I've managed to turn up with my £6 admittance fee this time and in plenty of time for the warm-up, which meant I'd be going head first into forward and backward rolls in front of folk who churned these out for fun, literally (Gymnastics was my worst sport at school).
The warm-up over and my pride still reasonably in tact; somehow I'd managed to get away with a few of those 'new' diagonal rolls that are all the rage in gyms these days, I was feeling good and ready to learn some fresh moves.
This time around when Coach Hales demonstrated the first move we were to practise through replication I was partnered with Danny and James; two very helpful lads, each the size of a barn door.
Coach Hales would allow us around ten minutes per move, for practise and to iron out any shabbiness in technique, this provided me just enough time to work out one move before being confused by the next and forgetting a lot of what I'd just done. The other members of the group seemed to soak up the move with one demonstration, though thankfully Coach would show us at least 3 times to ensure even I had a chance to get the basic gyst.
|Coach Hales (green tee) shows us how it's done.|
To begin with James and I practised some of the moves from the evening, which gave me the chance to refresh my memory and James the easiest opponent in the room. I really appreciated this gesture from the big man who I'd later find out had a real thirst for history and even takes part in historical battle re-enactments, though after two 3 minutes rounds I could tell he wanted the chance to face more resistance and so I switched to another opponent.
Ben was a slightly bigger build to myself, though far more solid and had been studying Wrestling far far longer. We matched up and that's when I got a little cocky; while I was by no means showing any sign of technical nouse, I did try to add some aggression and added force into my efforts - this simply indicated to my opponent that I was up for a similar approach back; it's fair to say he had more stock of each in his locker.
After a few submissions from yours truly we were nearing the end of this pairing when Ben pulled a move where my head was low into his chest as I was forced backwards and he rolled over the top of me. The pop, flash of pain in my chest and my subsequent 'aggghhh' as we hit the deck caused the other fighters to stop in their efforts and look our way. I explained the problem to Coach Hales and he diagnosed that I had a 'popped sternum', and instructed me to sit out the rest of the session - I wasn't going to argue.
Randomly, a chiropractor called Patrick, entered the room almost straight away; he'd turned up to advertise his services and had a patient instantly - Coach explained the issue and I was given some early treatment on the spot. Cheers Patrick!
|Patrick the timely chiropractor|
|South Essex Wrestling Club, Coach Hales (green tee), The Everyman Olympian (broken and right of Coach Hales), Ben (second on from back right), Danny (back right), James (front right).|
I've since been to a chiropractor nearer to home. The pain subsided but 2 days Sailing training and a full day moving awkwardly for The Beach Volleyball Challenge has taken it's toll on my recovery, here's what the 'doc' diagnosed:
|Effectively I've 'pulled a rib' - which means I've damaged the links between one of the cartilage sections connecting one of my left ribs to both my sternum and my rib. It's not pleasant.|
68 days to go till the Olympics start...