Get Out of Your Own Way!
There are many reasons prospective martial arts students never begin their martial arts journey. Statements such as "I'm too out of shape", "I'm too old", "I'm not athletic enough", or especially "I don't have time", are commonly heard from people who would otherwise have started training. Thinking that you are too out of shape to begin training is akin to refusing to go to school just because you are not educated. You go to school to get an education just as you should go to martial arts class to get in better shape and learn a new skill. Getting in shape while learning new skills is a great time saver.
Why do people often think that they are "too old" , "too out of shape", or any other self-sabotaging thoughts? The truth is either that they read it somewhere, heard it from well-meaning friends and family, or even sometimes it has come from themselves. The truth is that your thoughts are what set you up for success or keep you restricted from becoming your best self.
There is no such thing as a non-athletic person. We were all built to be running around, climbing trees, hunting down prey, and fighting off predators just as our ancestors did. That has not changed at all. If you have believed the lie that you are simply not athletic, you have been fooled. Sure, you may not have very good balance or coordination right now, but those attributes can be learned and developed. Of course, there will be people more athletically gifted than you, but that does not undervalue what you are capable of. Almost nobody ever reaches their full genetic potential, so who are you to artificially put limits on yourself just because you don't have "professional athlete" genes?
Unfortunately our modern society often programs us to limit ourselves right out of the gate in life. The few that dare defy any self-sabotaging programming often get discouraged and quit when it gets hard, or when they don't see themselves progress fast enough. Often we are denied the emotional and mental support we need to stay motivated and on target. That is why it is important to find a good martial arts school that believes in you even when you don't. A good school will not only cater the training to your specific needs, but will provide a support group as well. They should celebrate with you in your small personal victories while on your quest to become your best version of you.
On the path to black-belt, students discover that there is no such thing as a self-made black-belt. It takes good instructors, training partners, and even family support at times to get you there. The black-belt exam can be very humbling and teach you how to rely on others while also unlearning your self-sabotaging tendencies. Often students have self-defeating thought patterns and are completely unaware of it until the challenges met in training cause them to surface. The difference between "having" a black-belt and "becoming" a black-belt lies in facing your own faults and learning to get out of your own way!