Last Updated on September 18, 2012.
Grandfather Loses 75lbs Kickboxing at TSMMA Smithtown
By: TSMMA Smithtown
Today, September 10, 2012, is the one year anniversary of my joining Tiger Schulmann of Smithtown. It has been one of the most physically changeling yet fulfilling years in the last twenty for me. At the age of thirty five I was told I needed a new knee, but to put it off as long as I could as the technology got better and better each year. Well over the last twenty five years I crushed my other knee finally two year ago I bit the bullet and finally had both knees replaced. Because of the knee problems I had lost a lot of mobility and become a real couch potato. Last July, at the age of 61, I weighed in at 350 lbs. Enough was enough; a major change was in order.
I started dieting in July but needed more than just the regimen of a diet. I had started countless diets in the past. Diets would work for awhile, but after getting off to a good start and losing weight I would fall off the wagon, go back to my old ways, and gain all the weight right back again. I needed something that would not only help to take the weight off but something that I could really get into that would not only take the weight off but keep it off for good this time. I needed a whole new change of lifestyle.
One day in discussing my weight loss a friend mentioned the success her daughter achieved after joining a kickboxing course. She had dropped thirty-five pounds and gotten into the best shape of her life by taking up kickboxing. I figured if she could do it maybe I could as well. The questions I had were at 61 years of age with two artificial knees could I do it and could my knees stand up to the pressure. There was only one way to find out.
Later that same week I stopped in at the Tiger Schulmann’s facility in Smithtown and spoke with Sensei Leonelli. I don’t think he ever had anyone with two knee replacements show up so he may have been as shocked as I. After discussing my individual situation and concerns with Sensei he offered me a free introductory course to see how I could handle it. After that first training session I don’t know what part was worse, getting over the fear of blowing out a knee or realizing how woefully out of shape I had become. At the end of those first eight rounds on the heavy bag I was shot. When I thought I had survived the worst he announced it was time for strength training. “Are you kidding”, my brain started screaming? I hadn’t done a push up in more than twenty years, forget about squats or crunches. I stuck with it, how I don’t know.
After that one class I decided I had to give this a try, if my knees could hold up to the stress of kicking a heavy bag this training regimen, boxing, kicking, strength training, and stretching, would help get me back into the shape I was in before my knee problems started. After the first week I was hooked. I love this training. I know I can’t go at the bag as hard as some of the others in my class. There is always that lingering fear in the back of my mind that I’m going to screw up something in one of my knees, but there are times I forget, thinking I’m still 30 or so, and I wind up trying to go a little too hard, losing my balance and go dancing and spinning across the mat.
All that being said, I feel I’m now in the best shape of the past twenty five years. My wife loves the new me. She now has to share me with my training schedule instead of my just sitting in front of the tube getting heavier and heavier. My weight has gotten as low as 235 lbs, although I have put a little back on with the usual summer activities. The next 90 Day Challenge is starting today. With the continued training and using the nutritional guides provided by Sensei Leonelli I am looking to get down to my ultimate goal of 225 lbs, the same weight as when I was in college. This time I know, with continued training, I’ll be able to keep my weight at an acceptable level.
This past year has been terrific. I skied for the first time in years, I spent a great summer at the beach teaching my grandson to body surf the waves like I haven’t been able to do for over ten years, and even played a couple of rounds of golf, although that now seems to be too sedentary. I was also able to bend my knees enough to ride a few roller coasters with my grandson, one of his fondest wishes. Less than a year ago I couldn’t do any of these things. I thought I would never be able to do again. I have a new self confidence and the ability to again do the physical things that I thought were lost to me. I could not have done any of this without the help and guidance of Sensei Leonelli, Alex, Dylan and the rest of the staff and training partners of the Tiger Schulmann’s of Smithtown. For that help, support, and encouragement I will always be grateful.