Martial arts matches -- 11/06/11

A few months ago Jeremy began studying martial arts -- specifically learning Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing). He has really gotten into it -- and into the best physical shape in his life. Not only that, he continues to keep getting into even better shape all the time.

He got started because friends were trying it out and he was looking to improve his fitness. He has certainly accomplished that.

Last night I went with him (and some of his friends) down to Mystic (Connecticut) to the Mystic Marriott Hotel where their main ballroom was temporarily turned into a kick-boxing venue for several hundred enthusiastic fans.

Unlike the spectators at so many sporting events, the overwhelming majority of the audience appeared to be in very good shape. This is probably because so many of them were enrolled in some kind of martial arts training program. Interestingly, there seemed to be almost as many female matches as male (and a significant proportion of the audiance was female as well).

Jeremy has been talking to me about trying kick boxing for fitness. I have just laughed at this but I have to say that, while watching the matches (as well as seeing what it has done for Jeremy's fitness), I could really feel an interest in it and even a brief daydream of actually competing (gee, do they have kick-boxing in the Senior Olympics?) but upon more serious thought, I think it is a few years too late for me. Just a few... Jeremy introduced me to a guy "my age" who goes to the same dojo -- but despite both of us having equally grey hair and beards, he is eight years younger than me and I have felt a considerable amount of aging during those years. So I think I will stick to running and walking and using the YMCA fitness center... and maybe getting back into swimming this winter.

Jeremy started Muay Thai for fitness, but now he is saying that he could see entering into actual competition sometime in the next four or five years. I might have once tried to talk him out of that, but having seen these matches, I can understand his desire to experience it. (Also, I know those are not very clear pictures, but I think you can see that they are wearing protective headgear.)

Of course, I really need to be training for the Thanksgiving morning Newport Pie Run -- a five mile race -- but I have a cold and a considerable amount of aches and pains. I have still have some lower back pain from (I think) splitting a bunch of firewood a couple of weeks ago and a major problem with my left arm & shoulder. My guess is that when that shelf full of books attacked my left hand, it not only cut my finger, it also yanked very hard on my arm. This is the same left shoulder that had me seeing a chiropractor three or four years ago and also getting physical therapy for it maybe two years ago. So I guess my left arm/shoulder is a bit of weak spot for me, one that is more easily injured than other parts of me. If I recall, those other times resulted from dumb stuff like dumping my bicycle, so those were my shoulder absorbing an impact, and this time is more like being suddenly pulled. Anyway, it isn't getting better -- I can't sleep on my left side without pain -- and it bothers me at other times as well, so I'm planning on calling the chiropractor first thing Monday morning to make an appointment.

In case you are wondering why my first choice is a chiropractor over seeing an orthopedic specialist, my theory is that both the chiropractic treatments and the physical therapy (which was prescribed by an orthopedic specialist) helped, but the chiropractic treatments helped faster and also helped the rest of my back, not just one shoulder. (And if, after looking at x-rays, my chiropractor thinks I need to see an orthopedic specialist, he will tell me so.)

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