How to heal your torn meniscus naturally without surgery

If you are a conventional person then this may not be for you. If you believe everything your doctor tells you then this may not be for you.

But if you are a big thinker and you want to heal your meniscus (ideally without surgery) so you can get back to your day to day life then this is probably for you.

If you are open to both established scientific studies and more underground tactics (but not snake oil) for healing then this might be for you.

WELCOME TO THE TERROR DOME.

It’s called the red and white zone.

They say…

If your tear is in the red zone it has a chance to heal. And if your tear is in the white zone you are out of luck and you probably need a partial meniscectomy to “fix” it.

Is it really that black and white?

There is some truth to that to say that the white zone is not vascular.

But to say it can’t heal there isn’t a fact.

You’re not getting the most up to date information when you consult your ‘average’ orthopedic doctor.

You’re not getting the best medical advice or attention you could receive.

You’re getting old information and practices.

Conventional medicine.

Do you want to heal your meniscus without surgery?

Chances are you can.

However, if your tear is displaced or it’s completely torn in half then maybe you do need surgery. If it’s catching or locking then maybe you do need surgery.

Although that ‘could’ also be inflammation from trauma and not just a piece of torn meniscus.

I’ve torn my meniscus in judo and jiu-jitsu 2 times. Aside from that I’ve had countless injuries from snowboarding, basketball and even drunk bike riding at 2am in the morning 20+ years ago.

A torn MCL, fractured arm, fractured clavicle, fractured finger, torn cartilage, torn rotator cuff, dislocated finger, bruised tibia and ribs, and plenty of undiagnosed injuries.

And maybe you too.

So how does your knee feel now?

Does it feel like someone sliced up the inside of your knee with an x-acto and then kicked it?

Are you limping?

Does it feel sketchy to walk?

Does it feel like it could give out at any moment?

Well, I can teach you how to heal it (most likely without surgery) and if you decide to get surgery I can even help you recover faster and better from it.

The most common practice to fix a torn meniscus is a partial meniscectomy.

And…

Chances are if you get a partial meniscectomy that you will develop osteoarthritis (OA) in that knee.

One source suggests that if you cut out as little as 10% of your meniscus that it increases joint stress by 70%. Your chances of developing arthritis increase exponentially the more they remove.

If you remove part of your meniscus then you change the biomechanics of the knee.

Some people can quickly return to sports and activity within a few weeks after partial meniscectomy.

Like Bigjitsenergy

A partial meniscectomy often removes the symptoms (pain) now.

But how will you fare down the road?

1 year, 5 years, 10 years later?

Well, according to this study

“Nearly 63% of knee meniscus surgery patients developed knee arthritis in the meniscectomy knee within 8 years, on average, following surgery. Compare this to the opposite knee that was not operated on: 28% developed arthritis in that same time period.”

Here’s another…

“Early after surgery, 92% of patients had excellent or good results, in term of knee pain, swelling, ROM, squatting, but at a mean of eight years after surgery, only 62% of the patients rated their knees as excellent or good.” – Source

92% said they felt ok after surgery, but then 8 years later 38% didn’t.

Your odds of needing a knee replacement in the future increase 3 fold when you get a meniscectomy according to this study.

“In patients with knee osteoarthritis arthroscopic knee surgery with meniscectomy is associated with a three fold increase in the risk for future knee replacement surgery.”

Yeah, but what about a ‘partial’ meniscectomy?

“Partial meniscectomy, the most common orthopedic surgical intervention, is recognized as a strong risk factor for knee OA.” – Source

Any sort of meniscectomy (partial or full) removes the torn bit before it has any chance to heal.

And of course they’ll tell you that it won’t heal…

But you should be very careful about what any orthopedic surgeon tells you because you are likely getting dated information and practices.

What about meniscus repair vs. partial meniscectomy?

Is repair better?

Yes, it can be.

But it is not without risk.

And many surgeons will not decide what treatment they will do until they go inside your knee with a scope. So even if you lean towards repair many will not be able to guarantee you that they will do a repair and you could wake up with less of a meniscus.

In the BJJ forum on Reddit someone commented on their stitches.


“Meniscal repairs have a higher re-operation rate than partial meniscectomies, although they are associated with better long-term outcomes.” – Source

What’s the failure rate?

