Do I have an expiration date?

I’ve always been a very lucky capoeirista: until about a year ago I’d only had 1 major injury due to capoeira. Back in 2009 the ligaments around my ankle got torn, but I recovered completely and never had any problems with my ankle after it healed.

A little over a year ago I got a minor wrist surgery to remove a cyst. Today I still feel some sort of pain when performing wrist-heavy movements (queda de rins, macaco, …) and I am afraid it won’t go away since I haven’t noticed any improvement over the past few months. I love queda de rins movements and I hate not being able to do them.

Now, about a week ago, I starting noticing a strange feeling in my right knee which I tried to ignore. Several people I train with have had severe knee problems due to capoeira. Some of them can’t even do a negativa anymore. Right now, I just got home from teaching my Friday class and even though I didn’t do that much, my knee is hurting when I bend or stretch it. I’m starting to fear that something’s up and my knee won’t hold it out much longer. That could mean surgery, months of rest and a lot of recovery. I’m already freaking out.

I’ve known a lot of people who started having injuries somewhere along their capoeira career. To me it always seemed they never really got over them and never got back to their full potential of playing capoeira. I’ve always feared that some day I might become one of those people. But I was always lucky. In a few months I’ll be celebrating my 15th year in capoeira and since I’m still in my twenties, I could stay in the game for a long time to come. Unless my body is starting to break down.

I don’t have any idea how I would handle the fact that my body might not be able to perform at its full potential due to “broken parts”. Maybe I’m overreacting and the knee thing is just a small issue that’ll go away in a week or two. But it got me thinking: does my capoeira career have an expiration date? What is on my bucket list and what goals do I want to reach before it’s too late? What are my goals in capoeira exactly? When is it going to be too late?

Friday night, a good time for some reflections. I guess there are some things I have to figure out for myself. And I need to get that knee checked.

Update (03/02/2018)

As it turns out, I was overreacting a little bit. I got my knee checked and according to my physician it was just a minor injury caused by running with an incorrect posture. I had been doing 3 ~8km runs a week and that was the cause of the sore knee. With some physiotherapy sessions I managed to correct my posture and everything is more or less fine now. I also have to do frequent exercises to loosen my wrist which might help preventing the pain when playing capoeira. On the downside, now my shoulders start hurting.

I am learning to face the fact that I am no longer injury-free and that these kinds of things might happen more often. I just have to take care of my body and do the necessary exercises. I’m still hoping this is all just a hump in the road.

— Vinho

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