Where it starts and ends

It’s been a good week as always training. The last week training before the holidays has been a week well spent at the gym, as usual I’ve been feeling things slowly begin to head back in the right direction training wise, so it’s almost a shame that we’ve got a couple of weeks off for the holidays. I say almost, being honest I’m pleased its Christmas.

Tomorrow morning I fly out to see my mum and dad out in Spain, always a welcome break and I’m sure I’ll get some running time in as well and maybe a little writing time too.

It’s been a good year of training and fightings not been too bad either. Only 3 fights this year and 1 win which was my k1 title and 2 losses. The last fight of course, was very close.

Despite at points feeling like an underdog when it comes to competing, I’m pretty confident I’m getting better. I’m getting faster I know that much. I think when you fight light that’s a really important factor to take into consideration.

You need to have the stamina too as the pace is a lot quicker. I think for 37 I’m doing alright.I can see me staying in it for a good year or so yet. I’ll keep doing my best. I always do. I’m pretty sure I’m improving and being told by a couple of people this year they think I’m a good fighter is always added motivation.

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Like with everything else it’s a work in progress but I’m getting better. I think really it’s more important as to how I perceive myself than how others perceive me. I still find it very easy to put myself down when things get tough but I never stay down for long. Just like in the ring.

I feel like an underdog sometimes because fighting doesn’t come easy to me. I read a piece on Fightland recently about Sittichai Sitsongpeenong. At the end Tim, the owner of the Bangkok camp said  he’s actually quite a placid person and fighting isn’t necessarily in his nature.

He’s rated as one of the best fighters out there as you probably know. I related to him despite him being a high level fighter because people have said that about me too. It’s the training that has brought the fighter out. I guess he has always been there.  In the same respect, Pornsanae inspires me because I can see a bit of me there too.

The relentlessness and the absolute cast iron determination not to give up, and to get up no matter how hard you get hit is something I respect and can relate to.  I’m not of course putting  myself anywhere near the same level as those guys (I chuckled for a minute then)  but I hope you can see my point.

I’ve always been able to find inspiration and motivation no matter where I look. And that includes from the people I train with too. Sometimes the hardest thing after a loss is to step back in the gym and carry on as normal.

I’m pleased I know what winning feels like, but I’m sure as hell never as more motivated as when I’m coming back up from the bottom. There’s nothing like the will to succeed to overcome obstacles. And like the great Muhammad Ali says ‘the will must be stronger than the skill.’ 

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I’ve always remembered a friend of mine at my old gym watching me  train once after a fight. I was working combinations on a low kick pad taped to the bottom corner of the ring, and as I realized he was standing there nodding now and again to himself (he has been training a long time) I stopped.

I looked down at the floor and sighed, ready to move onto a new bag and he said ‘why did you stop?’. I didn’t have a lot to say, but I looked over his shoulder at the other people training in the background. ‘Fuck them!’ he said vehemently. ‘Fuck them! this is about you!’

I realized then what I realized now. Everything with this and everything else in my life starts and ends with me. Second hand opinion only gets you so far. Of course you need to listen, but most importantly you need to believe in yourself.

And most importantly, when the chips are down or up, I’ve learnt the most you gain is from getting your head down and getting on with the work. Just keep going. As some might say. Always learning, but always training hard too.

So as another year ends I’m looking forward to what 2016 brings. I should be fighting again in March of next year and the plan is to tip the scales back in my favour. No bullshit, no excuses. I’m still of course going to be training out my current gyms but I’m going to make a point of training at Team Tieu every week too.

I like the sweeps, catches  and the throws and I can see them working for me the more I practise them so I want to add them into the mix. (I’m still stoked about getting a catch and a decent counter in up in Wales the other week. It beats my previous responses of ‘oh a leg! I’ve got a leg!’ hands down.)

Other than that I intend to start training six times a week as much as I can and of course next June sees me back in Thailand, so no doubt that will be just as awesome as always.  I’m there for the training, I can get pissed in the pub across the road. And ok the beach is quite nice too.

As always I’m feeling optimistic about my journey and despite wanting more I know I have achieved quite a lot so far. As always the journey is a good one and it’s going to be interesting to see where it takes me.  I think I stopped thinking about the destination a little while ago. In the meantime, have a great Christmas and an amazing new year. I’ll see you on that road.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius 

 

 

 

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