  • In this study (2008-2011) the failure rate for 25 year olds and older was just 15%.
  • In this study (1996-2001) the failure rate was 36%.
  • In this study the failure rate was 22%.
  • In this study 96% were said to regain their pre-injury activity level.
  • It is mentioned here that in one study the failure rate was 29%.

And the weird thing is that many doctors may only try the repair surgery if you’re of a certain age or if the tear is in the red-zone.

But if it’s in the red zone why even try to repair it?

It doesn’t make sense.

They say your meniscus tear won’t heal because there is no blood flow to part of the meniscus and tears in the red zone have a better chance of healing.

So if it could heal there why even mess with it?

IDK.

But doctors have financial interest$ to mess with it. Your torn meniscus is no tragedy to him – it’s money in the bank.

Your doctor is biased like everyone else including me (and more on me later). And while he may be good at using that trimming tool…

BZZZZZ

There goes your meniscus…

He has limited experience and training because he’s a ‘specialist’.

You’re not getting the big picture when you go see an orthopedic surgeon for your knee.

Your getting a particular orthopedic ‘surgeons’ view on how to fix your meniscus.

They don’t all agree and they don’t all use the same practices to surgically repair your meniscus either.

There’s not necessarily one way to heal your knee, but he is likely practicing one way.

And he is working for a slow changing institution – MEDICINE.

Even if you find a great surgeon working privately he still has to confirm to certain ‘standards’.

Medicine like education, government and religion is slow to change.

“Changing clinical practice is a difficult process, best illustrated by the time lag between evidence and use in practice and the extensive use of low-value care.” – Source

It’s big and slow.

And I can guarantee you that the medicine and treatments for a torn meniscus will be very different 50 years from now.

DO YOU THINK I AM TALKING NONSENSE HERE????

“A staggering 36,000 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are published each year, on average, and it typically takes about 17 years for findings to reach clinical practice.” – Source

17 years.

Like I said…

You’re getting ‘old’ medicine.

Old beliefs and old practices.

I can’t say all orthopedic surgeons will do you in and mess up your knee.

You may have good luck and get a great surgeon.

Some people do.

Yet many people don’t.

Here’s another study.

Do you know the search related to feature on the bottom of the Google search results page?

Check this data out.

after meniscus surgery problems
Those blue links are what people are searching for.

This is like a study in itself.

These ones stood out the most to me.

  • knee pain one year after surgery
  • knee pain two years after surgery

You read above that the chances of getting arthritis after partial meniscectomy are fairly high and that there is a sizable chance of repairs failing.

And what that image just showed you was another metric of what might happen if you get surgery.

So if you don’t want to flip a coin…

Then maybe you should explore some other options to optimize your healing.

How green tea & cacao can help heal your injuries, burn fat, increase strength, and kill cancer cells

Green tea (especially matcha) and cacao have some things in common. And these can be used to help heal your injuries, burn fat, increase strength and kill cancer cells.

But it’s probably going to take large quantities.

Green tea contains something called EGCG.

And this study says (if I understand correctly) that EGCG found in green tea helps grow new bone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485322/

If it can help bones and skin maybe it can help cartilage.

Matcha since it’s the whole plant is considered by some to be 3x higher in that compared to normal green tea.

Also…

Green tea and cacao both contain epicatechins which are said to be good for arthritis, building muscle strength and burning fat.

Yet the amount in both is much lower than in supplement form. I’ve heard doses ranging from 150mg to as high as 500mg  (said Tailormade Compounding) of epicatechin will show some results in strength and fat depletion.

I’ve read that some studies show that consuming 150mg of epicatechin could improve your strength (possibly grip strength) by 7%.

Maybe if I consume that much my judo and jiujitsu game will improve since your grip game in grappling is so important.

Or if you’re a carpenter it might improve your hammer game.

I read a cup of green tea contains about 10mg.

So you would have to drink 10-15 cups of green tea or maybe 5 cups of matcha.

Matcha might contain 3 times as much. So a cup might get you 30mg.

Cacao is high in epicatechins too.

Cacao powder is the best form.

So can you eat a bunch of chocolate?

Cacao (not chocolate) is what is good for you. Chocolate contains sugar and milk+.

Milk chocolate contains the least amount of epicatechins.

A dark chocolate bar might contain 46mg.

