Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Midpoint

So it's my birthday.

I started this martial arts journey late in life - a few months before my 40th birthday.  It was one of the actions I took when I was coping with a really big mid-life crisis. At the time, I was at the end of a year-long process of quitting smoking, eating better, and trying to get healthier.  At that time, my stepfather underwent serious health issues that could have been alleviated, even at his relatively late age, if he'd decided to change his ways.

He made a different decision than I did, and we lost him in 2013.

Here I am, healthier in many ways than I was back then.  I'm experiencing all of the problems of aging - harder to lose weight, longer to recover from injury, and aches and pains constantly.  I definitely have health issues too, but overall, probably far less than I would have.

Some people believe that each decision we make creates a new "universe".  That is, there's a timeline out there where I didn't change my ways.  There's a chain-smoking, probably even fatter than I am right now, out of shape couch potato version of yours truly out there.

Not completely accurate - old me wouldn't be caught dead chugging Bud Light. Gross.

Yikes, as much as I struggle with health issues now, I'm super-glad I'm not that version of me.  That would suck.

I believe, thanks to martial arts, that however long I have left to me, they're going to be better years than they would have been.  This is not just due to the health side of things, even if that was my primary motivation to get started in all this.

It's also how martial arts study has affected my relationships.

I've written how my husband and I study together, and how awesome it is.  It's something our whole family does, and it's given us something we can all relate to and connect over.  My house is one of the few on earth where one of us comes home with a new martial arts thing and nobody challenges anybody over the cost of it or how necessary it is to own whatever that thing is.

Of course the martial arts thing is necessary to own. And it was a bargain too.

I've also made tons and tons of friends in the martial arts over time - teachers and training partners, and I've connected with people here on my blog, too, and that's been really neat.  I have friends all over the world I wouldn't have had otherwise, and that is really important to me.

I might have more time behind me than ahead of me in my life, but it's going to be quality time, thanks to the martial arts.

Not many middle-aged women spend their free time like this!

Why did you start training, and how has training positively affected your life?  Let us know in the comments!