I had a friend who worked in the bottling plant and he was a brown belt in Karate. After I had finished my milk round one day he suggested that I should join him that evening at the karate club. I decided to give it a go and arranged to meet him there. Very close to the club there was a decent pub so I called in for a couple of pints before going for my first lesson. Big mistake, I had not reckoned on just how hard the training was, even for a newcomer, and came very close to spewing up everything. Being a milkman I was not unfit and I thought I would carry on with the lessons. I went twice a week and also had private lessons from my brown belt friend. Often, the next day after training I would have trouble lifting my legs to get in and out of the milk float because they ached so much. The instructor knew I was getting private tuition and when the beginners did a Kata I was always put in the front because I was supposed to know all the moves and the rest of the class would follow me. Some chance of that, I would get the moves all muddled up and the rest of the class would follow.
I persevered for a couple of months and eventually the training made me a lot fitter and the milk round became easier but I could never do the exercises that involved the body being supple. The one I had big problems with involving doing the splits, leaning forward and putting your hands on the ground and then gently letting yourself down onto your backside. I always went down with a bump and would often have bruises on my bum. At this stage I got Dot involved with the exercises at home and while I sat on the floor, legs apart I would try to get my head to touch the floor. Dot used to try and help me by gently pushing my shoulders in the hope that I would achieve this. It never happened, one day as Dot gently pushed there was a loud crack and my back went. I have never had much trouble with my back but the pain I experienced that day I never want to experience again. At that stage I decided to give Karate up and just concentrate on being a milkman.