There are many ways to fight aging: intensely regimented calorie-restricted diets, anti-gravity yoga, shooting up with pregnant women's urine, or, according to the Washington Post, kicking other people in the ribs. The crowds at boxing, karate, and kickboxing gyms these days, the Post reports, are getting a little grayer, or in their somewhat less kindly description, more "brittle." Luckily for everyone involved, the story doesn't include tales of splintering bones. Instead, it's about overcoming middle-age. "What are we doing here? We're all trying to fend off the march of time," says one of the 40-something boxers. "That's what I'd like to achieve physically." Though apparently for a few, perhaps wiser salt-and-pepper boxers who realize that might not be possible, there are other goals too. Explaining why he's in the gym, sparring, one 50-something says:
"Overcoming pain is something we all have to do. The pain of loss. The pain of disappointment. Physical pain. Being able to take that in and absorb it and go on...This is what life is all about. Realizing what you're up against and how to get around it."
Call me crazy, but working out with something like that in mind sounds a little better than being a calorie-starved, high-on-urine, stem-cell-facelifted, clinging-to-an-impossible-goal, punching machine.
(We heard about Brett Hoebel through L.A. super trainer Elizabeth Ordway who gave Hoebel top marks. Hoebel made his name at Equinox in New York with urbanmotion, a class that combined capoeira, kickboxing, and house music. He's since gone out on his own, and attracted a crowd of celebrity clients including Karolina Kurkova, America Ferrera, and Veronica Webb.)
I've always been an athlete. I was just naturally good at sports. I could throw a ball straight before any of the other kids. My mom put me in gymnastics when I was two. I always loved to dance. There's just been that movement in me. But I had a wheat allergy and started to gain weight in fifth grade. We moved from New Jersey to California, and I had no friends. But we walked past this karate dojo everyday. There, they don't care how heavy you are, how skinny you are. You come in, you're respectful of the rules, you'll be rewarded. I really excelled. I went to all the classes, and got into sparring. That got me hooked and gave me a lot of self-confidence.
In 9th grade I decided I didn't want to be the last kid to ever go out on date, and I also tried out for varsity teams, so my training tripled. I weighed in 150 for football, then wrestled sophomore year at 120. I was in ridiculous shape. That changed my life in a good way. The secret is inner strength. You can come up with crazy exercises, but if you want to change your body, your'e going to have to change your life. I call it chatter, that voice in your head that's like "I'm too tired, I want to quit." You have to turn that off. That kind of mental strength, knowing you're not going to quit, that's what does it.More...