I spent this morning at one of my smallest schools. The fourth graders wanted me to play with them during their mid-morning break. Today they wanted to play Onigokko, which is basically Japanese tag. This shouldn't have surprised me, as they always want to play onigokko. The pain, though, is that I'm always "it" so I end up chasing the little buggers around the playground the whole time. Although I'm not the most athletic person in the world, I'm certainly not slothy either, so playing tag with 10-year olds never struck me as anything I couldn't handle. Except it's like herding a yardful of cats.
Any other day, I would have just played onigokko and braved it. But today my knee was slightly sore from my running. Suddenly when I heard "onigokko" it magically became sorer. "uuuhh...sensei's knee is injured. You darlings just go on ahead. I'll watch, or maybe participate in some other way. You need someone to keep score?" I tried to articulate the fake knee injury to one of the other teachers in my broken Japanese, and she wasn't going to let me out of it, "Walking OK. Now go." Maybe I'm just not a good liar.
After work I got a shiatsu, my first professional massage since I've been in Japan. Onishii-san was highly recommended by a Japanese friend of mine, and I jumped to make an appointment as soon as she asked me, "Are you ok with pain?".
After a series of short tests to assess my condition, he scribbled down some notes along with some sketches. One of the drawings looked like a hunchbacked stick figure. "You have tightness in your neck, and you have a cat's spine." News about my spine aside, I feel like a million bucks now.