Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | May 30, 2012

Unwanted Skills

I’ve made great progress in using a walker and a wheelchair for mobility. Those are not skills I wanted to develop.  I would have been happily ignorant about the dexterity required to transition from a wheelchair to an unstable, rocking recliner.

Just pirouette on one foot, shifting heel to toe until you can turn your back to the recliner seat, then plop down!  From recliner to wheelchair or walker: wait until the forward rock hits its peak and push up with your hands on the arms of the wheelchair or hand grips of the walker.

I never wanted to know any of those things.  I could’ve been quite happy confining my spinning moves to an occasional dance with my wife.

I’m fortunate, though.  God gifted me with excellent balance and coordination. I was also privileged to study karate under a superlative instructor, Edward Takae (RIP). He took the raw gifts and polished them. He required hours of practice on footwork and balance before teaching kicks (otherwise the practitioner would land ingloriously on the mat). A powerful kick in any direction requires a firm, shock-absorbing base.  This principle has stood me in good stead as I try to heal enough to put at least some weight on the injured leg—when the Dr. permits.

I didn’t want to learn to use my balance in this way, but I’m thankful for the gifts and training that have made necessity simpler and safer.


  1. We never know the full impact our training will have on future events. Sounds like your martial arts training will serve you well now. All the best and quick healing and recovery.

  2. Keep up the hard work, my friend. We never know what’s coming our way, but you are handling this with grace and humor, which is wonderful!

  3. just glad you are out of the rehab place

    • Me, too. I was glad to get together with the Writers’ group again.

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