Hills and valleys

Well, another week of training draws to a close.. in hindsight it’s coming to another year of training drawing to a close for me. It’s been a good year and as you’ve caught me in a reflective mood, today I’ve been thinking about when I first started. After I got bitten by the Thai boxing bug I realized I was, and I still am on a Muay Thai quest.

As exciting as it sounds it doesn’t mean attempting to reenact scenes from Ong Bak every Saturday night down the local, but more of the fact that a long time ago I acknowledged that I am on a journey  and as such will always be learning and aiming to get better at what I do.

One thing I used to find incredibly frustrating training, was the bursts of progress, then the sudden grinding halt that happens as you reach your next plateau. Be it in training or sparring, that feeling of despondency telling me that ‘your not getting any better at this’ used to get me down. It took me a while before I understood that when I feel I’m not improving  I usually am, and it wasn’t until I started fighting that I realized that the lows we all go through with any sport or art we train in are the times when we need to work harder to improve what we do.

I think this art has made me a lot tougher inside than I was before I began, and I’ve learnt that giving yourself a hard time when the going gets tough is not the way to go. Instead, I see each moment at the gym as a chance to improve and as I’ve said before it’s a work in progress and more importantly it’s a good journey.

This week at the gym has had it’s moments but it’s got me thinking not only about ‘hills and valleys’ but also about comfort zones. It’s very tempting sometimes to stay within the comfort zone of what you know and who you spar with, and I still at points find myself doing this. I guess we all do. But I’ve learnt and I’m still learning that in order to improve you need to be bold enough to step out of that zone if you really want to push yourself or test what you know.

I guess for me it’s been the same with fighting. I’ve learnt some hard lessons in the ring so far, but its the love of the combat and the will to succeed that’s seen me through. I’ve done my best to take fights back to the gym with me,and pushed through the negatives and just kept going. And the work is paying off. And now I know that ultimately, I’m a better fighter than I was previously and the longer I stay in it and the harder I work, the better I will get.  I know it’s not going to get easier but the best way to test yourself is to step up. The glass ceiling has been smashed, I’ve started winning and I don’t intend to lose again for a long time.

Next week is the last week of training before the Christmas break so I’m going to make the most of it. I’m already thinking about my next fight in March and can’t wait to step up again. Let’s see if the hard work ahead and the right attitude pays off. In the meantime have a good weekend and just like the last time.. and like always, I’ll see you on the road.

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