Not 23 Anymore

Photo: Me at 24 years old (close enough) right after my first Black Belt test. Six hours of non-stop beat downs. One of the best days of my life hah.

Friday I jumped into one of our Level 2 self defense tests. We had an odd number of students and it had been a while since I had jumped into a test. I was pretty excited. Our testing process really helps challenge you both mentally and physically. And admittedly, I have been spending so much time focusing on BJJ, I wanted to see how well my other training had held up.

The test ran great. I felt good. The other 5 guys in the group were awesome. They went hard and brought their heart into every minute of that 2.5 hour test. It truly was a pleasure getting a chance to go toe-to-toe with them.

After the test came to an end, I felt great. From a fight perspective, I am certainly at the highest ability level I have ever been, and overall probably the best shape I’ve been in a few years.

Thirty minutes after however… the joints got tight, the body got sore, and I was a bit more wrecked than I thought I’d be. When I got home, I jokingly told my wife…

“I’m not 23 anymore.”

Man that’s the truth hah. I can do way more than I ever did at 23. I have a lot more skill than I had at 23. But I don’t bounce back as well as I did at 23.

It’s an interesting thing. I certainly didn’t feel completely terrible. I still got up the next morning and went in to train, but you have to respect, that as age sets in, you have to be able to adapt to the way your body responds.

And I’m only 31 years old… in the grand scheme of things, I’m young.

At 31 I pay a lot more attention to recovery. Rest. Hydration. Mobility. At 31 a lot of my personal goals are different. I am more focused on being a better father, better teacher, and better business owner. When I was 23, these were not the way I approached things.

However, at 31, I train just as hard, if not harder then I did at 23. I train more efficiently. I have more focus… and yes, I have more aches.

I’m not sure there’s a deep spiritual message in this one today. More of just an observation overall. As life changes, so must you… but you don’t ever have to stop. Ever.

I’m looking forward to what the future holds and the progress I’ll make… and I look forward to the aches and pains along the journey.

Be good, stay safe, one love.

-aaron