“…these effects are ‘markedly reduced’ when the chocolate is consumed with ‘milk’ or if milk is incorporated as milk chocolate.” – Source

As a test one day I ate the whole box of these cacao bits (95%) as an experiment which is a total of 60 grams and the next day I felt kind of hung over.

But that’s probably not epicatechin.

There’s caffeine and theobromine and other things in cacao.

I’ll have to try it again sometime.

I do think it’s kind of addictive so I don’t eat it everyday and I sometimes vary the amount because  if I eat the same amount everyday and then suddenly stop I feel withdrawal.

Other benefits of cacao and green tea:

So maybe supplementation with epicatechins is the best way to get high consistently high quantities.

I love green tea and drink it everyday.

I probably easily drink 10-15 glasses a day recently although I reuse the tea and probably get 5-6 small cups out of the same tea so maybe not close to a 150mg of epicatechin.

And recently in the same day I will drink both matcha and green tea.

Recently I haven’t but in the past I would pour off the first cup to reduce the caffeine, but when you do that you also reduce the epicatechins and phenols.

How does cacao compare to green tea?

Green tea is an infusion and cacao is a whole food.

This PDF says cacao has 3 times the phyto chemicals, but it’s not an equal comparison.

A more equal comparison would be cacao vs. matcha powder. Matcha is green tea leaf powder.

It’s the whole plant.

I also read grape seed extract contains epicatechins too.

I did a judo competition in Japan called “shodan shinsa” yesterday

This test for judo is called “shodan” shinsa. Shodan is the first level of the black belt in judo. I did this test in Fukuoka, Japan yesterday.

In America and at least where I started judo at CCSF there is a different ranking system for belts.

white>green>brown>black

And brown belts have 3 degrees. And then of course black belts have varying degrees going upwards of maybe 9 or so degrees.

But in Japan there is only:

white>black

There are no colored belts between white and black.

And…

To get a black belt or even the next level of black belt you have to do a test. And this test varies for adults and children. For adults you have to compete and fight against others who are also competing for a black belt.

It’s a single elimination competition which means if you lose once you’re out. And you have to accumulate enough points and your first time that is 4.5 points which means you have to win like 4 or 5 times in a row.

If you don’t you can try again at the next competition.

I did this in Fukuoka yesterday. I probably wouldn’t have but my dojo where I got the cultural visa to stay in Japan encouraged me to do so.

As you might expect it was a bit scary like other BJJ competitions that I did. This was the first judo one that I did.

I get a lot anxiety and anticipation and all the fears like: getting hurt, this isn’t that important, why should I do this, I am going to lose, I’m not good enough – all those fears that other people get.

But amongst all those negative thoughts and feelings – actually most of the time it’s a feeling – kind of like public speaking or a performance if you have ever done that.

But I try to inject into my mind some positive thoughts too like:

“You’ll probably win or learn something” which was true.

But when the fight starts the feelings are gone and you are in the moment.

I did win two and I did learn something about the rules and about how I can work on my tani otoshi counter.

Getting a black belt isn’t the ultimate goal. The goal is to learn and have fun doing so. Although I am not sure it’s always fun, but 99% of the time it makes me feel better.

Like the competition it would have been easier to just say no I don’t need to do this because I have done that before with jiu-jitsu competitions, but I knew that if I did it I would feel better.

It’s just about pushing through those fears and discomfort.

I am also happy that I got a couple of throws because I am better on the ground and have about 4 times the amount of experience and hours doing BJJ than I do judo tachi waza (throws).

There is another competition like this in November and I will probably do it because I started it so now I feel like I have to finish it.

Occasionally some people will win 4 or 5 matches in a row and get the black belt, but my friends tell me more often than not it can take 2-3 times.

I know one that said it took 7 times as a teen, another 4 times and another who actually won 6 in a row on his first time for shodan, but then said for yon dan (4th degree) it took him 3 or 4 times.

Judo is actually called “the gentle way”

Haha… really?

Yep, but it doesn’t look or feel gentle most the time. But what is meant by that I think is finding the opening for a move or submission or where the opponent is off balance for a throw. Like in the pic above in the thumbnail to this video.

I threw that guy with an osoto gari.

He was stronger, probably weighed more, more aggressive and a bit spastic, but I found the path of the least resistance and threw him there and that’s judo – finding and seeing the openings and then capitalizing on them.

