Weekend quote – Ofer Mizrahi

Yesterday I went to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital because of a chest injury. Yes, a successful Black belt exam, less successful single fall.
We set there, Etgar and me, in the Emergency room, drinking cold water from tiny laboratory plastic cups. Not exactly “Our water“, but still…

And yes, it was a good exam.

I recalled we used to drink Whiskey in dire straits, before Yossi started to abstain. Etgar told me stories and I told him about my previous teacher whom I angrily left after he screwed – up, misconduct that is.

It was a big fall then, almost 12 years since. A big lesson, but I am still standing and breathing, carefully.

This is the chain of events when you get injured in the dojo. First, on a small yellow and wrinkled paper, Professor H. writes an urgent letter to the hospital. At the hospital Dr. Noam, the same guy from my previous ailment, smiles, looks at it and says: “so you are the injured Judoka, I should have guessed it’s someone from the dojo. He then takes me to the C.T., checks the results, smiles again and looks worried.

And Yossi. Yossi is awake till 3 AM, gets all the results, answers questions succinctly and feels that he had to come and not only because he invested 12 dojo years in me.

Just a sparring session, but still…

Then later, in the morning, at home, I feel like the twin towers but with a major difference, I am still standing.

And I read what Yossi wrote to Yakov Hazan, and what Yakov wrote, and I think. I think about persistence and falls that are actually stances.
And about disappointment with some teachers
and falls in business
and life falls
and finally falls at the belt exam.

And I understand that the form of the fall is less important than the way you stand and fight again, and the lesson you learned about life when every breath was a painful chore, and laughing was excruciatingly impossible.

It will be only a short while before we drink the water Yossi carried on his back.

akban lion


Weekend quote – Ofer

1st quote

I have been having a high temperature for two weeks
and I can barely get out of bed
or the couch.
The doctor gave it a complicated name
and then said “kissing disease, let’s wait for your temperature to go down”…
to my wife he said that there is no point to commit me to the hospital, nothing to do…

“Drink a lot and take antipyretics.”
When checking my neck he diagnosed enlarged lymph nodes and spleen, “the disgusting cough is part of the deal”, he said. And Dr. Noam, my AKBAN partner, said the same and added that I should watch my liver… he usually suggests that I’ll guard my head…

So for two weeks I did not move, didn’t move at all.
I don’t remember such a state, not at the Lebanon war when I was buried in a bunker waiting for the Syrian artillery, not when I had my appendix removed, not when in randori my nose decided to watch the left side of my face closer, not when the board of directors fired me from my own company and I slouched for months.
Just did not happen.
So now a first time, can not move at all.

At evening time, yesterday, I started to train. It was a conscious decision out of the clarity of a high temperature. If one does not remember, the world looks like a hazy desert heat wave. The heat rises from the rocks, and rises and rises and then very quickly you find the puddle of the mirage.

So I took two pills knowing that the shivering and the puddle will follow soon.

This was one of the toughest training sessions. I do not want to compare it to anything but it was tough, very tough.

I took my socks off and stood in Shizen tai.
The most fundamental stance. I looked forward and placed my attention forward.
I breathed three times and started coughing real bad.
I spat.
I lay down again.
It was a good training session.

I did not manage to do one Tsuki, not one sabaki, no intricate kata.
This was Heart Sutra practice.
The mother of all victories.

2nd quote