Singapore Tai Chi Chuan

Reflections on Being Old


Spending the day at a community hospital has given me time for reflection. When we are young we think we can do anything until sickness or a moment of folly catches us unaware.

It’s common to think that old age is far, far away. But one day when you don’t expect it you are there and find your body riddled with old injuries, everyday a reminder of what you should or should not have done if given a second chance.

Well, it’s no use regretting what has passed. Better to be aware early and rake precautions. Some life’s lessons are unavoidable or some can be avoided.

After observing old folks I reached some conclusions :-

1) Develop a good posture and strive to keep it or one day you will end up slouching and bent over, looking like Quasimodo.

2) Train your legs to be strong or you will have a problem walking when you are much older. Those masters of mine who trained their legs could still walk without a cane and walked up stairs and slopes even when in their late 80s.

3) Train your balance. Old folks have a tendency to fall. When they do they may break their leg or arm. If you have sensitive balance your are less prone to falling. If you have the chance learn to breakfall as well.

4) Reduce your body weight. If you are heavy and suffer a stroke you can imaging how difficult it would be to lift and move you. When I was in the other hospital there was a 125 kg lady who required 5 nurses to move her.

5) Eat healthy. Then you stand a better chance of avoiding common ailments such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes etc not to mention enriching big Pharma.

6) Did I tell you that recovering from a major illness is no fun? Say you suffer a stroke. You cannot move partially or totally depending on the severity of the attack. Either way you cannot move because if one side of your body’s control is lost you will find it impossible to even shift yourself without assistance. If you want to empty your bowels the practice nowadays is not to use a bed pan but to just release it, piss and shit, into the adult diapers hospitals make you wear. Due to manpower shortage and the yuck factor nurses will not be too eager to change your diaper and you have to lie there in your mess till they get around to it unless you have a family member there to ask them to do it.

Yeah, being sick is no fun. Putting in the time to exercise is a hassle but in the long term it is preferable to ending up in the hospital or worse still the morgue. Actually, I think some would say it’s better to be dead than end up reliant on others taking care of you. Then you are no better than the walking dead.


Author: ZenMindSword

Mushin is a practitioner, researcher and trainer for Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. He is also author of The Ip Man Koans, The Ip Man Questions and TaijiKinesis series of eBooks, as well as co-author of Complete Wing Chun.

3 thoughts on “Reflections on Being Old

  1. I find your blog very informative. Usually there’s no opportunity to comment but since there is today I’d like to thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience.

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