I was in class this past Friday and I did not perform at my best. I was the oldest in the class by twenty years. Typically, people my age are not necessarily expected to perform like the twenty somethings. I did not disappoint in that class.
I pride myself at keeping up with anyone in class and to perform all of the techniques. My conditioning was on point so I was able to keep up with the tempo of the class but… I was as stiff as a board so I was not able to perform at the level I wanted.
The day before I had a killer commute. I was stuck in the car for two hours on the way to work and three hours home. Nothing stiffens me up like being stuck in the car. I did not have time to work out the kinks before class on Friday, so I wasn’t loosened up until the end of class. Stiffness can have a negative impact on performance, which can make you feel old.
I took two classes on Saturday and was back to performing at the levels I expect of myself. I was “young” again. The difference was my flexibility. I had stretched out after the Friday class and on Saturday morning. Being flexible enough to get the moves done made me feel more confident. It wasn’t my conditioning that made me feel better. My conditioning was fine in the last class. The thing that made me feel better on Saturday was the mobility that flexibility brought.
Contrary to the thoughts of my coworkers and some family members, I know that I am not 25 and never will be again. Just because I am in my late 40s doesn’t mean that my kicks can’t be high. It just means that I need to work harder to stay flexible.
Conditioning is important. If you get winded easily, you should work on your conditioning. However, the thing that will make you feel better generally is flexibility. You will use the mobility that flexibility brings every day. You may never NEED to run two miles. If you haven’t done so already, add stretching routines to your workout. You’ll be glad you did when you drop your phone in the dirt and you have to pick up wearing fancy clothes (or if you have to kick someone in the face).