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The Wounded Tiger

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

And how ambient music got me through a rough patch

In my 30's I got into Kung Fu. It was something I thought I needed, to balance out my life, which is probably a little too heavy on the computer. This can and did lead to problems with tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and shoulder problems.

I had a complete physical meltdown from overwork related to music production on a computer at age 30. Being hunched over a computer for 8 hours a day had quickly caught up with me.

So I thought, it's time to learn how to defend myself and get in shape.

My road to pain was paved with good intentions. In my head, I'd become a master, like this guy. Without the handlebar mustachio though.

My hips don't open up like this due to something called FAI Syndrome. (Impingement)


I thought, this is the new me. I'm going to be the greatest master I can possibly be. I'm going to get strong as an ox using the vast and impressive fighting system called Choy Li Fut.

About a year in, I felt that training a mere 2 nights a week wasn't enough, and so I gradually progressed into more classes and ramping up my practice.

I tried a bit of Aikido, Kuntao, Escrima, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Chi Kung, and Tai Chi. I loved each style for different reasons, and ideally would study them all if I could. But I must say, my hips don't approve of this particular passion.

I was overtraining. I'd never heard of Overtraining Syndrome specifically, but I was about to.

Instead of letting my body recover, I pushed.

Then I tore the labrum in my left hip.

Slowly and stubbornly I realized what I'd really done, because at first, I thought I was gonna tough it out and persist. Isn't this what Kung Fu Masters do?

But when you can't tie your shoes or walk, you can't kick someone, let alone defend yourself very well.

After almost 4 years of putting it off, stressing about it, fearing it, suffering, I had surgery to repair my torn ligament, and fix my AFI Syndrome by shaving down the bony ridge on my femur so that I don't keep tearing the labrum.

Music that got me through my recovery

The recovery was slow and I was bedridden for about a week. The hardest part about it was not being able to sleep for extended periods. I did however, listen to a lot of great music.

I discovered the record label Serein on Bandcamp and fell in love with every single one of their many releases. Artists like Kryshe, Jonas Meyer and Max Ananyev were 3 favorites, along with Strie (above), a female producer with a penchant for sound design and eerie sound collages that envelop you.

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