Rising.

Hey. Nice to catch up once again and I hope your day has been a good one. I’m sitting here feeling marginally burnt out from the week of training but it’s a good kind of burnt out. My legs feel sore from kicking and not enough stretching, my shoulders and neck ache a little from ending up in the clinch a few times sparring and I swear that my shins feel more prominent and tougher than they did on Monday.

Today was my “I’m tired and I want to go home” day, even though I wasn’t really training on the heavy bag for that long. It’s been one of those weeks, like the second week of fight camp where one day feels lacking and far from perfect but the next day is fire. Hills and valleys, peaks and troughs. “That guy” has popped his head up from time to time to tell me to quit the moaning and to get on with it. And to keep my hands up. And sort my balance out. And to kick quicker. And not to chamber my kicks. I think he’s a fren. At the very least, he’s an ally. It’s been a good week.

I’ve found myself pushing through the ongoing grind because I want to get good. In fact, I don’t just want to get good I want to get really good. It’s a never ending goal that’s forced me to wake up to a few home truths but to remember that at no point did anyone tell me any of this was going to be easy. If you want to be the best you can possibly be you have to put in the work, and remain relentless in everything you do. Like Rocky once said “that’s how winning is done.”

And when you learn how winning is done you come a little closer to understanding the sacrifices you have to make to get the most out of your chosen discipline. Fighting isn’t for everyone. It’s brutal in there. If you don’t give it your all then you shouldn’t be climbing through those ropes at all. When you lose a few fights in a row it’s hard to not fall into the trap of a self fulfilling prophecy, one that means your opponent has won even before your gloves are on and you’ve started your walk.

It’s hard to push through the fear of failure and just focus on the here and now, and the person in front of you without expecting to lose. For a while you can be downtrodden by those feelings and that fear. When you finally decide you want something enough to prove yourself wrong is when it tips. When just another fight becomes you vs you and you have to prove yourself wrong is when it tips, because if your good enough to get in that ring and fight well..even if you lose, then your absolutely good enough to win. You have to remember that and hold onto it even if things get tough. They inevitably do and will. You have to want it more than they do.

There is a fighter in each and every one of us, and they are made in our gyms but live inside of us. If you want to find out who you really are then step in a Thai boxing ring for five rounds. Who you are and who you think you are reveals itself in record breaking time. If you have the heart then you can be a champion. I should know. I would dearly like to know what that sort of achievement feels like again before I retire. I think maybe that’s why I’m so utterly pig headed and head strong about my art right now. There’s a fire in my eyes again, and there’s a dragon rising. My fighters back. It’s like he never left. I’ll see you on that road.

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