Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How old is too old??

Mixed martial arts is a huge success right now with the UFC. It has gone from non-existent to instant success. To be a MMA fighter you have to be knowledgeable in many different areas. The most popular are Muay Thai and Brazilian Jui Jitsu.

Right now it is dominated by men. There are a few women fighters, like my favorite Gina Carano.... but there will be a day when the women fighters become a bigger part of it all. My question is, will I be too old then to compete?

Hubby and some other friends and family think that I should be training to fight Pro. I used to compete regularly in Tae Kwon Do... but that was 13 years ago. Right now I am training with men who are currently trying to get on the UFC circuit... and I hold my ground well. Even my Jui Jitsu has improved immensely (although I rarely get the chance to do this with another woman). I figure that it would take me at least 2 years to get to the point where I would be anywhere near good enough to fight like they do... (and be down to the 155 weight class). That would make me going in as a new fighter at the age of 32.

Now, I know that 32 is NOT old. But the new fighters going into the UFC right now are between 19-25 .... The older ones have been fighting for years and already have their places. Gina Carano is 28....but she has been doing this for years.

Anyway, I shared my feelings with Hubby and he looked at me like I was crazy. Then I hopped on the computer and found a comment on my blog from Mark Salinas. I checked out his blog.... and what did I find??? The perfect answer ....

*After struggling for years to have a baby, Torres finally became pregnant
with Tessa. At the time, she began swimming again for exercise, because, she
says, she had terrible morning sickness and she’d “rather throw up in the
pool gutter than next to the StairMaster.” But predictably, Torres soon
found herself racing “whoever the middle-aged guy happened to be in the next
lane,” even when she was noticeably pregnant. Three and a half months
postpartum, she raced at the Masters World Championships. Fifteen minutes
after nursing Tessa in the bathroom, she swam the first leg of the 50-meter
freestyle relay in 25.98 seconds — fast enough to qualify for this week’s
Olympic trials.

Torres is now 41 and the mother of a 2-year-old daughter,
Tessa Grace. She broke her first of three world records in 1982, at 14, .and
she has retired from swimming and come back three times, her latest effort
built on an obsessive attention to her aging body. Last November in Germany,
Torres clocked 23.82 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle short course,
breaking the American record and making her one of only five women to swim
the event in less than 24 seconds.

The day after she got home to South Florida, she had a bone spur shaved out of her shoulder. In early January, she had another operation, to deal with a torn meniscus in her knee.

After all of the setbacks, challenges…she is one qualifying race away
from making the Olympic team!


FatMom said...

Wow, TL...I'm scared of you... ha ha! You just jump in there and do whatever it is that makes you happy, girl! Who cares how "old" you are?!

Jill said...

I think that's your answer right there! You could at least check into it, see how much of a time demand it would be. Just think of how cool it would be for your girls to say, "yeah? Well my mom can kick you dad's butt!!" (heck they can probably say that now!!)

I would totally pay to see you kicking some tail!!

Mark Salinas said...

You have already accomplished so much and to see you setting your sights and goals further out is fantastic. It is amazing how much hope and belief we can pull from others. I am happy to see you have been inspired by Dara Tores, she is an inspiration to many no doubt. Great post and thank you for the kudos!

brian said...

Very inspiring story.

Sounds like you are to old if you believe you are and if you don't believe it then you aren't.

totegirl said...

If it's what you want, there's only one answer to your question, now isn't there? However, those chicks get their faces MESSED UP, which is the main reason I am thinking about taking impact kickboxing and NOT any kind of combat fighting! I'm a weenie!

Anonymous said...

Wow, TL, I don't even really know what you are talking about...one of those hidden worlds right in front of us that we are not even aware of. The story of Torres was very inspirational. I also thought about some of the older (much older than you) power lifters who are so revered in that world. My brother has competed in power lifting contests and he is much older than 32.

Go for it!

marc said...

Go for it! I used to wrestle a LOT. Coach said I could've made the nationals if I just kept training. Of course, I didn't, and I've been regretting it ever since. So don't let this pass! :)

CaRoLyN said...

We are in the same boat! I NEED to get my weekends under control, no ifs ands or buts! I need to!!!! If we can just get afew under out belt, we'll be laughing. I know we can do it! Let's start with this weekend, one meal at a time!!!

AND I don't think you're ever too old to accomplish a dream. If it's something you really want to do and you know if you don't do it, 10 years from now you'll look back and reall regret it, than I say give it your best shot!

Robyn said...

Heck yeah, TL, see what you can find out about getting a trainer and stuff...and see if you could arrange some kind of sparring with some other chick who's in the same boat as you are! You know they're out there, somewhere!! You know as well as everyone else knows that there is no "prime age" for much of anything anymore these days! I can't imagine any 19 year old girl having a hope or a dream of going up against another woman who is older and wiser and probably a lot more experienced...
But, you'd better get to training! Haha!! I love to read these kinds of stories from you. It makes it seem like anything is possible...and that a dream is only a dream, unless you get out and make it a reality!

zandria said...

Isn't Dana Torres just an amazing inspiration? (I saw a comment you left on Mark Salinas' blog, which is how I found my way over here.) I love your enthusiasm and dedication. I, too, want to do more than I'm doing now but wonder if it's worth the effort -- if I'll ever be "good enough." Like everyone is always telling me, GO FOR IT! :)

P.S. Speaking of martial arts, I wrote a post today about my experience with krav maga!