“Have you ever spent time in Santa Fe?”

“There’s a subculture of healing there.

The idea is that there is something therapeutic in the atmosphere and it’s a safe place to go and get yourself together. There are other places like Santa Barbara and Ohai, California come to mind, usually populated by upper middle class people with more time and money than they know what to do with in which a culture of healing also retains…

The concept in all of these environments seems to be that one needs to complete his healing before one is ready to do his work. This form of thinking… is a form of resistance.

What are we trying to heal anyway?

The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain free. He has to play hurt. Remember the part of us we think needs healing is not the part we create from. That part is far deeper and stronger…

The part where we create from can’t be touched by anything our parents did or society did.”

Taken from THE WAR OF ART – Steven Pressfield

I heard about this book many, many years ago first from Seth Godin in the book Linchpin and just finally got the audiobook. It’s good.

Bye Bye, Bank of America

I hate Bank of America and I finally closed my account there after many years and here is why.

1. They charged me like $12 a month if my balance goes below a certain number like maybe it was $1500 or $2000 or if I don’t make deposits in it monthly over $250.

Like don’t you guys make enough money?

2. They have extremely high withdrawal fees abroad. I withdrew money in Japan ONE TIME and they charged me like more than $37 ($5+$5+$11.05+$16.54) in fees for one withdrawal.

3. Seems like they require a phone for verification. I really hate this. Isn’t email enough? Some other sites do this too. I don’t have a working phone now. And I got locked out of my account for 3 days until I finally got a hold of customer service.

4. They have no 24 hours call service and really SLOW WAIT TIMES. I had to stay up late until like 2am here in Japan to contact their customer service. Then they make you hold for 30-40 minutes and listen to their annoying advertisements. They do say they will call you back, but if you don’t have a number you are out of luck.

There is also no chat. There used to be, but not now.

5. While in the USA they locked me out of my account and not let me withdraw money from a different ATM. So then I have to go back into online banking to verify it’s me. One time I even went into a Bank of America branch when they did that and one time they said you have to go into online banking and change it.

So then I have to go somewhere else where there is internet (home) and log in and verify that it was me. And then go back to the ATM to get money.

6. After waiting so long online to talk to someone then I get asked like 5 minutes of questions to verify my identity based on public service records.

I got asked how old my mother and father where, where I went to college, where my father owns land, what model vehicle I used to own, addresses where I used to live, etc. All in one call so I can just log into my account.

7. They charge money to transfer money from one bank to another. Other banks don’t.

Finally my account is closed there and I just unsubscribed from their “promotional emails” as a day after they confirmed my account was closed they sent me some junk mail.

Bye bye.

My monthly food expenses in Japan

*My monthly food expenses in Japan was originally posted on ESLinsider. The original post is as follows: 

Last month I kept track of my receipts where I am currently living here in Fukuoka, Japan. I wanted to see how much I spent on groceries. I was thinking that I spent about the same or maybe a little less.

Well, it seemed like things cost about the same as they do in San Francisco where I was living before Japan.

So how much did I spend?

Well, I spent about 30,000 Yen which is about $270 USD. That’s about the same amount that I would spend in Trader Joes in San Fran.

I think next month I can lower it. I might try to get it down to about $200. I think the most expensive things that I was buying was nuts. MMMM, I love nuts, but I will try to cut it down and see what happens.

Also I found a cheaper store for some things, so I could probably shave off a few more Yen.

What sort of food “can’t” I find here?

No complaints, really, but I will try to compare this to Trader Joes where I used to shop mostly in San Fran. There is a slightly different selection of fruit and vegetables. The fruit selection is smaller and at the moment it’s mostly apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, cumquats, grapefruits, etc.

I think what you don’t get is all the international foods stuff like: hummus, guacamole, Thai spices, salsa, Italian foods, a bunch of different chips, etc. I don’t remember seeing anything like power bars and the like. I remember at Whole Foods there was nearly a whole aisle for these.

It’s mostly just the basics. There are some organic foods too.

This is just based on where I have been shopping mostly at this place called AEON Max Value. Which is funny cause AEON is also a company in Japan for teaching English too. But anyways I think there are probably places out there where you can get more international foods probably, but I don’t know where they are.

