Harder than you think.

Well, it’s the second week running I’ve managed to get this blog together when I said I would. It’s nice to have the writing as well as many other things in my life back on track.. I’m still waiting to hear back about fighting on the 22nd but thinking negatively as I assume if it was going to happen it probably would of come together by now.

Sometimes I  feel there is something doing it’s best to stop me from getting back in the ring but really when it comes down to it that something is only ever myself. Thinking positive like I often do I’m hoping for  some good news next week.

As it is often is with these things I usually have something sprung on me out the blue so want to make sure I’m keeping training consistent and frequent enough to warrant competing even if it’s on apparent short notice. That in itself is harder than you think. Getting ready for a fight in 14 days is also a hell of a lot harder than you think but it’s somewhere I’ve been before and if needs be will always revisit.

Fighting  this year  (as I’ve said consistently forever and a day ) is something I most certainly have in my sites and opinions and criticisms are often put to bed by hard work and graft. Pushing past my own personal negatives has never been an easy part of my journey but it’s been an essential one. At one point all I thought I was going to do was lose. I love proving myself wrong.

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One of the hardest parts of fighting has always been picking myself up after a tough one and carrying on as normal. It’s harder than you think but it’s a part of fighting and this might be a cliche but if you love fighting you never really lose.

There’s been more than one occasion when I’ve hit training with the will to succeed and a blazing inferno raging inside only to instantly deflate after 3 rounds on the bags. When the thought “Why am i doing this?” has entered my stratosphere motivation has rapidly hit an all time low.

Sometimes, when I’ve been training hard and getting ready to box I’ve asked myself “do I really want to do this again?” motivation can suddenly go the same way. Pulling yourself back from that brink of near defeat is not an easy task. In fact, it’s harder than you think. In fact, it’s tougher than getting back up after an 8 count.

If I’m dealing with a little self doubt (in my case it’s usually a lot) I do a couple of things. Firstly I forget about the fight ahead. At my old gym in Bournemouth there was a blackboard with a list of fighters names and opponents and dates. I’d see it without fail every time I was at the gym. You couldn’t not see it. It was right in front of you when you walked through the door. My trainer used to tell me to concentrate on the training and not to worry about the fight ahead.

I’ve found that the more I focus on the training the less the anxiety sets in. These days I walk into training and can sometimes spend a good fifteen minutes trying to switch off, so working on a bit of presence is clearly something that wouldn’t go amiss. Mental conditioning is just as important as physical.

Secondly, I’ve taught myself to try to see beyond the fight itself. As an example, I used to box thinking only about the fight. I was never really thinking about the win. When you start to focus on the end result you find you want to succeed more. Visualization is something that I’ve found will often help.

I’m not the best fighter but I’m certainly not the worst and when I finally tipped the balance it was because I wanted it so much I made it happen. In fact, a friend from my old gym said “you wanted to win so much you did”.Or something like that. It was a while ago now.

Adopting both of these mentalities when it comes to competing in no matter what discipline you choose at no matter what level your at isn’t always easy. It can be hard. In fact it can be harder than you think.

I’ve never really seen myself as a fighter just like I’ve never really seen myself as a champion. I do my best to keep my ego in check and keep my feet on the ground. I keep my head in the game and I get on with the work ahead. I do my best not to listen to the little voice that tries to fill me with negatives. I go out my way to prove me wrong. To silence the inner critic that tells me all I ever do is fail.

It’s a long game and it’s taken a bit longer than I’d like to get myself heading down the right path again but I’m feeling more and more focused every single day. There are good things coming. And if you know anything about good things you’ll know that they are never to be rushed. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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