“I’m too old for this! What if I get knocked out? I have to go to work the next day”. These were the first thoughts that entered my head once the bell went off for my first kickboxing match after a 21 year hiatus. Training in martial arts has been off and on over the years.
A few years ago, this would have been unimaginable. I was over 55 pounds heavier, broken, and dealing with grief… Life has been quite a journey with highs and lows.
Regardless of the outcome, I was pleased that I made it to the tournament. I was pleased I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and was able to achieve the imaginable. However, I’ll be honest.
There were times when I had negative self-talk enter my head…
I wondered if my boxing and kicks were good enough. I wondered if I was fit enough. A couple of days leading up to the fight, I was analyzing and questioning myself if I was even throwing my kicks and punches properly, although I have spent countless hours practicing them!
I also wasn’t sure if I would make weight! A few years ago, I was 218 pounds at one time. On the day of the tournament, I made weight and set a new personal record. I weighed in at 157 pounds on the day of the tournament, for a total weight loss of 60 pounds!
Overall, I was happy with the whole experience. I learned so much about myself. I also won all my four matches against some challenging opponents, which made the experience even more exciting!
Perhaps, some of you may have experienced this, or are currently experiencing this….
Here’s what I’ve learned from this experience:
- Self-doubt happens. It’s natural to have self-doubt. It’s a matter of if we feed into it or not. It’s easy to use age as an excuse. I’m in my late thirties and have a couple of injuries to mindful of. My competitors were 10 to 15 years younger than me, as I entered the 18+ division. If I had used age as an excuse, I would never have entered the tournament.
You know what inspired me to overcome the age objection? Our amazing clients at Eagle Ridge Fitness! Our clients who are in their 50’s and 60’s are hitting personal best records and are fitter than some people in their twenties! Of course, we need to train our bodies differently as we age and ensure we have adequate recovery time. A high intensity workout designed for a 25-year-old is the wrong workout for someone in their 60’s.
- Hire help and build your team. My success at the tournament was a team effort. Although kickboxing may appear to be an individual sport, there was a whole team behind me, helping me, and making me better each day. My training partners and my coaches helped refine my skill, build my confidence, and provided me with guidance and motivation. My nutrition coach helped dial in my nutrition each week, adjusting as needed.
- Set process goals. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching your goal! Focus on the process and the outcome will happen. For me, making each workout was a win. Regardless of if I had won or not, I was pleased with my training leading up to the tournament. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, working on techniques that were initially foreign to me.
- Block off your workouts like important appointments. It’s interesting. When I first enrolled at Clinch MMA, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to attend twice a week. I have two growing businesses which can take a lot of time. Working overtime is typical, and I have a family that I want to spend time with. With my very limited time each week, I made it work. I treated my appointments like important appointments with my clients and staff. I committed to myself that cancelling appointments would be non-negotiable. I also had to learn say no. In doing so, I had more energy. I was more focused at work and more focused at home. If I can do it, you can too!
- I had to plan out my week, my day, and my meals in advance. I knew exactly what I would be eating prior, instead of figuring out my meals each moment when I’m hungry. Sometimes when you crave certain foods, your body is communicating to you that you haven’t eaten enough or eaten enough of the right macros. Those late-night cravings for chips indicate that your body is wanting carbs. It can also indicate that you’re stressed and your body isn’t recovering. Perhaps you’re not sleeping properly. All of it comes around full circle. Without proper nutrition, your body can’t manage stress as well. You can also have trouble sleeping.
- Ensure for adequate recovery and listen to your body. How’s your bio feedback? Energy? Mood? Sex Drive? Sleep Quality? Stress level? Feeling burnt out? If your biofeedback is low, it’s important to take a hard look at your nutrition, sleep, stress levels and come up with a game plan. There were days I felt burnt out training. I took a day off, tweaked my nutrition and ate more food to allow my body to recover. Long story short, I ended up losing more weight even though I ate more food. It gave my body fuel for my metabolism to function on high.
If you’re struggling with your journey, feel free to reach out. I get it. There will be peaks and valleys. I’d love to share with you my experience in order to help you with your journey. I’m in this journey with you. I get how you may be feeling.
The journey continues…
Have a great week!