I have no problem eating the basics as that is what I usually do anyways. My diet didn’t actually change much since I came to Japan.

I am mostly vegetarian and eat:

  • vegetables: cabbage, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, etc.
  • sweet potatoes
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds
  • rice flour
  • milk or occasionally yogurt
  • rarely-occasionally chicken or seafood

I had no problem finding those things. Some other things I have been eating since I have been here are miso, soba noodles and daikon radish.

In the video above I give some prices. Here are some rough estimates of costs:

  • Milk=$1.50 a pint
  • Yogurt=$3
  • Sweet potatoes=$2-3
  • Almonds=$5
  • Walnuts=$5
  • Soba noodles=$2
  • Miso paste=$3
  • Daikon radish=$1
  • Cabbage=$1.50
  • Sesame seed flour=$1
  • Chicken=$1-3
  • Eggs=$1.50-2
  • Shrimp=$2-3

Lastly there is not much for cheese. I tried this one “cheddar cheese” but it didn’t quite taste like cheese. There are a few options, but don’t expect much.

Inside the sharehouse where I am living in Fukuoka, Japan

In this video I take a look inside the sharehouse where I am living in Fukuoka, Japan.

I moved here in January and started in one sharehouse and then moved into this one which is a little better. It’s quieter and I have been sleeping better.

It’s pretty cheap and…

Things are going pretty good. I like Japan and I have been training jiu-jitsu a lot, learning Japanese and working on ESLinsider.

1st Impression Of Japan

This wasn’t my first time to Japan, but it is the first time back in Asia since 2011. My first time in Japan was actually in 2008 after I found a teaching job in Korea I went to Fukuoka, Japan for a visa run.

I made this video a few weeks ago actually. I talk about Japan, Fukuoka, culture, compare it to San Fran a bit and then watch some cool koi and check out some gardens in late January.

NSJ Sharehouse – My experience

UPDATE: JUNE 22, 2019

I moved out of the Katae sharehouse June 1 and this is an update.

You may love this place. Seriously. You might really like it. It might totally suit your needs, so take this with a grain of salt.

Now I am going to share a little of my experience there.

What I liked:

The location is in an alright area near Fukuoka university and Nanakuma station, but quite far from downtown. I had a bike and would ride like 10-15km a day to judo and jiu-jitsu classes.

What I didn’t like:

  • You have to sign a contract for 6 months. I didn’t like that. And I left after 4 months, but she gave me my deposit back.
  • If you have your girlfriend over to stay the night you have to pay like 2-3,000 Yen or something. Just one night doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
  • There is a sort of forced sociability there.
  • Some of the people.

The owner is a bit pushy about being “friendly” and smiley and all of that. Now I am a pretty easy going guy by my very nature and friendly enough as long as you treat me with respect, but if you don’t then I am not going to be nice to you just cause.

She said something about “tatamae” which is the Japanese word for being sort of fake and polite, but I am more of a “honne” kind of person.

There were some people there that I didn’t like for a few different reasons. Actually by the time I left I didn’t like several of them.

I am debating going into some of the stories and about some of the people there, but I won’t waste my time now.

This place is more Japanese too, like maybe 80% and a few I suspect have issues with foreigners. Maybe there were 3 foreigners and like 6 or 7 Japanese. The first sharehouse was a little more mixed when I was there, but you can read more about that below.

The room I had was quite large and fine, but noisy as it was above the kitchen and there was no door. All of her sharehouses there that I stayed in Katae and Fukudaimai were old and noisy.

The sharehouse thing is not for me.

In fact I only stayed there and here in another sharehouse because that was the only cheaper option without a long term visa. If you have a long term visa I would just rent your own room.

Maybe if you are younger you may like it, but I don’t see what the point is other than it’s cheaper. I don’t think I would have liked this anymore if I was 10 years younger. I am an introvert and like privacy.

I don’t need to have fake social talk.

Although if you can rent your own place you can get something as cheap and better since it’s your own apartment.

Anyways you may love this place.

UPDATE: Maybe 3 or 4 days ago I moved into a different NSJ Sharehouse and so far it’s better. I like my room better, it’s less noisy and my annoying neighbor is gone which is the biggest perk.

