WEEKS 40-41: The Covid Chronicles

WEEKS 40-41: The Covid Chronicles


Mrs Gale came down with a bad sniffle shortly after the grey, gloomy New Year arrived unwanted and by the time the Christmas tree had been unceremoniously dragged from the house like a Victorian criminal, after giving us five weeks of sheer joy, Her Of The Indoors tested positive for Covid. She was not well at all.

I’d had the so-called booster in October and hoped to be spared its American Werewolf In London symptoms. But by the start of the following week I was ensnared in its lycanthropic grip and had to cry off both of the week’s karate sessions. It was a disastrous martial arts start to 2023.

The following week I still wasn’t too clever: out of breath; coughing; wanting to sleep for 23 hours a day. I was concerned that I’d lost vital time keeping up with the new kata, heian sandan, and had convinced myself that the strenuous exercise would be impossible to tackle – and then there was the ongoing left knee issue that was tormenting me like a Jason And The Argonauts harpy.

So, the knee, now that you ask: I reckon it’s either torn inside and will need surgery or it’s osteoarthritis and will end up being something I have to live with. It’s being looked at in a hospital in a few weeks’ time.

Monday in the gym began a blowing away of the Covid cobwebs. Having been ludicrously tired while working at home all day – a real Bagpuss – a conditioning routine for the upper body and then the lower body was just what I needed. I sweated the gloopy coronavirus poison out through my pores. Punchbag, ‘surfing’ using straps, press-ups, kettlebell up-and-downs and even a semi-disastrous pull-up on horizontal bars that gave me instant bicep cramp jolted me from my Snow White slumber.

The fatigue returned (if you’re lucky, Covid takes four to six weeks to work its way out of your system) but by Thursday, I had enough vim to tackle some karate homework and by the time it was the evening session in the Green Lanes church back room, I had a working framework for heian sandan and went into the dojo keen as a sheepdog on a Dales farm.

After some pad work to practice kicks where my knee typically restricted my movement, we were handed a new pair of fighting mitts and these were put to use in 90-second fight bouts. I didn’t come out too well with this, but then again, my teenage opponents are growing both in height and strength as every week passes. I’ll be grappling with a load of silverback gorillas before long – probably from a mobility scooter.

Then we locked horns with heian sandan, feeling more and more confident with its uniquely high-spirited silhouettes as the minutes past. Once again, pieces of the jigsaw fell firmly into place and I left for home powered by a newfound boost of energy, knowing that the session had been a real shift forward for me. I felt finally clear of the three C’s – that cold in November, Christmas fatigue and Covid. I should now be bulletproof to lurgies. I might even be feeling fit once again.