Humans are strange. They behave as if they are immortal. Bad news, we are not and muscle mass tends to disappear gradually from age 40 onward.
“Fighting Muscle Mass Loss. Starting at age 40, adults lose on average 8% of muscle mass each decade. And the rate of loss increases to 15% per decade after age 70.”
Source: International Council on Active Aging
Last week, I gained another digit (birthday), and I celebrated my 21550th sunrise on this planet.
Ageing is normal and one should accept it. This is Keinen in Japanese (1).
As a martial artist, we have to adjust our way of training to the new reality.
When you are in your twenties it is acceptable to train to your limits.
As a young adult between 30 and 40, you have to understand that your body is changing.
When you get passed the 50s, it is time to train and be more clever. Too much stress on your aging body will get you nowhere except to the hospital.
The chart below shows the three stages of life:
My point here, is that you learn what you can do; and also what you should avoid. Crossfit training might not be the best at 50!
Looking at your age is the best way to continue to train until the end of your life.
In Japan, my teachers were in their 40s when I joined their training in the 80s. Today they are all over 70 years of age. Hatsumi Sensei is turning 88 years of age next month.
They are still in very good shape and can kick your butts every now and then. But their way of training has evolved so that they can continue.
With experience, your training and your teaching get deeper, and more philosophical. Ageing is not a curse, it is a natural process.
Do not see yourself as a punishment: 刑人, Keinin (punished man). (2) (3)
Be happy to experience 経年, Keinen, as it means you are still alive. This is good, because after all, Ninjutsu is about surviving!
1 Keinen: 経年, passing of years; lapse of time; aging; ageing
2 Kei: 刑, penalty; sentence; punishment
3 Nin: 人, person
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