With all the changes happening to adults (male or female) before and at the peak of midlife, there is an identity crisis of sorts that happens. Things mentally, biologically, and physically are changing at what seems like an alarming rate and we struggle to hold onto who we were, and fight against accepting who we are.
People react to this in many ways. Buying nostalgic toys (cars, motorcycles, etc), Aggressive changes to our appearance, life changing decisions such as career changes, or changing residences. These are all attempts to reattach ourselves to someone we were or always wanted to be but missed our window as we spent decades in the rat race or daily grind.
A new option, and much better one if you ask me, is FITNESS. Some people are finding the athlete or body they never got to invest time and effort into or they are reclaiming their fitness or competitive youth. This has become more prevalent in the wave of strong fitness communities that encourages people of all ages, backgrounds,, and lifestyle situations to improve themselves through various means of physical activity. Crosstfit gyms and Martial Arts or Kickboxing gyms are just a few examples.
So why is this the newest trend for midlife crisis? Because it lights a fire that has lain dormant in many of us as we focused on our careers and then our families. For many, as our jobs/careers stall out and our families grow up we look for meaning and further purpose. Others finally look to invest time into their own self-improvement and self care (things that were sacrificed or overlooked as the years rolled by). Of course some just didn’t bother to make the time for self-care out of choice or laziness. The truths have to be faced and some must be accountable in order to truly grow past our limiting behaviors. Once a firm foot is put in place and courage and resolve take hold and people decide to call a gym or take a free class, they are then taken in with open arms and find camaraderie and soon after passion for what they are doing. They feel their fitness growing, their body changing, and lastly, their mind and spirit shining. Soon, with patience and genuine effort, they find the growth they have been searching for and this growth gives them a renewed vigor and with that comes the feeling of youthfulness, a feeling of gaining years back. This is because they feel better than they have in years. They feel renewed spiritually, mentally, and of course physically. That is something you can carry with you all day every day, and it’s a lasting internal feeling. Not a temporary flash of nostalgia or youthful desire gained from material purchases.
This doesn’t have to be just for those currently in midlife. I urge those headed towards midlife to take note and start now.
To be done right I’m telling you now to commit to the investment of it all. Don’t think for a second that a $10 a month Planet Fitness membership will do it for you. Find a good trainer or find a good fitness community. Find these things in the niche that most interests you. What have you always wanted to try? Boxing, Crossfit, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Obstacle racing, whatever! Anything worth doing is worth doing right, so find the experts and people who can teach and motivate you to do that.
I have a saying in my gym “Always finish strong!” Whether you have had a lifetime of inactivity or put an active lifestyle on pause for several years as you re-prioritized what you felt was important. You can always finish strong! I don’t say it’s never too late. Their certainly is a “too late” in our lifetimes, but midlife is exactly that…midlife. This may be the “too late” marker, so get going!
I am Rad Durousseau, the owner and head instructor of Rad Muay Thai Fitness Center in Aurora Colorado. I love to share whatever I can to help whomever I can to grow through training in what I call Martial Athletics. I use functional strength training and conditioning to strengthen my martial arts and I use martial arts to compliment my S&C training in an effort to create a complete Martial Athlete and next level human being.