What it takes.

I’ve had a good week off from training this week but have kept my fitness up with a couple of good runs. Sometimes running can be a therapeutic process. Training more so. I’ve needed the space to get my head clear and my focus back. Next week I’ll be back at the gym training hard, it’s the best solution to deal with any doubts that have surfaced (there’s been a couple) and sometimes the best thing for me to do is to get my head down and get on with it. I used to jump straight back into things at my old camp and this is what I have to do now. This is what I want to do.

I’ve been thinking this week about how long I want to keep competing for. In one of my more despondent moments I looked at myself and wondered if next year would be a good time to stop competing and keep training. I mean I’m 36 now right? surely it’s only going to get harder and I seem to have found myself hanging around the 60kg mark and fights down that way are relentless and tough, I’m fit enough and tough enough  but  I don’t know if.. wait for a second..

Let me stop right there and rewind a little and go back a pace or two. I’m fit enough and I’m tough enough. I’m a young man and I have a real passion for the sport. I have heart. And whilst these elements exist, I don’t intend to stop anything. I’ve won before and I know I can do it again.

But what I’m not going to do is chase that win, because I’ve learnt that it’s something that happens naturally. I’ve been down that road before and it’s not always the best of places to be. Because when I started to do that, losing started to really hurt and it nearly made me stop training all together. I’m not going to feel like that again, and the more I compete the more I realize how much I enjoy the fight. The challenge and test of myself.

I know now really what I’ve always known, and that is the more I train and fight the better I will get. It doesn’t come easy and we all have our bad days (last weekend comes flashing to the front of my mind here)  but I guess thinking about this in terms of how ‘hard’ it is means I’m missing something. If you enjoy doing something then why stop doing it?. Besides the more you put into something the more it gives you back. And that doesn’t just apply to the material side of things.

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It’s all well and good having the heart and the fitness to step into a ring and fight but you need to be able to learn from your mistakes too. Last weekend one of my gym’s top level fighters from a while back (he’s in Manchester now and still training and competing) had a brief word with me after my fight. He told me that I need to force myself into changing my approach in training. What I’ve taken away from that is that I need to develop myself more. I’m not a beginner any more and I understand that to keep doing this means to keep pushing myself to be at my best. The fights will just get tougher. I just need to get better and I will get better.

At the moment I’m hit and miss with fighting. I have good fights and I have bad ones Sadly I’ve had more bad than good but it’s not an easy journey to be on and I guess it’s a learning curve, and in a lot of respects it’s just like training. We all have our good and bad days. It’s how you cope with the bad ones that’s really important. When it comes to fighting it’s about how you come back.

It’s also all well and good writing this down today, but the real test is going to come over the coming weeks and months. Like my dad often said to me when I was knee high to a grasshopper ‘don’t just say, Show.’ in other words don’t just talk get out there and do it. So just as always next week I’m going to be back at the gym. I hope you are as well. Have a great week, walk tall and I’ll see you on the road.

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