Monday, October 1, 2007

Middle-Age Limits

My feet today were very sore from the interval sprints yesterday--even though I was running on a beautiful track, even though I was wearing excellent Mizuno shoes.

Plantar Fasciitis
is such an annoyingly mundane physical limit, and it's one that has only hit me in the past two or three years. But it's real. I do stretches for it, and I wear a splint sometimes at night for my left foot, to keep the fascia from contracting. A friend at work said I should stretch out my calves--which I thought I was doing. I do have tight calves.

I sometimes wish I had started martial arts in earnest in my 20s. I wouldn't have had the speed and strength to become some great champion, but it would be cool to see how much more I could have achieved starting at, say, 24 instead of 44.

However, there are a lot of middle-aged limits that I am getting past. I took a deck of cards to the gym today and did my new sensei's push-up routine--turn over a card, do that many push-ups. One of the trainers at the gym pointed out that when I was getting tired, I was lowering my head, instead of keeping it in a perfect line with the rest of my body, which was limiting my effectiveness (and making injury more likely). Tuck my chin back to keep the head in line, he said. It was a great tip. I ended up doing 177 push-ups, and that's way more than I once thought I could achieve as a middle-aged martial artist.


Anonymous said...

Please excuse my ignorance about blogs and martial arts. I am 48 yr old male looking for martial arts school in nyc or long island. I am looking for self defense first and getting in shape. Are you allowed to tell me details about the school you are training in? Is there a resource to search for the right school-style wise and geographically?

BobSpar said...

Hi, it's great that you're looking for a martial-arts school. I don't mention the name of my school because I don't want to incite partisan comments about whose school is good or bad.

I've talked with friends, and I don't know of any resource for searching systematically online among karate schools in the NY area.

But I think there is a sensible way to do research.

To start, figure out whether you want to train near home or work (or whether you might be able to do both--I find I can't spare enough time from work during the day, so I train at home.)

Then use the yellow pages or Google Maps or some other resource to find the schools near the location where you want to train--you probably won't want to travel very far, either from work or from home, on those days when you almost feel too tired to go to class.

Call the schools and find out if they have times that work for you--I chose my school in part because it had 9:15 p.m. classes that I could make (my work hours have since changed, mercifully).

When you have a list of local schools with hours you can attend, go visit all of them. Talk to the sensei--and find out if the sensei teaches most classes. Schools may even let you take part in a free class.

See which one you like the most, and give it a try.

I hope this helps. Good luck on your journey!

Anonymous said...

thank you for taking the time to respond