This was commented on by Sifu Masterson a few weeks ago, and as we start the year of the snake I am going to comment on this as I see it pertaining to myself. Now I am not the oldest person on the team, and I am not certain that I am even in the top 5, but it does affect me. Compared to when I was 17 and joined the military, bullet proof and invincible as only a 17 year old can be, I do not heal as fast, and seem to be injured easier. Actually at 17 I was not that bad, being the youngest & smallest guy in class taught me a few rough lessons, combined with life-long lung issues. Some of these lessons were learned the hard way, such as let’s give the smallest guy in the platoon the biggest weapon, and have him carry it a far longer distance than was appropriate, even for a big guy. This is where I learned that I could “power thru” by force of willpower, and have back problems for several years after, until a significant number of chiropractic treatments were administered. Now I am trying to listen to my body, and when I do something stupid (discover that the worm bin weighs far more than expected when lifting it, off center) modify my exercise to address the need to heal.
Today’s 1000 push up/sit-up challenge is a case in point; I am doing crunches instead of sit-ups and most of my push-ups are off of a counter (30 degrees instead of horizontal) to compensate for the aggravated muscles in my lower back. I have not quit, but am working on something instead of all or nothing. Cardio type exercises are another item I need to modify, as I have discovered. If I push myself in cardio training or during warm up, I will work up the appropriate sweat, and get the benefits, but at a cost. My mental abilities then suffer until I am able to get my blood oxygen levels back up to normal, this means that I am uncoordinated and have difficulty performing techniques that I know and have practiced, for the first ten to fifteen minutes of class. When the actual instruction portion of class is only 35 minutes or so this is a problem, do I work up a Sihing Tymchuk type sweat on warm up, but pay the price mentally, or take it easy and set a poor example for the junior belts but learn more in class?
Until next time, when you may see me working on perfecting my cane defense