published on in Wushu

my wushu story celery leg

Let’s back it up a bit and go on record for exactly how I got the nickname, and the insane amount of flexibility in my left leg.

I began learning the newer longfist compulsory with Isao. Stephanie was teaching us the first section. I remember it was towards the end of class and I was exhausted and hungry, probably dehydrated too. We got to the part where you do the jumping inside-kick and land into the splits where I faltered. This was before Wushu West had carpets, and that slick hardwood floor was dangerous. We used to do the jumping kick and then SLOOOWLY go down into the splits ( and I couldn’t even stretch that far ), but I was too tired to hold the stance, and I went down full force into the splits with a sick crunching sound. First time I even did the splits, it just wasn’t what I wanted.

It sounded like not just one piece of celery being snapped in half, but a whole bundle. I popped right up and muttered ‘ow ow ow ow ow’ in circles, then excusing myself to the restroom. I didn’t throw up or anything, and I teared up a little and I probably let out a “FUCK” outside. I tried to sit down but those ridiculous bench seats at wushu west are horrible if you happened to pull your hamstring. The worst part is I had to drive myself home from Berkeley to Antioch, try to sleep, and then go into kaiser the next day. I didn’t even get a decent pain killer, I got freaking Advil, and I spent almost two months on my ass. I used to have a nice picture of my leg, where the back of it was all bruised and purple. gross.

That leg is 2x more flexible that the other, it’s crazy. I can hold it out straight, and then lift it so the toe is at the same level as my chest. I almost got head to toe with it last year, and those front stretch kicks with it are pretty nice. Too bad the other leg is so stiff, its odd when one leg can do more than the other. The response I get from Patti when we do basics are “Wow, everyone, see how well Michael can do it!”, and other non wushu people usually say “Jesus christ, what is wrong with your leg! Thats not natural!”