...where every woman over 50 is TOP DOG!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TaeKwondo at 51!

Kim Kistler Grobholz, "L. A." born and raised, moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 1970 after meeting and marrying her first husband who she met hiking as a student in Austria. She has two children and has lived in Munich for the past 17 years. She studied music and history at the University of Maryland, and later trained as a veterinary practitioner. She now has her own clinic in Munich. (In the picture with her is her "golden love," Buddy.)

By the time I reached 50, my 26-year-old daughter had her brown belt in Taekwondo after 5 years of regular, dedicated training. She infected me so with her enthusiasm for this Martial Art, that by the time I turned 51, I told myself that I´d try it…if I could get out of bed the next morning after my first training. And I did!

The idea of turning my body into a “fighting machine,” was humorously encouraging. Learning one form after another was a tedious and often frustrating challenge (24 in total. I'm at # 10). The belt tests – which often involved humiliating failures at trying to break a board with a kick or hit - took place every year, from white to yellow to green to blue to red and ultimately – what I hope to be achieving soon – black. This is my 10th year, and the boards break easier as training becomes more intensive and my energy better channeled.

I am almost always the oldest in the group, but that never bothers me. It has been nice to work out with so many young people over the years, to share the same goals and challenges. When it comes to sparring and other exercises, age plays no role, as nature gives us all strengths as well as weaknesses, and both are there to be worked on and transformed.

Martial Arts bring benefits that spill over into one´s daily life. Practicing falls take the fear out of them, bones are strengthened through percussive training and warm-ups, and I noticed quite early that my piano and cello playing improved remarkably. It has something to do with that “Chi-flow” which is what Martial Arts are all about.

It seems that the body is so grateful for improvements as one grows older, benefits, even in memory and concentration, make themselves noticeable. Aging can mean poorer blood circulation as time goes on, but with dedicated training not only muscle tone improves from tip to toe), but the inner organs remain well supplied with nourishment, which our skin reflects.

Turning 60 a few weeks ago, I never felt more vital, healthier, or stronger in my life. I got through those years of physical change without hormone therapy, and finally have the figure I´ve always wanted!

A great gift from my daughter who has been my inspiration.

Thanks, Kim for sharing your inspiring story!

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

Mary Cunningham Books

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