Cuong Nhu Martial Arts

Quynh Ngo
/ Categories: GMQ Wisdom

“15” VERSUS “51”!

When I was “15” a side kick at 6 feet high was very cool, but at “51” I realize that anyone whose ribs are that high, will destroy me regardless of my ability. At “15” I used to spar with non- stop combinations, determined to intimidate my opponent and others. Scoring points based on an amount of continuous techniques being thrown, while at “51” I analyze and stalk my opponent, until the finishing shot is used when necessary.  I remember at “15” I used to show off the bumps and bruises after weapons class or mat work training. I considered them an accomplishment. Now, at “51” I would use knee pads and arm pads as protection, and to prevent soreness, while getting the same results.

Obviously, everyone knows that I love SEE food. At “15” I tried to get my money’s worth at all buffet restaurants, and the end result was often somewhat painful. I could eat anything at any meal as long as it was available.  There were no taste buds. If it was digestible, it was consumable. At “51” I enjoy the experience a bit more, and taste all the food in a satisfying manner. Today I would tell the “15” year old me that it costs the same. Another thing I seem to remember is how at “15” I would have 4 pairs of different blue jeans, and assumed that people could notice the difference, while the “51” year old me only has 2. I am of firm belief that if you wash it and hang it neatly, it will look brand new each time you wear it.  At “15” it was a big deal to WORK hard all day outside, to afford a 2 hour movie with friends and some food after. However, the “51” year old man enjoys outdoor gardening as well, and still watches the same movies but for under $2 (Redbox), and maybe a few months late.  

Weight lifting was another common denominator.  At “15” it was more like, let me lift as heavy as I can and see how strong I get each week. I only focused on working on my favorite muscles and everything else would be just fine. At “51” I am more systematic, train the weakest part of the body first with plenty of rest in between, and also eat proper nutrition for recovery. Back then going to sporting events was more to be seen and heard, not thinking ahead about the weather and temperature conditions.   It was cool to look nice while agonizing through the freezing rain. Come early, and stay late, and also scream as loud as you can, because the players get excited to hear your voice from 300 feet away. As a “51” year old I just reply, “that’s just crazy!”

At “15,” reading meant searching for answers for upcoming exams rather than understanding and enjoying the topics.  Being broke all the time and not being able to afford what I needed, made me dream about my WANTS even more.  Time went by so slow, so I would sleep more in hopes that time would go by quicker. I felt everyone was my friend, because we rooted for the same team.  Life was very simple!  The mystery and the unknown were exciting to look forward to. There was no stress, because problems didn’t exist.  

So finally the tide has turned.  At “51” I have children of my own, and the youngest is 15. I have grown up and finally know the difference between teenager and adulthood.  There are many great things in each stage of life, and I would not change a thing.  It is unique for each age group and that makes us all complete as human beings.  As for me at “15” running next to me at “51,” I would have to say, ”hey I am doing the same thing you are doing;” my “51” year old self would reply “yes, you are on the same track only just a few laps down!”  
Which would I rather be? “15” or “51” hmmmm…  I am a very easy going person so I will make a compromise.  How about taking my “51” year old head and mind, and attach it to my “15” year old body, and have a do over.  Fair?

“Progress is Perfection”- summed up in this article
Quynh Ngo

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