Carlos is here only once.

Evening all, despite arriving every so slightly fashionably late than last week my blog has once again returned. It’s good as always to be able to sit down and write. I hope things are good with you they really aren’t too bad with me at all, travel hiccups and summer colds aside last week including the weekend was a good one.

I’ve got so used to delays and complications with travelling abroad it’s water off a duck’s back although ultimately upsetting when things go wrong. Do you remember the good old days when you could just get on a plane and go where the fuck you wanted to? Yeah me as well. Thankfully, I’ve successfully reset since Saturday and this week prepare for round three of my very own personal groundhog day. Or maybe it’s the Edge of tomorrow.

Either way, I’m looking forward to a long weekend in the sun with my nearest and dearest. Of course, I’ll be back out to see them over the summer too but seeing as we’ve spent nearly 2 years apart I have to admit I’m excited.

If you follow my Insta as well as Twitter brace yourself for a weekend of Jazz hands and my infamous “I’ll tear your soul out” Thai boxing shark like grin that happens when I’m either really happy or when I’m about to punch someone. Competitively of course. Besides, it’s over 40 degrees and most importantly we’ve got a swimming pool and that swimming pool has a dolphin I miss. His name is Carlos.

Carlos is here only once.

Despite this post being slightly more bling than usual, (I don’t normally share photos of my secret Spanish villas just in case ) I just want you to know I am infinitely grateful and lucky to be able to go and see my parents. Both of them have always put me before themselves and are selfless people, who are both ex teachers and worked very hard for what they’ve got. There’s no disputing that some of their traits have absolutely rubbed off on me and there’s no better feeling than being able to recalibrate, recharge and come back refreshed for the rest of the summer. Even if I face more delays or complications there’s very little that will keep us apart or ever damage the relationship we have as a family.

Being an only child some say carries a lot of responsibility. My parents have always let me live life on my terms and just as fully as they have. My father as a black man growing up in South Africa resisted the apartheid regime with his sisters and came here to teach and start a new life. His life and his journey is truly incredible, beautiful and ultimately liberating. He was actually one of the political exiles that fled South Africa at the height of the troubles and wasn’t allowed back home until the fascist regime was broken and done.

My mum met my dad in London when she was teaching black kids with one of his sisters. She’s a feminist and has travelled around the world and has seen all 7 wonders. She’s a working class lady who knows struggle and taught me to get to know my African roots and culture. She’s also just as amazing as my father and from what I recall was a formidable teacher way back when. They’ve always taught me to just be me and to stand up for my rights. They’ve also watched me fuck up and fall time and time again and have never turned their backs on me. I’m a survivor and a fighter because I’ve inherited it from them. I have African blood. What did you expect?

At the moment I have clear and defined goals with everything I want in my life. There’s a lot I’m putting right and it’s fantastic to have my focus back at the level I do right now. I’ve realised that nothing needs to be rushed when it comes to training, relationships, work and everything else in between. The roadmap I’ve created as I’ve found my feet once again is clear and the way ahead is bright and most importantly I’m out here and I’m having fun just being me.

It’s got new speaker bio photo written all over it.

Because you see, I’m confident that this well deserved break is going to do me the world of good. In fact, right now for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m winning and I’m stronger. As soon as I’m back from my weekend in the sun I’m back to training five times a week again although even four sessions a week is currently enough. I’m improving and what’s nice to see is that I’m listening to my trainers more than I was before. We’re a good camp, in fact I’d be as bold enough to say we’re one of the best in Bristol.

I’d like to be able to fight under full Thai rules at least once in my fighting career and to do that I need to continue to push myself to be better than what I am right now. It’s exciting that the energy in my quest for self improvement in the gym is helping fix some areas of my life I’ve neglected for far too long. Observing myself and my thoughts and understanding my limitations and how I can surpass them is an ongoing process, but it’s a good journey and going back inside to tighten my game has given me a new found confidence I forgot existed.

Of course, throughout the past five weeks or so my friends have been there for me when I’ve needed them the most and I know that I’ll never walk alone. My dear friends like my dear family have never turned their back on me. It’s the sort of thing I don’t forget and will repay in my own way and in my own time.

I can see and hear the 20 something inside who’s still as reckless, adventurous and impulsive as he always was. I’m getting to know him again and I’m learning how to fix what hurt him little by little and day by day. He’s been stop and searched by the police over 50 times in his life. He went through the criminal justice system backwards. He still has a lot to say and like me he loves helping others. I think in time, that we’ll be good friends. I’m actually that fighter and ex champion he never thought he would be.

Being able to see the parts of me now that around two months ago were screaming for recognition and to be heard is liberating. It felt like everything had fallen to pieces and my life was a mess when the worst happened. The burnout breakdown that came, came hard and was down to never giving myself time to breathe. . I saw the cycle develop and stopped when I saw the edge. I’ve put that down to life experience and letting the grown man drive the emotional wreck to safety at the time.

Nearly two months on I’m back on my feet again and better than I’ve ever been. Everything as they say happens for a reason. Sometimes, things fall apart so something or someone better can emerge. As the I Ching said to me recently “good things are coming and are not to be rushed.” I think the new John is going to leave the negatives in his life in the dust. For now, that’s just about all she wrote. It’s been good as always catching up with you and I hope this week is an excellent one. On your way out don’t forget to say hi to Carlos. He’s only here once. Train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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