Pride, Painfulness, Cramping, And Soreness!

, , , , , | Learning | August 8, 2020

I teach karate. While there are younger students in my group, today, the class consists of students around seven years old. Seeing an opportunity for a deeper talk on our values, I gather them together. Our values are pride, patience, courtesy, and spirit.

Me: “So, what’s our first value?”

Student #1: “Pride!”

Me: “Yes, exactly! We need to have pride in what we do. This means we always do our best, no matter what. Can you tell me what our second value is?”

None of them can.

Me: “Okay, it starts with a P. P, p…”

After a moment of deep thought, one of them pipes up at last.

Student #2: “PAINFULNESS!”

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Check Yourself Before You Wreck Someone Else

, , , , , , , , , | Healthy | August 6, 2020

This took place about eight years ago. My younger brother and I join a group of guys for a game of indoor football — soccer — at our local sports centre every weekend. Everyone else is college age, seventeen or eighteen, while I am the eldest at twenty.

Things go by smoothly. One of the guys is a friend of ours, and there is a clear mix of ability so there is little in the way of unbalanced teams. Nonetheless, one of the guys is super competitive and continually body-checks others into the walls in order to tackle them. As the eldest in the group, I have de facto responsibility to ensure everyone’s health and safety, so I gently ask him at the end of the session to tone down his tackling, since he could seriously injure or be injured in doing so. As I feared, he simply brushes it off and says everything will be fine.

Cut to a few weeks later. My brother is unable to come with so it is just me this time. Everything goes fine until a harsh tackle from me on another guy causes me to roll my ankle, causing me to fall hard on my lower back. As play stops, the idiot I mentioned has the brilliant idea of grabbing me by the arms and ankles and carrying me away from the playing area!

While they carry on their game without a care in the world, I am lying there in agony. Between the now worsened ankle injury, they also jarred my lower back by unceremoniously dumping me on the floor. My friend stops playing and comes over to see if I’m okay. I immediately order him to get a member of staff, which he does. When the on-duty first aider — also the manager — arrives, the guys laugh and tell me to “stop acting like a p****,” to which my friend replies that this is serious.

An ambulance is called and my mother arrives after my friend used my phone to call her. About six hours later, I leave the local hospital on crutches with a severe high ankle sprain and strained lower lumbar muscles, and a metric crapload of various prescription painkillers. The following morning, my ankle has swelled to twice the size and looks the colour of a ripe blackberry. I take a photo for my university as proof — I commute to the uni and will be in no shape to get there for at least a week, maybe even two — and settle in to working out how to use my crutches effectively.

Six months later, I start training again to get my fitness back, and my brother and I go back to the football group. Naturally, they laugh that I took half a year off for “diving”…

…until I wordlessly walk up to the idiot in charge and show him the photo of my blackberry-coloured, inflated ankle. I stress my warning back to him from way before, and I swear I have never seen the colour fade so fast from someone seeing consequences of their actions. 

Nowadays, my ankle is fully functional, if slightly more tender, while my lower back has developed into full-on sciatica. Still enjoy football, though!

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Talk Crap, Get Smacked

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 27, 2020

I start karate when I am nine at this small, lesser-known dojo a couple of cities away from where I live. My Sifu — Sensei, master, etc. — is the greatest and when we move to another state at one point during my training, she works with us so my brother and I can continue via her own YouTube tutorials and video calls. 

We move back to the state a year or two later and there are a couple of new students that have never met me face to face; they only know I am a girl and have a pretty high belt. 

I walk into the dojo for the first time in a couple of years and one of the newest kids, seeing how short I am — I am probably around 5’3” at the time — scoffs at me and my brown belt.

Rude Student: “You’re so short! I always thought you were taller. No wonder you did classes online; [Brother] is the only one shorter than you!” 

He laughs at me, taking into account my reddening face. I have a hard time controlling my emotions when someone insults me.

Rude Student: “Look at how red your face is getting! I bet you can’t even land one hit on me!”

I am about to reply, but Sifu calls us over to start class and welcome my brother and me back to the dojo. I think that is the end of the confrontation, but it is Monday and that means Spar Night.

I get paired with the rude student because he is closer to my height than any of the other kids.

Rude Student: “Looks like I get to see if you can land a hit.”

He smirks at me.

Me: “I’d like to see you land one on me first.”

He scoffs.

Rude Student: “Easy!”

He proceeds to use up all his energy trying to land a hit on me as I dance around the room blocking and dodging every hit.

Rude Student: “Hold still!”

Me: “If you insist.”

I stand still, waiting for the punch. 

He throws it and I duck, coming up under his arm and uppercutting him in the stomach. We are wearing sparing gear, but apparently, it isn’t enough to protect his stomach from my angry shot. He falls to the mat, gasping.

Me: “I thought you said I couldn’t land a hit.”

He stayed away from me after that, especially when we started a Ju-Jitsu course later that month.

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He Spent All Month Thinking That One Up

, , , , | Learning | July 13, 2020

At my high school, cross country was mandatory. Our PE teacher was very old-school, almost seargent-major-like with his teaching style. Once you got to know him, he was fine, but to most students he was terrifying. He also had a dry sense of humour.

At the end of one cross country event, when one of the slower boys crossed the line, he panted up to the teacher.

“What’s my time, sir?”

Without missing a beat, the teacher replied, “How should I know, boy? I’ve got a stopwatch, not a calendar!”

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A Hundred People Is A Hundred Percent Not Happening

, , , , , , | Right | July 9, 2020

I work in a grocery store and it is the day of the Super Bowl. We have a lot of sandwich, fried chicken, and chicken wing orders, all of which were called in at least two days before. We have only the bare minimum amount of chicken to get through the rest of the day, so we are sticking firm to our policy requiring twenty-four-hour advance notice for orders.

About thirty minutes before the game starts, a group of four young men is standing in the produce area seeming to discuss something. One of them approaches the hot case.

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Customer: “I am having a party for a hundred people. What do you recommend?”

Me: “The only thing that I could recommend you should have ordered yesterday.” 

The customer just walked away, but my coworker heard his companions telling him that I was right.


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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