August 06, 2010

the rub ... (Jeju pt. I)

(This is the first part in the multi part saga that was Jeju Island. I have NO idea why my posts have become these long drawn out affairs. Yet there is so much to tell and I don’t want to scare you with a giant post, so multipart saga it must be. Hey if gay sparkling vampires can do it, I feel I can copy)
“Make sure you take it easy” my chiropractor warned me, I just smiled and nodded as I left his office. I had just told him that I was going to Jeju Island for a week. I am blessed with having two weeks of vacation while working here in Korea. They are split up into two week long segments, one in July, and the other in December.

It was decided that we (we is: Corwin, Callie, Susan, Sparta and I) would be going to Jeju after a couple failed attempts at planning a bike excursion through the countryside of Korea. For those of you who are unaware what or where Jeju is, just click. If you don’t want to read too much, here’s an abridged version. Jeju is an island off the southern tip of Korean peninsula. I’ve been told it’s like Hawaii, but I’ve never been to Hawaii SO! The most interesting thing about Jeju Island is that it is an autonomous province. That is interesting because that is exactly what Quebec wants to become in Canada. Autonomous regions benefit from having the same military, same currency, (same equalization payments, if you are Quebec), just different legislative powers. I wondered if I’d be getting off the plane to whiney people in berets (horrible stereotype, sorry French Canadians).

So you’ve got the where, you’ve got the when, and I really shouldn’t have to explain why my chiropractor warned me to take it easy. The biggest attractions on the island all entail a lot of walking, and some hiking capabilities. No surprise my knee puts me on the short bus. I can’t actually walk up stairs properly, I walk up only using my right leg, I drag my left leg up behind me.

I was worried about the trip, I’d had some tough days in the weeks before; I’d had a semi breakdown caused by frustration a week prior to my departure. I’d been looking forward to going to Mudfest (people covered in mud, mud wrestling, and mud slides) and I had to cancel out. It was the week after I epically failed at volleyball, and I’d pushed my leg too hard my first week back at work. I thought and acted like I was 14 again and my knee disagreed with that sentiment whole heartedly, I was left sitting around my apartment as my friends were coated in mud.

I knew most of the island trip was earmarked for hiking and heavy foot traffic. This is what worried me, I was in on the planning, I wanted to do it, and knew it was a bad idea. I was aware that the island had beaches, and I’d most likely spend my time there as my friends hiked. It was a really tough position I’d be in, my mind wanted to hike but my body wouldn’t let me. I’m sure most people reading are like ‘shut up, I’d love to be on a beach’. Yet I’m different in that regards I guess. I wanted it all, and my doctors warning was a clear reminder that my knee can only take so much.

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