Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Getting Old Sucks

Getting old sucks.

Yeah, sure, better than the alternative.

But still, it sucks.

The mind is willing, but the body says...

When I was young, and an athlete, I pushed myself pretty hard. I could do a lot of "work" for a long time (and needed to, because I am NOT a natural athlete). While there were consequences (I think by my count I sprained my ankle at least six times as a cheerleader and a track and field athlete), I do not remember feeling like I've been hit by a truck after a training session.

This was after hours of running up and down hills, of throwing 8 lb shotput and 2 lb discus, of being a part of human pyramids where I was one of the people at the base, with other girls standing on my hips and shoulders (both at the same time).  None of this is lightweight stuff.

I did this almost daily with serious physical consequences.

Over the weekend, I spent a few hours not wearing shoes on a wood surface, flailing around objects that don't weigh much, and by the end, I'm walking funny and I have sharp pain in my joints.  I had to cancel training planned for the next day because I didn't think I can manipulate a weapon without it flying out of my grasp and putting an eye out, much less walk all the way from my car to the training area (all of, oh, 50 yards) without needing to stop and rest a couple of times.

Physically, I'm wrecked.

This ain't fair, y'all.

I know, I know, who said life is fair, blah blah blah.  Granted.


I came to training late in life, and I started because I wanted my old age to suck less (because if I continued my chain-smoking sedentary ways, it was gonna be AWFULSAUCE).   So that's the kicker of all this.

If I didn't spent hours barefoot swinging objects (or doing forms empty hand, or banging sticks or whatever martial art thing I'm doing day to day), and paying for it with needing a day to recover from it sometimes, it would be WORSE.

I have plenty of friends in my age group that don't train or take regular exercise, that are basically me before I fell into martial arts.  They have all the ache and pains I do, but they didn't have all the fun we have when we train when they acquired those aches and pains. And of course, they aren't experiencing the mental and emotional benefits of training either.

So yeah, it could be worse.  Heck, my chronic conditions don't heap on an extra helping of pain like, say, rheumatoid arthritis does my friend Mike Mahaffey, or the pain many of you reading this have from old injuries or other conditions that make doing what we do difficult and painful.

But think of how bad it would be if we didn't train, right?


But still... getting old SUCKS!

Have you noticed extra pains or needing more recovery time from training hard as you've aged?  What tips would you have for the older martial artist to prevent injury and pain?  Let us know in the comments!