Archives for: October 2008
Reading Dr D's blog 'Old Men Can Jump' made me smile. It also prompted some memories of my childhood watching my Dad and his friends at Aikido and in particular of the day he said my brother and I had to 'learn how to fall'.
I remember now, sitting cross legged, hair in plaits, smiling and laughing with my Mum and younger brother. We were taken to the kids area and put into what looked like pyjamas, white aikido robes and then my Dad tooks us to the dojo to do some practising. I couldn't understand why I had to learn to fall? I was brilliant at it. I could fall over my own feet on a regular basis, a sign of hypermobility and my flexible joints which was missed for many years.
At that age I couldn't run far as I always lost balance. Nowadays with supports in my running shoes I can run as far as my lungs and legs will let me :-)
I remember my Dad smiling and explaining that if you knew how to fall properly, you could land on the ground and not hurt yourself. This sounded great to a clumsy kid who was usually covered in sticking plasters. Bring it on, Dad ....
Dad and Marion (a lovely chap and one of the most talented martial artists I had seen before or since), sat us down and showed us basic 'falling' techniques. Thowing out your arms to break your fall, turning over in mid air to prevent broken arms and wrists, all very simple, but to me it was like magic. Some kind of dark art which had previously been hidden from view. For a while I remember practising, committing the various methods to memory and then 'filing them away' for a rainy day.
That rainy day arrived seven years ago, when Jake was around a year old. I was getting out of the car at a supermarket (I won't mention the name but if you take off the first and last letters of their slogan, it says 'very little help' which sums this up!). I fell on uneven ground and lurched forward with my infant son in my arms and would have fell on top of him - he could have been either killed or seriously injured. At least that's what would have happened. Had I not been a 'professional faller' extraordinaire!
My Ex's face was a picture as I instinctively twisted in mid air, handed my son into his Dad's waiting arms, turned onto my back (while still in the air) and threw out my arms to break my fall and lifted my head to avoid cracking my skull. The resulting landing was loud. I hit hard tarmac, no injuries, bit of a bruise on one arm, but otherwise unscathed. My son was fine, no distress or shock and was smiling happily in his Dad's arms. Ex, a man of few words, looked intrigued and had to admit that I had moved with the grace and professionalism that any stuntman would be proud of, high praise indeed.
I phoned my Dad later that day to say 'thank you for teaching me to fall', he laughed and commented that you never know when a skill like that will save you. It certainly saved Jake from a serious injury or even worse, so I'll always be grateful for a lesson learned.
As for the supermarket, they were utterly disinterested, still haven't repaired the uneven tarmac and really didn't care at all. I go to the one across town now, they're friendly, and up to now, I haven't had to show off my falling skills.
So, old men can jump and anyone can learn how to fall!
"Time for yoga" I said to my son, "Okay Boo Boo buddy boy" he replied. Mental note to Mum to switch off the kids cartoon channel
Each day we fight to get onto the Wii Fit thingy, rain or shine we're there. Exercising, competing, fighting to get better scores on the games (balance games such as tightrope walking, snowboarding etc), trying to out-do one another in the step class to see who gets a perfect score lol.
Quite a change from a few months ago where I'd have to be threatened at gunpoint to do exercise, other than my Leg Magic, and a bit of Hip Hop Abs. Now I look forward to my 20 mins of yoga, 30 mins of muscle exercise, 30 mins of aerobics (step, jogging, rhythm boxing) and I find I can run up stairs faster, or go farther than before without being out of breath. As our high scores increase, we try and better our previous scores, or to do more repetitions on exercises. Who'd have believed that two committed couch potatoes could change because of a kids computer game?
B/F thinks its 'dull' but then his Wii Fit Age was 70 and he's only 41 :-), I have got mine down to 31 at the moment, due to years of Pilates I think and having good posture which helps a lot. Though my balance could do with some help due to the hypermobility which means my foot bones move a lot so standing still is a bit of an effort sometimes ha ha ;-)
Jake was astounded at how easily I took to the snowboarding game, and got higher scores than him. He has no idea that Mum had a life prior to his existence, or that she used to waterski, go powerboat racing, was a real adrenalin junkie in her twenties lol. Kids eh?
Maybe one day I'll take him skiing for a winter break, then I can try skiing on snow for a change, I hope its fun, and I'll try not be jealous as the fearless eight year old whizzes past me like a professional after an hour on the nursery slopes.
Hi everyone, I've been cooking soup today. Nothing outstanding, but tasty and warming on a cold, Autumn day. Ideal fare for a Halloween party, easy to make and loved by both adults and kids alike.
Roasted spicy squash and sweet potato soup
2 onions finely chopped
1 T ghee, or compliant oil
1 large butternut squash (or compliant squash/pumpkin)
2 sweet potatoes (or white potatoes for those who can eat them!)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste) optional, could use chilli flakes
2 tsp garlic paste (or grated garlic cloves)
2 tsp ginger paste (or grated ginger)
2 pts stock, I like chicken or turkey but use whatever you like
Heat the oven to 200c or 400f, split the squash lengthways and take out the seeds. Add the sweet potatoes and squash to a roasting tin and bake for 45 mins or until soft. Meanwhile, in a soup pan, sweat the onions in the ghee on a low heat, once softened but NOT coloured, add the garlic, ginger and dried spices. Stir on a low heat for a few minutes for the flavours to infuse.
Take the squash/potatoes out of the oven, scoop out the flesh and discard the skins. Add the flesh to the soup pan and warm through, mashing gently. Add a couple of pints of stock (or water) to get a soup that's the thickness you like, I like it thick and filling. Warm through then blend with a stick blender or food processor.
You could garnish the soup with either chopped nuts (compliant for you), dry fried cumin seeds, cream/quark (again check your type) or kefir, some chopped chives would be nice for colour. It would be lovely with blue cheese or feta if you can eat this ;-) I can't but wish I could ;-)
I love this soup with lots of garlic and my vegetable hating 8 year old son will eat this every day given the chance! Serve with hot crusty bread (compliant to your type, flax focaccia is lovely with it) and I admit I like to dip chicken breast pieces into the soup as I eat it. Got to get my protein :-)