I'm in fucking agony.
One of the joys of being in your thirties is that the aches and pains that you laugh off when in your teens and early twenties (and therefore indestructible) inevitably snowball into crippling ailments when you're advanced in years.
About 6 months ago I decided to get back into martial arts at the excellent Fighting Fit gym in Central Manchester. The instructors are phenomenal and they really push you hard. Likewise, the lads and ladies that train there are infinitely lovely and accommodating for all the fact that they hit really, REALLY hard.
The snag is that this is the sort of gym where they train hungry young fighters, guys and girls who take this shit seriously and want to compete and as such it's not ideal for ageing thesps dipping their toe in the waters of pugilism. Despite my being older, shorter, fatter and much less fit than most of the guys there I've been attending classes in MMA, no-gi jiu jitsu and boxing and am, as you'd expect, super humanly shit at all three.
If you know me then you know that I was very heavily into karate throughout my teens and I loved, breathed are and slept it and jumped at any chance to show off my high kicking skills to my mates.
Well that was a long time ago and my being out of practice and ancient notwithstanding, it seems karate has taught me nothing but bad habits. More specifically, as sparring is usually non-contact they don't teach you to protect your chin as much as you probably should when someone is trying to hit you.., which brings me to my current rant.
About a month ago I was sparring with a powerfully built Czech called Christian who, while a lovely bloke, isn't shy about letting you know that your defence needs work by sticking a good one on your chin. So it was that I became the recipient of a right cross that dropped me.
Deservedly so! My bad! Point well made, Christian.
While I expected some stiffness for a while I had not anticipated that Christian's love tap has misaligned my neck to the point where it's biased the way I walk and put a lot of pressure on my right hip and knee which are, resultantly killing me.
Just another glaring reminder of my looming mortality.
Thing is I'm currently on tour in Sheffield and as I start work at 9 most mornings and don't finish till around 9 at night and I only get one day off a week (an actor's life is one of unparalleled glamour), that makes it very difficult to organise the massage/chiropractor that I so desperately need.
This wouldn't be so bad if I were sleeping in my own bed with its sublime pocket spring core and body hugging memory foam top but the tour bed (while comfy and more than adequate for a normal human) doesn't offer the idiosyncratic neck/back support that I need which means I spend the first half hour of every morning unable to move without making horrible crackling noises from parts of my body that have no business making noise of any sort.
Fortunately I'm playing an older gentleman (more on that in a later post) so it actually weirdly helps and the stoop and like I've inherited do a good job of informing my physicality yet I can still (with some discomfort) stand and walk like a normal which is handy for when I have to play the character as a younger man.
So... If when next we meet I'm half a foot shorter and am dragging round a limp appendage that used to be a functioning limb then you know that things haven't improved.