Monday, September 10, 2012

Too Old for Martial Arts?

I made the mistake of sharing with one of my younger students that somedays I just feel old. This is known in the trades, as a mistake. I was then regaled with an unending series of one liners:

You are so old, when you were a kid rainbows were black and white.
You are so old, you sat next to Jesus in school.

I could go on … my student certainly did. Har Dee Har Har.

While, truth be told, some days I do feel old, I always feel better after a workout. There is nothing that will get a good sweat going than a couple of forms (hyung, patterns, kata) as the combination of aerobic and anaerobic activity gets the blood pumping, the muscles stretched, and the mind sharp.

You are so old, you walked into an antique shop and they sold you.
You are so old, your birth-certificate expired.

When I first started taking karate lessons I could only do 17 jumping jacks. From that point until the end of class I was totally spent and had no more energy to give. That wouldn’t have been a big problem except jumping jacks were like the first things we did. I still had 55 minutes to go. Man, was that hard.

You are so old, you heard the big bang.
You are so old, Jurassic Park brought back memories.

So you are wondering if you are too old to take or continue taking karate. Sure. Maybe you should wait, because in a little while you’ll be younger.

You are so old, your first home was in pangea.

Let’s be honest, if you’re over 25 you’ve probably missed the window of opportunity to kick straight up, to do a full straddle split, or to jump over seven people and kick through five boards. I started when I was 36, won my first tournament when I was 37 (followed by many more), got my Teaching Certificate at 41, and my Masters at 50.

You’re never too old.

A prayer for the youth challenged:
God, grant me the Senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

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