And I’m still at it
Just a few months shy now of the three years mark of practicing Taekwondo, that Black Belt is solidly within reach.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve been through so far.
Looking over the physical hurdles I’ve had to leap- just barely at times- over, I’m not sure if it stands as a testimony to my stubbornness or stupidity that I am still going strong.
Perhaps all men my age have to go through these challenges, we certainly cannot go around them.
There was the prostate cancer scare that dragged on for months, with doctor appointments, tests, and simply waiting. At the same time I had my heart looked at and they found an enlarged aorta that I’ll have to have monitored once a year, forever. But I can’t complain. I didn’t have cancer and the heart issue could have been much worse. It was just the prolonged “not knowing” that played tricks with my mind for months, but through that, I went to class, I practiced, I advanced.
Then, of course, my famous knee issues that have never really gone away. Hips are doing better but my knees will never be the same. Old motorcycle injury for sure is a factor. Physical therapy was good, and educational.
Then who could forget my on again off again back issues? I missed a few classes these past weeks because of that. But I’m now combating this one with Pilates and weekly visits to my awesome Chiropractor.
Over these three years I’ve had times when I felt like I could go on forever and times when I really wanted to just give up. Nights when I felt encouraged after class and others when I just took a shower popped a few Advil and went to bed thinking “why am I doing this to myself?”
I stick with it through all this because I love it. I see the benefits and they outweigh the challenges. I picked up something I left behind many years ago and I have no plans of putting it down again.
So why am I sharing all this? The ups, the downs, and the physical challenges? Am I looking for a pat on the back? Should we be cuing some sad music while I look thoughtfully out the window as it rains? Maybe I want the “atta boy” and “you can do it!” accolades social media so easily provides these days?
I really am not looking for any of that.
I share all this now for the same reason I’ve been posting this blog for almost three years.
I want to show it is possible to keep going. If were one of those men who had zero physical problems and could do anything I wanted, that would be the anomaly.
Like my favorite line from “The Edge” where Anthony Hopkins shouts, “What one man can do, another can do!”
For those of you who are thinking about starting at a, shall we say more advanced age, then believe me when I say:
You can do it. It is possible. If you’ve taken the first steps and begun Martial Arts training, keep going. If you are thinking about it, maybe now is the time to begin.
What one man (or woman) can do, another can do.