I never thought of myself as a martial artist. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a student. But now, I am happy to say that I can add martial artist to that list.
People say that your quality of life declines as you get older. Not in my case. I had my children in my 20’s and 30’s, then raised them in my 40’s. When I turned 50, I went back to college to complete my degree and tried karate for the first time. The idea of me, in a karate uniform, doing kicks and kata seemed absurd to me at first. I have watched both my son and husband train for years. I was a karate mom who brought my son to class and back home.
At the urging and support of Brenda and my family, I put on my gi and took my first class. I had so many fears about my physical ability, getting hurt and looking silly. One of the most important things that I have learned, and what helped me the most, is that everyone’s ability and reason for beginning the martial arts is different. We are all working on our own individual goals. So even though I cannot kick as high as someone else, I am doing the best I can for me.
I am constantly improving. In our school, there is no competition. We all try to help each other to reach our individual goals. I am healthier today than I have ever been. I have lost weight, my heart is strong, my lower back – plagued in the past by chronic pain – no longer bother me and I am more flexible . My doctor took me off my blood pressure medication. My bones are also stronger from the resistance training that I have been doing in the classroom.
Today I am a red belt and will be testing for my black belt within the year. I love to be able to train on the mat with both my husband and my son. Now, just as I have watched them both become black belts, they now can watch and support my progress toward a black belt of my own. I am so I am so happy that I took that first lesson.