I am pleased to present a guest post from my good friend, RoseAnne Mussar. She hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and trains in Modern Arnis at the 6Tigers Academy in Barrhaven under Renshi Janet Heffernan. She also trains in the American Cane System, often traveling to New York for training.
“Aren’t you a little old for that?” was my sister’s reaction when I mentioned that I was starting karate lessons. And she had a good point. At 47, it was a little late for a Pudgy Middle-Aged Matron© to be starting in….well, let’s back it up a bit, shall we?
I may be middle-aged now, but I’ve always been pudgy (OK, fat). I was never athletic. Ever. When I was a kid, martial arts was that kung-fu stuff at the Saturday matinee, and gym class was an endlessly humiliating series of being picked last for the team. Oh, the memories.
But life goes on and you meet a great guy and fall in love and get married and have two amazingly awesome kids who decide to try karate. So I watched my kids do karate for five or six years, thinking “gee that looks like fun.”
And then it happened.
Around my 47th birthday, I signed up for a Women’s Self Defense course. As nervous as all get-out, I stepped onto the mats. I had the time of my life kicking pads, punching dummies, and applying devastating techniques to some poor guy in a red man suit. I had a blast, but more importantly, I realized that I could do this. Where do I sign up?
Karate was the obvious choice, but to be truthful, it was a bit of a rough start. A lot of the karate stuff was hard on my knees (I got my official osteoarthritis diagnosis a couple of years ago). I also tried Defendo for a while. I managed to get my Level 2 certification but seriously, what was I thinking?
However, the kids had started doing this funny little thing with sticks which kinda looked interesting.
So I picked up some sticks. Clouds parted. Scintillating beams of sunlight shone down. A heavenly choir of golden voices sang “this is what you want to do!” Where do I sign up?
Six years later, I’m still swinging the sticks and loving every minute of it. I love the physical and mental challenge of martial arts, especially with weapons. I love being stronger, healthier, and more confident. I love that I love being physically active- something I used to hate. I love that my husband Gary signed up too! Plus, I’ve picked up a couple of other arts: American Cane System, and sport whip cracking (yes it’s a thing). I may still be a Pudgy Middle-Aged Matron©, but I’m a PMAM who kicks ass!
It’s trite but true: the first step is often the hardest. And occasionally not in quite the right direction. But that’s perfectly OK. It’s never too late to take that step. So pick up those sticks and start swinging – see how amazing you can be!