Practicing Karate and Working Out is Never Pretty

I’ve always loved action movies and superheroes. In my mind, if I train hard enough, I should be able to become one. The problem is, I’m getting older, I’m a family man, and I have a career. Besides that, no matter how often or how much I work out, I’m still just me. Yet, working out is still time we’ll spent.

When I exercise and practice karate, I feel better about myself. I’ve accomplished something. Whether it’s hearing the snap of my gi when I kick, seeing my flabby stomach become less so (an ongoing battle), keeping up with other students, etc. It’s essential to my physical and mental well being.

Now (with the quarantine happening), it’s far too easy to become complacent. There’s no coach, sensei, or fellow classmate in front of me to give that energy and push. Virtually they are, but social media and online training only go so far. Once I sit down, it’s far too easy to stay sitting – watching a show, playing on the internet, gaming, etc. Part of me really enjoys the break, but I know life will get back to normal. No matter what, it’ll be an uphill battle to get back to the shape I was prior to the quarantine. Personally, I’ve always performed better in a class situation with an instructor pushing me.

While I’m still exercising every day, it’s not the same as my usual routine – four karate classes a week, two or three cardio kickboxing classes a week, and one hour (or so) per week of additional practice as well. I’ve noticed my strength isn’t as good as it was, nor is my flexibility, but it hasn’t diminished too much. My weight has stayed about the same, but my stomach is definitely pudgier than before. I can only imagine how worse it would be if I didn’t practice and exercise – not to mention my overall physical or emotional well being.

Today I practiced my weapons katas outside, and did an hour on the elliptical machine for cardio. I ended up recording my katas to see how they were – rusty with quite a few errors. My gut and posture are embarrassing. I definitely need to practice more. I’d like to think that I’ve looked better.

The point of this post though, is that after watching my katas and seeing my sweaty grossness in the mirror after my cardio workout, is that in order to get healthier, look better, and improve, it takes gross looking and uncomfortable work. It is what it is. It’s not pretty, but the results will pay off and do so on a daily basis.

Here’s how bad I looked today. Hopefully this will inspire others, because if pudgy old me can do it, then anybody can.