Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When I'm 64

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out 'til quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?

Well today I am 64. When the Beatles first sang this I never realized it would be about me.

Been a heck of a year.

Last January diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. So daily blood tests, started walking (try to do 1 to 4 miles a day depending on weather) and increased my karate and tai chi workouts. I taught myself a new kata “Tomari Rohai” and even competed with it.

Then in March diagnosed with Colon Cancer. Surgery, Radiation and continuing chemotherapy. Still walking and practicing. Taught myself Aragaki No Sochin.

Finally in January diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis, a neurological disorder causing facial muscle weakness interfering with my speech. So I’ve been working with a speech therapist and taking new medication. I need to learn a new way of speaking.

While recovering from surgery I began my analysis of early Karate writings and posted those results on my blog.

I have a never ending list of projects I’m working on for my students. I recently completed an analysis of Mutsu’s applied techniques I refer to as “there is no first strike in Isshinryu” which is awaiting revision as we work on them. I’m currently re-editing my notes on the late Harrill Sensei’s 1995 clinic on 85 applications from Kusanku kata working for greater clarity for my students. The list I have is endless and much of it too private for my blog.
Michael Cassisdy is the primary instructor for the youth program and he’s doing a super job with them. I end up with the advisory role where I get to yell at them for mistakes (OK I exaggerate as I don’t really yell but I do try and help their progress. It’s a great learning experience for me).

The adult program continues, but the major student is me. Having a very small group, and tough economic times taking their toll on everyone to keep their jobs leave them a lot less time for karate.

I was fortunate to spend some time last year with everyone who has trained me (Tom Lewis, Charles Murray, Tristan Sutrisno, Ernest Rothrock and John Kerker) and that was special. I hope this year allows more meetings. So far Charles Murray has been visiting for a few brief visits.

And my wife Maureen is working, my son Michael and my daughter Caryn, both work and attend school. So the family is fine and healthy.

Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say, yours sincerely wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine forever more
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?

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