Original post…

I have been living in this place for about 2 weeks and honestly I think it’s a piece of shit. I was planning on writing a review later, but this just triggered it. It’s 2:32 am and I am up because I can’t sleep.

2 out of the last 3 nights I have been listening to my neighbor go in and out of his room at 1, 2 and 3 am. When he shuts his door it sounds like he is shutting my door.

This place is very fragile. It’s like I could jump through the wall.

I do yoga in the morning and vibrate my legs on my mat and when I do that the whole house shakes.

I can hear my neighbor through the wall talking to himself. I can hear him push the button to turn on his heat. I am surprised that it is still standing. The wall between us is more like a curtain and I am surprised that this place hasn’t been destroyed by a typhoon or earthquake.

It’s not made out of cement. It probably is thin wood framing with thin walls, but nothing like 2×4’s. It’s really wimpy and COLD because it’s not insulated.

Even the shower water doesn’t get that hot. It gets kinda hot, but not that hot so you end up spending a longer time in the shower.

Supposedly someone cleans the place too for a discount, but they don’t do a very good job. Well, the surfaces are clean enough, but the toilets aren’t cleaned.

It’s cheap and well you get what you pay for.

I am the oldest one living here. There’s like a kid living next to me who is still in college.

Wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for my neighbor. But it’s like you have pseudo privacy. I have turntables and do some music and other creative stuff and just feel that is unsuitable in this house.

Oh yeah the other thing that she said before I came when I was asking about how soundproof one of the rooms was something like, “if you want soundproofing then maybe Japan is not for you”.

Like all houses in Japan are like this one???

Not.

Maybe if you read this you might find the place to be o.k. for you, but don’t expect much. Expect something like a dormitory room hostel with curtains between the rooms. Remember you get what you pay for.

It’s on the cheaper end, but actually it should be cheaper considering the quality of the place. And from what I have heard from other people living in Fukuoka it’s not that cheap. I have lived in a lot of places across the USA, Taiwan, China, Korea and now this crappy place.

Honestly I don’t really have anything good to say about this place. There’s other people and well I don’t really give a fuck. I’d rather live alone and have a more simple life instead of living with random people and neighbors that complicate your life.

On my way to Fukuoka, Japan

I left San Francisco yesterday after living there for almost 6 years. Time flies and now I am sitting in the Taipei airport waiting for a connecting flight to Fukuoka.

My last few days was spent trying to get rid of stuff and get ready for my trip.

It always seems last minute when it comes to traveling.

So…

I will be living there for probably at least 6 months. For starters I will be on a tourist visa, but then may try to get a cultural visa for studying judo or maybe, just maybe look for a job teaching English in Japan so I could get a longer visa.

My goals are to live in Japan, learn Japanese, train judo/jiu-jitsu, work on ESLinsider and some other creative projects.

ESLinsider has been able to sustain me over the last 6 months or so. Hopefully that will keep up and then there is always WWOOF’ing if that fails.

Every time I move my stuff that makes me question how much I need it. My DJ stuff is really heavy. I brought with me 2 cases that have my turntables in them. They weigh 40 lbs each.

I’d like to do a street performing show with my turntables, but that is tricky thinking how I will move it around.

Actually that is less tricky. I have some ideas for making a cart for them, but the trickier part is where am I going to keep it? I would need to live on the ground level and be able to wheel it into my home.

In another hour or so, boarding starts.

Haven’t slept much in the last 3 days. Hopefully tonight I will.

It’s hard to change your habits and make a move. But really it is not as hard as it seems because now I am on my way. This move all started with me buying a ticket and then filling in the blanks.

It started in a state of uncertainty.

It’s more of a shoot first aim later strategy.

So I am still aiming, but I think I am off to a good start. I have a room in a share house all lined up and will be paying less for rent than I did in San Fran.

And it can’t be much worse than that.

My desire to live in Japan started way back before I taught English in Taiwan in 2004. I sort of beat around the bush and lived in China, Korea and Taiwan and now finally I am going to Japan.

It won’t be the first time there, but it will be the first time to live there.

Japan was originally my first choice for Asia, but it didn’t seem as easy to get a job there teaching English so I always went with the other countries.

Now after years of hearing that voice in my head say, “go to Japan” I am.

I couldn’t go on not doing this. I didn’t want to be an old man saying to myself, “I didn’t, I should’ve, I could’ve…”