Aging and Martial Arts – what’s around the corner?
“We get slower as we age, but we also age when we start to go slower.” said Nicholas Thompson in his recent wired article called “An Aging Marathoner Tries To Run Fast After 40”. Now that I am reaching the end of my 40s the ravages of the aging process are starting to make themselves heard and they roar particularly loudly when I’m off to training.
This last year has been plagued with one injury after the other that has put a massive dent in my training and my confidence. One injury can be demotivating enough but successive injuries made me start questioning whether my body was still capable of recovery. “Yes you are getting injured,” said my MD “but the good thing is that you’re a healer!” He said it with such enthusiasm that I had to believe him.
Heading for Testing Day last Saturday however still filled me with trepidation. Would my body withstand the rigor of 3 hours of training in its current state? The mental challenge was huge. I found it hard to focus and my Mom-brain slipped to child care issues etc while I tried to steer it back on course. My ever supportive husband dealing with his own injury thankfully was there to partner with me during techniques which eased my stress a bit as I knew he was aware of my injured parts.
I had to put my expectations for the day into perspective – I was not firing on all cylinders physically so I needed to focus mentally to get through the necessary.
Part of my training involves helping out with the younger students and the sheer delight and enthusiasm they show reminds me why I practice martial arts.
It may be easier to participate in an activity that didn’t have the same physical demands but then again when you find something that makes you step lighter and push harder it brings a different sense of satisfaction and self-awareness that is hard to replicate. Also I just think practicing martial arts is cool!
So yes it would have been slightly easier if I was 30 years younger but I recently saw a video of a 92 year old doing gymnastics so anything is possible. Nobody knows what awaits around the corner but despite the aches and injuries, I am still able to grow and learn and to me, practicing martial arts is still better than not.
If you are over 40 and contemplating martial arts, this video “Martial Arts Over 40, 50 and Beyond” by Sifu Matt Ember kindly shared with me by Sensei Ando Mierzwa (Happy Life Martial Arts) was a great Monday motivating moment! “Do more with less” Give it a go! “Embrace what is part of the martial arts journey!”
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Master Saidi or that of the World Kuk Sool Association.
PS: Greetings to my fellow Ruckusmakers from the #YourTurnChallenge – Joyce, Estelle, Ann, Patrick and KG Heath!