I am a late bloomer. I’ve always known it. I’m also an introvert; which I’m sure some folks will find hard to believe. So four years ago when my then-husband found a karate school in our neighborhood and asked if I wanted to try a few classes, I reluctantly agreed.
I am often scared of “new people” and overwhelmed trying new things, but after one class I loved it, and we signed up!
I quickly found that I learned a lot more than I bargained for at my classes. Besides learning to kick and punch and block, I was learning how to be myself. I found my strength, and I found my voice.
After starting my classes I lost 30 pounds and started to enjoy working out. Soon, I was taking Gracie Jiu Jitsu alongside Tae Kwon Do. After a few unfortunate mishaps in Jiu Jitsu (a few bruised ribs and a concussion) I decided that this particular discipline wasn’t for me and I picked up running. I finished two full marathons and am now training for my seventh half marathon. I found my strength!
But I also found something much more powerful than that…I found my home. At 42, I still feel like the awkward kid from high school that never really fit in anywhere. But now, I feel like I found my place and my home. And I’ve learned that sometimes the bond you form with the family you choose can be just as strong as the bond you have with the family you’re born into.
So here’s my advice to all of you; find your karate! Or your yoga, or your Zumba, or your spin class, or your step class, or your boxing, or whatever it is that you think you’d enjoy. Find something that you love, that feeds your need to exercise, feeds your mind, and feeds you spirit.
You’re more likely to stick with a physical activity that you look forward to, so find something you love and go for it! By exercising regularly, you’ll likely lose a few pounds, gain a few muscles, and if you’re really lucky, gain a whole new perspective on life, like I did!
So veg in, don’t veg out, and by the way, if you do want to try karate, come check out my school; I guarantee you’ll be glad you did!
Cheng’s Martial Arts School, 1720 South State Road, Building 104B, Upper Darby, PA 19082