disable his attacker.

What can I say about practicing knife fighting? It's an exciting and exhilarating experience, and it's also quite frightening to think about what would happen if the knife was metal and not rubber. In that case I would be sliced to ribbons by now.

My workout partner and I took turns being offense and defense with the knife. It was amazing stuff, just an incredible thing to be doing after work in the city. We were both very much in the moment, he was trying to stab me, and I was trying to avoid spilling my guts. And then I was sincerely trying to stab him.

All the while though we had the greatest respect for each other and maintained good control as well. There were no injuries or hurt feelings. I forgot all about my sore left hand at the time (now it's starting to hurt a bit). Also it was a very good workout, like doing rounds fighting or hitting a heavy bag. Everybody was sweating hard.

And then I took the subway home, kissed Jenn hello, took a shower, and ate a pizza roll from Sal's. Nice day.


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