Last month before all the Christmas festivities, I was doing some exciting non-badminton related things with my life!
I went to Tokyo for work in December which was absolutely amazing! I did not play badminton in Tokyo, but I did experience a completely different culture which I wanted to share with all of you! Further, this can be linked to my badminton diet as I ate Japanese food for a week and lost some weight!
After a 12 hour flight I went exploring in Tokyo. I landed at 6am on a Sunday while Tokyo slept. I explored the clean streets of Tokyo and went to see the Imperial Palace while it was quiet and serene with a backdrop of skyscrapers. I marvelled at the vending machines casually lining the streets offering ice cream and beer. How convenient?!
I liked how the traffic lights counted down – not only how much time you had to cross, but also how long you had to wait to be able to cross. I watched as Tokyo woke up and I was swept up in a tide of people at the Tokyo train station. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t even walking at one stage, just floating along with them.
The trains were very efficient! They were on time, clear markings showed where to stand and where the doors would open. It all worked like clockwork. I was quite amused at how a different sound signalled that a train was arriving and a different sound signalled that a train was leaving. The sound for a train arriving sounded like a theme tune for a cartoon. Uplifting and melodic. It definitely made me smile!
The next few days were spent either at my Tokyo office meeting various incredibly polite people or out eating various types of fish! I ate sushi more times than I can remember. I ate it from shops, cafes, takeaways and authentic sushi restaurants.
I loved eating in Japanese restaurants where you were offered tea with your meal instead of a cold drink and you took your shoes off to climb into quaint wood dining chambers where the seating is dug out of the floor. Dangling my feet in my work dress, sipping miso soup and discovering what type of fish I was eating made me feel comfortable and relaxed. I had the best sashimi I have ever tasted in my life. The tuna melted in my mouth in a matter of seconds, leaving me yearning for more!
One evening I caught a taxi to explore Ginza and do a little shopping. I have an obsession with lip balms so had to buy a reddish-pink lip tint so that I could replicate the beautiful rosy hue the Japanese women so effortlessly sport.
I also bought a really interesting product which I have never considered before. A brush to wash your hair with which massages your scalp. I used this for the first time this morning and I must say – it was a very enjoyable experience! My scalp felt extra clean and invigorated. My hair has been growing lately so I think this will help me to keep it healthy and prevent the build up of dirt from all that badminton I am planning to play!
The toilets in Japan were absolutely fantastic! I loved the built in bidet which I thought would make a huge mess but turned out to be very controlled and effective! You could control the water pressure. I grew quite fond of a heated throne awaiting me! I am usually far too embarrassed to use public toilets, but when they were so impeccable and even had a function to play music – I soon became all too comfortable!
Overall, I loved Japan! The people were lovely, the food was delicious and healthy! I lost 1.5 kilos from eating mostly rice and fish for a week. I did not see potato or bread used in any of the meals! Two staple food products in the UK, which I clearly eat too much of!
A week in Japan had distracted me from my arm which now feels like it has healed! Yay! I got right back into badminton after my trip. In some games…I played rather well. I was surprised at myself as I made calculated decisions on where to hit the shuttlecock rather than blindly hitting it anywhere. Once I grew tired though, I start playing sloppily. That’s when I know to stop. Before Christmas me and Masako even beat my husband and sister-in-law twice! Can you believe it?! I think he was injured though…
Sadly I haven’t been able to play this year (I know it’s only been a month, but still!) To be completely, grossly, honest, I had a blister on my right foot which got infected. This got infected twice and left me with an open wound. I went through stages when walking was difficult as my foot was swollen and angry.
This has really set me back as I feel like I have got so unfit in this month when even walking has been a challenge. I am back on my feet now thankfully. I am driving again and walking around the office. Today was a milestone as I was able to wear normal shoes to work for the first time since I got the blister! Yay! It’s the small things in life!
As the collagen builds over the wound and fresh skin is formed, I have to be quite careful with it so that it doesn’t tear. I have no idea how long this process will take, but I am washing and moisturising the area often to encourage the tissue to grow as comfortably as possible. I am hoping to play badminton soon as the skin is beginning to feel stronger, I am just terrified of tearing it open or getting another blister! I don’t think I can live my life like that so will just play and try to take care of it as best as I can.
This year I want to be as healthy as I can be – mentally and physically. I have put on the weight which I had lost in Japan, but it’s ok. I was giving my body what it needed while it healed. I have learnt to listen to my body. Once it has healed, I will begin working on making it stronger! Onwards and upwards!