Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm with my family for Christmas. Originally my husband I were going to go to Chicago the day after Christmas. I was going to play in the Mayor Daley's Holiday Championship on Sunday. However a major mishap has canceled the trip. Last Saturday I fell down, and broke my left ankle. I'm on crutches, so I'm not really mobile. Getting on a plane, and trying to negotiate snowy Chicago on crutches just wasn't going to work.

It really sucks, because canceling the plane tickets cost money. It's so annoying that when you can't use a plane ticket you're just SOL. If I couldn't go to a concert, I could sell the tickets to somebody else. If I can't stay in a hotel I can cancel the room with notice. If I have withdraw from a tournament before it starts I can get my entry fee back. The airlines on the other hand just stick it to you. I'm going to write a letter, and see what happens, but I'm not expecting anything will come of it.

If I had not planned on going to Chicago I would have gone back to the Empire State Open in Saratoga Springs. However I'm learning quickly that the little things like walking through a door, taking a shower, getting something to eat, getting in and out of a car, getting dressed takes a lot more work when trying do them on one leg. Getting to chess tournaments is going to be dependent on people taking me there. Jumping on a train and subway to go to the Marshall Chess Club is not happening.

Most disappointing to me is that I will not be able to test for black belt in June as originally scheduled. My friends that I have trained with will go on without me. I'll end out having to wait until November. This is under the assumption that my ankle will be able to handle the stress once it's healed, and I've done physical therapy to strengthen it again.

I was working through my mind a post on my holistic approach to chess improvement that would incorporate my Tae Kwon Do training, meditation, diet, and mental discipline. I guess I will be reworking it, minus the Tae Kwon Do piece. Though I do need to figure out how I'm going to remember the forms without being able to do them. In the mean time I'll find time for chess study.

It's hard to write at the moment. There's a lot going through my mind. I'm not sure I'll get back to writing about my adventures of being a journalist in Dallas. I still have a deadline for the actual article to deal with first.


LinuxGuy said...

One door closes, another door opens. Now you'll have more time for these other things, writing/studying.

I've injured myself before and always seem to recover full-function in time, even if that takes a year or more, and a few times it has. :-)

Polly said...

This wasn't exactly the way I wanted to launch my chess improvement plan for 2010, but stuff happens.

LaughingVulcan said...

Sad indeed!

Are there any kata forms you could still do that might help? (Strictly upper body, perhaps?)

I had never thought of the similarities between kata and sitting before a physical board and repeating opening sequences for memory reinforcement. Interesting!

Hope you heal as soon as possible!

Polly said...

LV: I'm getting lots of upper body work on the crutches. I don't know how the katas in karate compare to the poomses in Tae Kwon Do. The poomses move in different directions. I can sit and practice the blocks and punches, but it will be hard to keep the orientation straight. Many of the arm movements are made as one is changing direction. That will be hard duplicate sitting still.

Learning forms is nothing more then muscle memory. Learn the movement wrong, it's hard to unlearn it. Moving pieces on the chess board can be a form of muscle memory. I can study an opening on the computer, but I really don't retain what I see on the computer unless I'm physically moving the pieces on the board.

LaughingVulcan said...

When I studied Aikido, my Sensei followed what I believe is traditional form in that katas are actually slow-speed or low-power practice of actual moves with a partner (uke and nage.) Though I still did practice 'solo' on my own as well. I still occasionally execute the forms by myself.

When I did some self-learning of Iaido there were several forms which could be executed without extensive leg movement. But most start from seiza, which I imagine could be uncomfortable with a disabled ankle.

Sometimes I buy into neuro-linguistic programming, sometimes I don't. But I tend towards the kinesthetic end of the spectrum, and I have found that 'dry' practice of openings to be very effective in studying the Sicilian.

And it looks like you made a good call - been snowing here in Bloomington since yesterday afternoon pretty continuously. Not sure about Chicago, though.

chesstiger said...

Sad to hear, hope your ankle heals well and quickly.

But make from the bad news good news, now atleast you have time to read all those chess books that are gathering dust on your shelf. ;-)

wang said...

Crap Polly, that sucks! Sorry to hear about your mishap, hopefully you can heal up quickly and get back into the thick of the action.