This week has been a little thinner on the ground training wise than I’d like but I’m back into things full swing next week onwards. I’m making a point of getting a couple of good runs in at the weekends and today found my happy medium. A decent length run at a good pace. Fitness is still a big part of fighting for me, and I still feel that you can have all the technique and ability in the world but if your not fit enough to fight your in big trouble from the word go. I’ve heard about good fighters ‘gassing out’ within a couple of rounds of a fight then losing the later rounds and of course the fight itself. Someone said to me a while ago, really it’s not how you start but how you finish. For me fitness is a fundamental requirement to be able to even consider competing.
So that’s predominantly why I like to keep my fitness up as well as keeping my weight low and after my run today I feel like I’m beginning to make some progress. The real test will come in the gym next week as from here on in it’s all about the push. I watched a short documentary this week on Muay Thai Journal about Pornsanae Sitmonchai. For me Pornsanae is the definition of a warrior. He has skill and will. But like the great Muhammad Ali said ‘The will must be stronger than the skill.’ What strikes me about him is his heart. If you’ve ever watched him fight either at a stadium or just like myself via YouTube then you’ll know what I mean.
He’s an exciting fighter to watch because even when the tables turn and the going gets tough he quite simply just will not give up. And for me, that’s what’s fighting is about. Every fight is tough for me and win or lose I’m always proud of myself for stepping up.Winning is of course the objective but sometimes it’s a bonus too.
Over the years I’ve been training I’ve often heard people talk about those fighters or those in the gym with ‘natural talent’. I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as ‘natural talent. ‘ What I do believe is that there is quite simply the power of practice. Looking at top level fighters again for a minute, it really comes down to the amount of hours in the day, in the week and in the year they commit to their art or sport. It comes down to the amount of time they invest in themselves, and in that respect I guess that’s why I find it a little frustrating when I have a week like this one that doesn’t allow me to put in the time I need to.
I know that every training session is an investment in me, a chance to let me develop improve and progress with what I do and so when I’m not at the gym on the days I should be it has always felt like there’s something I’m missing out on. On my worst days I feel like I’ve let myself down and on my best I realize that sometimes it’s ok to have a rest. Even if it’s not always intentional. Either way committing yourself to something and talking about committing yourself to something are two different things entirely.
I can say with a degree of confidence that ever since I started training and competing I’ve put in the work. And I’ve always had a good time doing it too. I remember very clearly how I started once a week (this is going back to 2007 now. It feels like an age ago.) then it became twice a week, and then my first week of training three days in a row felt like an achievement in itself. From there I progressed to training nearly all week as the norm and here I am now. But when you get bitten by the Thai boxing bug it’s a deep itch that seemingly never seems to want to fade.
I guess really when it comes down to it, it’s about how much I want to succeed. How much I ‘want it.’ I think when I first started competing I didn’t always want it enough and sometimes it cost me. It took losing seven fights in a row for me to finally want to win so much that I did. It’s not an experience I intend to repeat but it taught me a lot about me. Fundamentally I kept fighting because I knew I could win. I knew the more I put in and believed in myself the closer I would get to tipping the odds in my favour. And finally it did tip.
It made me realize that fighting isn’t just about skill, sometimes it’s about self belief and determination too. It’s about wanting to succeed so much that doing otherwise simply does not become an option. It’s about giving everything you have to be the best you can be even when things get tough. I think that self belief is incredibly important as if you doubt yourself even before you step in a ring, and your nerves win that fight we all go through before it’s your hour,then you’ve as good as lost already.
So as I said earlier, this week has been a little thin on the ground training wise but it’s been good to be able to reflect and take stock of where I’m at. Maybe I need to take the time to talk to my trainers too and ask the simple question ‘how am I doing?’ it’s not always as easy as it seems, but I know the responses will always be constructive. So next week, I’m back at the gym and just like always I’ll be ‘going all out to put my one and all in again.’ Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time I’ll see you on that road.