Fight week, blog week.
Happy Monday Maniacs.
I woke up this morning with that familiar feeling. Knowing for sure that somewhere, someone is training to kick me in the head as hard as they can this coming Saturday.
I actually feel incredibly relaxed heading into this bout. My boxing is better than ever, crisp and accurate, I haven’t been doing as much wrestling as I would like but my sweeps and TDD are looking sharp too. I’ve never shot in for a takedown in a fight before but I reckon this time around I just might!
The worst thing about this week is eating. I only need to lose 4.5 pounds however but, unlike pro fighters, I still have to work a 9 hour day in a warehouse on oatmeal, water and fruit…oh joy.
I’ve been at this for 5 years now, and I’ve never been paid. It’s definitely my love for the sport that keeps me going. I think for me, fighting is a definite escape. I spend the whole day thinking about getting back in the gym that evening. I truly understand Nick Diaz where he was quoted as saying “if you’re not at the point where you hate it, then good luck trying to love this shit”. As much as so many fighters say “I’m gonna have fun out there”, or “I’m paid to make weight, fighting’s the easy part”, it is still a stressful, emotionally and mentally taxing career choice. Though the benefits far outweigh the risks. An opportunity to truly live, even just for 15-25 minutes, is worth all the blood sweat and tears involved. It’s also put other aspects of life into perspective. I can certainly watch and enjoy other sports, but the UFC tagline truly does encapsulate what they endeavor to show, it is “as real as it gets”. Often I find myself caring very little for many of the consumer targeted, capitalistic elements of life I’m surrounded by. A short description of the average day spent training in Thailand last year should convey what I mean:
I wake up, 7am. Flip flops on, I walk on over to the fridge before heading outside to the balcony for half an hour before the morning run. I take a few moments to relax, hydrating with a few slices of watermelon and a little mango, nice and cool from the fridge. After a sip of water I change into my shorts, grab my gym gear packed from the night before and head downstairs to the gym. I meet the other fighters outside, a mixture of Thais, Europeans and Americans today, and we head off. Just 5k but it‘s already 25 degrees Celsius and we’re going uphill. The humidity makes breathing as if it were through a straw. Back to gym eventually and its skipping for another 10-15 minutes straightaway. We follow up with shadow boxing, technique, bag drills, rounds on the pads and technical sparring for the next 2 hours. Its 10am now and head back to my room for a cooling shower. After a day on my moped, lounging at the beach and fresh seafood at my favourite cliff restaurant, its back the gym for 5pm and the second session of the day. And later that night, its fight night at Chaweng stadium down the road. I can’t wait.
The only thing that could possibly improve upon any of that would be having my girl there with me on the island. But other than that, I literally don’t need anything else. If I could live like that, and fight regularly in order to pay for it. You could tell me a meteorite was going to end me in 20-30 years and I probably wouldn’t care too much.
Aside from the challenge, the risk and reward, remembering that lifestyle this morning has given me all the inspiration I’ll need this week.
5 days out.
So, for all you Maniac fighters, what inspires you to keep training, keep competing? Children? Better quality of life? Peace? A challenge? And all you non fighters chip in too. It can be hypothetical, why WOULD you fight? Or just hard shit you've been through recently and what made you push on. Inspiration seems to come from all over the place.