Hi. It’s nice to catch up with you this Friday at lunchtime. Well, at least it’s lunchtime here anyway. I’ve been writing this blog since 2014 so it’s become a labour of love and a little glimpse into what makes me tick. Thanks for all the support over the years. It’s great to see in 2022 it still has a healthy following.
I spoke to Geoff Thompson way back in 2010 about writing and my idea for writing a book about my life. I also talked to Geoff about some of my life experiences and why I was fighting. At the time I had only just started on my journey and losing fight after fight although disappointing wasn’t demoralizing.
I realized from an early stage I loved the sport and figured that if I was good enough to get in the ring and fight to the bitter end I was almost certainly good enough to start winning. He told me a Vale Tudo champion he knew spent 2 years losing fights and in the end became a fighter everyone avoided. Now that was inspirational. And just for a moment, I could see it. So I stayed in it and in the end, just as I was told it would things took a turn for the better and I started winning.
A WRSA judge Annie Humphrey once told me after yet another loss that I needed to fight more regularly. I remember how happy she was when I won my first fight. It wasn’t the most technically superior of battles but back then nothing I did was. I wanted to win that much I eventually made it happen. That was fight number 8. Soon after that, I won a WRSA amateur area title and many people said I was a different fighter that day.
I also ended up winning an English K1 title for a fly-by-night federation that emerged and has since appeared to have disappeared into the halls of martial history. As the fights got harder I gradually improved and despite losing my WRSA title (my old trainer was kind enough to let me keep the original belt, in fact, I still have both my belts ) I was determined to keep fighting.
When you know what loss is you love what winning is and although fighting is much bigger than wins and losses it’s something you want to get back to. Comments from well-respected trainers such as “your record doesn’t do you justice” meant a lot to me. I forget what my reasons were for taking a few years out from competing, I think a girlfriend came along for a while, and I just generally lost interest in committing all of my time to getting my groove back.
In 2018 I stepped back in the ring again after taking 3 years out, I was fighting semi-professional or B class Muay Thai as it’s called in the UK, and lost on points but went the distance. It was only in round 5 that I came to life but according to my current trainer Dave Wilmott and my corner that day I listened. It was the 2 fights following that in 2018 and 2019 I didn’t and paid the price. Since then I feel that I’ve learned a reasonable amount and my focus is improving as well as my technique.
I’m now up to the grand total of 19 fights and know that if at the tender age of 43 I want to compete again I need to commit myself completely to my training. Before and leading up to Christmas I was drinking a lot more than usual because of the tragic loss of my father. I’m still coming to terms with his death and at the time of writing, I’m on the back of what can best be described as a wave of grief. It’s lasted a good 3 days and now just in time for the weekend, the wave is breaking on the shore.
I keep busy and keep active and I firmly believe that training and exercise are going to play a big part in my healing. Another reason I have stayed away from alcohol is that it’s a depressant. Problems are amplified. I want to be focused and strong although I know that at present I’m vulnerable. This year I want to succeed in my art and for the rest of my life.
Despite everything that happened in 2021 there were so many positives. My career as a project manager grew legs again, my volunteer work and the public speaking journey took on a life of its own and my parents were inevitably proud of everything. Most importantly, I got to spend time with my dad.
At the moment, I want to get my Muay Thai up to a good standard once again, and this year I want to see if I can get good enough to compete. I’d love to fight under full Thai rules, I think that I could but there is so much more to get right before that point. I’m happy where I am right now and I’m happy to take things one step at a time. I train out of a good camp and have outstanding trainers who are kind and understanding. Thanks once again to my gym for being so amazingly supportive to me during the most difficult time in my life. Every single day, I’m learning that inside of me there is an invincible summer. I’ll see you on that road.