Man, I feel old...

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by ETinCYQX, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    To clarify. I'm nineteen years old; it's not that I feel old, it's that I feel too old to do what I want to do in TaeKwonDo.

    I have always wanted to compete internationally in TaeKwonDo, since I started at 6. I did a few times, in fact, but not to an extremely high level. I've told the story before so I'll spare you specifics, but I had a lengthy leave of absence where I did no sports or martial arts at all, ending at 17. Back two years and now I'm a first Dan and running/teaching in my own school, but I see people from neighbouring schools my age getting ready for world championships and even Olympic qualifiers, and I feel like I missed the boat on it. It really truly sucks to not even be 20 yet and feel like I'm too old to ever be an international competitor.

    Anyone else ever feel like this? Thoughts?

    I have decided something, though. I've set a goal to go to the Canada Open in 2014 alongside my younger students and not embarrass myself completely. No big deal to some of you but to compete on that level again like I used to would mean a lot to me.
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    When I stopped laughing softly, I concluded to take this quite Seriously, and say;

    You are not too Old to Compete Internationally.
    There are much Older People who do it just fine.
    You are overthinking this.
     
  3. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Thanks Cyracius, I guess that logically I know I'm not too old, it just seems like everyone else who's competing has been preparing for it since 11-12 years old. Look at Aaron Cook, he's my age and world champion.

    To be honest, Master Southwick (MSUTKD I believe) at the World Poomsae Championships inspired me to suck it up and compete.
     
  4. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Simply, although its a Nice thing to Aim at; You will probably never be a World Champion. (Patience)
    There is only One World Champion out of however many Potential Thousands/Tens-of-Thousands/Possibly More that Compete for it.
    Thats simply Luck.
    World/Olympic/International Sparring is as good as it gets - Disregard the Positions.
    This isnt Football. Your not gunning for Trophies as your Primary Objective (Hopefully).
    In the Sport Side of TKD, your Aim ought be Medals, and Memories, and Level of Competition. (Patience)

    What im trying to say is, that if you go into these things expecting to Power your way to Glory, that may not gonna happen.
    Your setting yourself up to be let down.
    I mean, the Current World Champion hardly joined TKD, thinking that he was Training up for a Champion Title, and got it as a Result. He earned it likely by Luck, Skill, and Perseverance.
    Just gauge the Likelyhood based on the Number of Places VS the Number of Applicants, and Assess your Goals based on that.

    Is it not a Privilege enough to be Competing on that Level?
    Once you go International, the next step up is World.
    And you dont need to be under the Age of 20 to get into the World Championships.

    Now Realistically, if you want a Goal to aspire to, dont aspire to be a World Champion.
    Aspire to be a Participant in the World Championships.
    And Work towards that Goal.
    And if you do make it to Competing for a Title, then all the Better! But make that your Goal THEN, when its at Hand.

    And as for your Absense?
    Its nothing that cant be solved by Intensive Training for a few Months.

    Retrospect! Itll Help :)
     
  5. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    I'd just like to compete internationally; no delusions of ever being world champion. Guess it's time to start training harder
     
  6. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    I think, paradoxically, age is the least important factor in determining whether or not you are too old to compete at the level you wish to.

    Mindset, intent and commitment beat age, I believe.

    Your peers that you are comparing yourself to, are on their various different routes and their routes are not necessarily yours. Nor will they necessarily lead to their guaranteed success. As mentioned, they have provided for you a target to aim for now, nothing else. You cannot follow their predetermined route in their timescale. You have your own. And that will happen absolutely if you have your commitment in place.

    Do not think you are too old to compete because when you make that statement, then you have right there constructed a barrier to your own progress. That negative outlook will hinder you now as it will hinder you when you are twenty years older. So I say, reverse that outlook, make a commitment to go forward with training with an unshakable positive outlook and but more importantly, stick to that promise to yourself and guarantee yourself success.

    Best luck with your continuing training.
     
  7. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Thats Good :)
    Pertinent to make sure however :p
    Train.
    Meet People.
    Express your Interest to People Vastly more Experienced than you.
    Theyll likely Gear you towards it.
     
  8. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    No yet has talked about natural ability. Stick two kids in the same math class, and one kid gets it without problem and is ready for more, while the other is confused and doesn't progress too well.

    If you are average ability, hard work and perserverance isn't enough compared to the gifted athletic kid who also works hard. The reality is by 20 years old, you know if you will make it to a competitive level in whatever sport you choose. Hard work will make you better for sure, but IMO you probably know how athletic you are before you start from other sports and should set your goals accordingly.
     
  9. Em MacIntosh

    Em MacIntosh 3rd Black Belt

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    There are NHL players who smoke a pack a day, they just have to work harder on their wind.
    In most professional sports you're old by the time you're 18 but that doesn't mean there haven't been some players still playing almost into their forties and then become coaches. As far as natural ability, I'm one of those people who has to put in ridiculous effort to get mediocre results. I haven't got any better at tying my shoes since I was five. Nonetheless I've worked hard to improve what I can. Some people, due to natural ability, might not feel the need to work as hard on the same things to become as skilled as me. The benefit of struggling so hard for even simple things is that your willpower becomes strong and you learn dedication and persistence. Patience and hard work, like Cyriasus advised, will yield rewards but expectations inevitably lead to disappointments to minimize your expectations and maximize your desire to achieve them, then raise your expectations slowly as you go.
     
  10. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    TaeKwonDo and Judo are my only sports aside from weightlifting, which is really only to train.

    I'm in pretty good athletic shape and pretty strong by this point, don't know about natural athletic ability but hell, I can try.
     
  11. RobinTKD

    RobinTKD Blue Belt

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    I'm not entirely sure if I totally agree with this. I understand and agree with the Math analogy, but that can be determined by brain shape and size, where as the human body can be made to do extraordinary things by anyone. Your body is basically a piece of clay that can be moulded in any specific way depending on how you treat/train it. I do agree though, that others may understand how to do something quicker, but i don't necessarily believe that they will always be better than someone else who has taken longer but trained equally as hard. Just my thoughts.

    ETinCYQX, I think that is a very good goal to aim for, never seek glory, let glory seek you.
     
  12. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    When I wrote that, I was thinking of myself...a little better than average in hockey, tennis, and running, but never great. And I found the same in TKD. There may be one sport that a person is ideally suited for, but I think if a person is a natural in TKD, he/she would have seen as a kid in other sports (e.g., basketball) that he/she has superior speed, timing, and footwork. My 2 cents!
     
  13. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    I'm 43 and feel a little old to perform those outstanding jumping/spining/flyting kicks like the tornado kick or the simple jumping spining hook kick ala Van Damme, but well my only advise to you is to train hard and start competing locally and in state tournaments and go for the nationals with all your might, when you reach that level then set the next goal.

    Manny
     
  14. MSUTKD

    MSUTKD Purple Belt

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    Have a dream and NEVER quit! you CAN do it; step by step.123
     

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