How Terribly Strange to be Seventy
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

February 4, 2018, Costa Rica

Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?

How terribly strange to be seventy. (Simon and Garfunkel, 1968).

I was reading the biography of one of our instructors here in Costa Rica. He wrote about his vast training in several martial arts. And then one day he was attacked and he discovered the painful truth; none of what he had spend years learning did him any good. He began the painful truth for something more realistic and found us.

We do not search until we need. 

"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was, a time of innocence, a time of confidences." 

When I first heard the song "Old Friends/Bookends", things were very different. I was young, my older relatives were alive and well. I related this song to my dear wonderful aunts, Esther and Sylvia. When I heard the song I thought of terribly strange to be seventy. 

Time passes, they have all passed from this world and suddenly seventy does not seem so far away. 

When we train in martial arts as young people we view it one way and then suddenly terribly strange to be getting older. How terribly strange when our perfect bodies age, how terribly strange when our world changes.

But yes, those older years will come, to those who are fortunate. And how terribly strange that those jumping spin kicks are no longer relevant. How terribly strange to face the world as a seventy year old. We must prepare, we must understand that some day those Old Folks will be us.

When we are young we see a time of innocence, everything is going our way.

I have a photograph, preserve your memories, that's all that's left you.

We need to look at life realistically. Save for the future, plan for the future, train for the future. For someday those old people sitting on the park bench like bookends will be you, and me. Silently sharing the same fears.

The young man can be wise if he looks to the wisdom and experience of those who preceded him in life.

The future always seems so far away and the present feels like it shall never end.

A leaf blows through the wind at the park and lands on the toes of the old friends.

Old friends, among heroes; we age, but that does not mean we lose our ability. We simply adjust and adapt.

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