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- Growing Up Bronx
Guys, I just turned 42 years old and get this… I’m a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu white belt. I mention that specifically because anyone who’s trained BJJ knows that being a white belt is the hardest part of this journey. You are just still learning, you have no clue what’s going on, and in my case, at 42 years of age, I’m fighting guys who are built like a house and 19 years old. Trust me, that’s tough!
I started training BJJ 13 years ago and then due to a nasty neck injury, I took a 12 year rest day from all training. My mind never resigned itself and I knew I’d return to training one day. Though I sold all my gis and gear back then. But here we are, back at it again.
Even as I write this my wrist is killing me from doing some pretty heavy overhead military presses on Tuesday. In addition to that my hips hurt from doing cardio on that butt gliding type machine. Mind you, that’s a machine which I moved to because my achilles tendon hurt from the basic precor elliptical! I moved to that because running was wearing on my knees. It seems that no matter what you move to, eventually the repetitive motions will wear on that body part and you’ll have to migrate.
I’ve been off from BJJ for about two weeks now. The first week was due to some heavy oral work I had done on my teeth and gums. The second week it was because my damn hips. Getting old sucks ass y’all! Being fit is tough at any age, but the older you get, the more prone you are to injuries, the longer it takes to recover and it just sucks ass.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge getting older, I recognize that this is a privilege denied to many. However, I won’t deny that it hurts longer and everything is just that much harder.
My sage advice to you guys is simple, if you are in good shape now, do your best to keep it, don’t let it go because getting it back is a bitch. It’s best to hold it down and not lose it at all. Check your ego, understand that you may not be able to do what you did at 21 years old, and that’s okay. Try your hardest to be the best you of today, not the old you. That person is gone, 20 years gone in my case.
The final very important piece of advice I’d give you is to keep your joints and muscles nice and nimble. Get your ass into yoga and make stretching a regular part of your workout routine. It’s crucial to longevity. Eat clean, take your supplements, drink water, try to minimize stress, rest and don’t forget to stretch!
Growing Up Bronx