Evening all. It’s nice as always to find the time to write and I hope you are keeping well. Despite not having trained as much as I’d like to this week it’s still been productive and most importantly it’s been a lot of fun. I’m noticing that I’m gradually improving in sparring and in general. It’s taken me some time but it’s getting there.
I think a lot of that is due to the fact I’ve been training for a long time and I know myself. One thing I do know is that of late I’ve probably spent a little too much time down the pub and not at the gym. Socialising and spending time with your friends is important but Muay Thai is importanter. Sorry I just couldn’t resist it.
This week I got back from Spain after flying out last Saturday for my dad’s 91st birthday. This Friday as well my mum turned 80. Of everything that I have to deal with in my life at present the fact that my father has lung cancer has been the hardest to process. In fact, I think I am still processing it.
My mum who is equally as amazing as dad said that it’s terrible to see a guy who has done so much in his life and was also at one point like myself a sportsman end up with an illness that inevitably destroys people. He hasn’t smoked in over 40 years. I had to say as gently and calmly as I could that dad is only in the next room and still alive whilst trying to ignore the little voice that said quietly to me “he always will be.”
My point was that as a family we have to live in the present and cherish every moment we have together. I’m pleased to say that at the time of writing he’s doing ok. I’ll do my best to keep processing. Muay Thai takes my mind off my family’s situation but also makes me stronger mentally. Fighters have to be tough and observe situations for what they are. What has happened doesn’t matter. The time that matters is now. I can’t afford to live in the past but I can value my time with my amazing father and cherish our memories.
Outside of my family life, I’m still dealing with a lot of trauma from the past but have a lovely friend who helps me through the tough bits. However, I’m learning to help myself and these days I see the cycles and patterns when they emerge. Being emotionally intelligent 40 something I’m gradually learning to love the young man who went through stop and search hell, through the criminal justice system as well as consistently surviving anything life threw at him. These days I use his experiences to be a force for good.
But you see, even before I began my journey into Muay Thai I was always tough inside. I’ve always been strong, but strength and courage have never stopped me from being only human. I’m not perfect I’m flawed and I fuck up from time to time, it’s just that these days I see the cycles and I see the patterns. I want to be better than who I am but love and respect myself along the way.
Sometimes I sit down in my living room in my favourite spot on the sofa and let it come through. It feels like a wave breaking on the shore. It’s something that training has helped me navigate and I can observe it and let it leave. These days the energy I take home from training I apply to positive areas of my life.
I invest it into work in the community helping others who are going through hell with the police, or take it into a 6k run through the woods and back, the confidence it gives me I take into the public speaking arena or I use it for a workshop to teach people about their rights.
Today sparring a new guy asked me if the belts on our gyms wall were mine, I said no they are our trainers but I’ve got a couple at home myself. I forget that the fighter is sometimes clearly in the room. It was nice to have him present this afternoon. I think my dad has always been proud of my journey through martial arts. His sport was cricket. He used to play for Cambridge.
At present I’m looking forward to getting my teeth back into training at least 4 times a week next week onwards, I’m going to cut down and not cut out alcohol. I’m going to start dealing with some of my shit better than I am at present and stay focused on what I want. I know myself and the waves that will always break on the shore. I’ll see you on that road.