My first Muay Thai Interclub

I’ve been given a date for my first Muay Thai interclub. I have 5/6 weeks and currently weigh 84kg which is way too heavy to fight. I’m not sure how much weight I can lose in the time but I will try for 3-5kg and take it from there.  I’m not going to eat bread, 1 bar of dark chocolate a week, eat less meat, drink more water, take some bitters and  try and run 3-4 days a week as well as x4 minimum Muay Thai training. I’m pretty excited because this has been something I’ve been thinking about for months. In retrospect I should have dieted a bit better but we’re here now. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is the spiritual aspect to this which was mentioned by my coach Damon last week. There will be people watching, cheering, shouting and this will add to the nerves I’m feeling on the day so I’m trying to get myself mentally prepared for the challenges that I’m facing.

Three weeks to go and the diet hasn’t gone how I expected. I lost 3kg in the first week and then 0.2 kg in the second. I can imagine the first few weeks of weight loss was water weight. I’ve been more disciplined than I initially thought, with no chocolate and an increase in vegetables and beans. This nutritional process has allowed me the opportunity to explore the benefits of a disciplined diet and find out what weight I naturally fall to. I enjoy eating food, but I’ve realised  that I’ve been eating in excess and putting foods into my body that humans shouldn’t really consume regularly. Cookies, cakes, haribos, chocolate, bread, rice and fruit juice, it’s not so much about swearing off the food forever, but becoming accustomed to eating healthier options. Pinto beans, clementines, cous cous, water and green tea have all been added to my diet.

The diet has been difficult, as dealing with being hungry is a mental battle in itself. The physical training is the same, with pain management, tiredness and overall training being present in mind at all time. I’ve been training for two years so I’ve put myself through some self sacrifice, but the intensity now is certainly heightened. When you’re training normally, the extremes aren’t as polar, so you don’t experience as much suffering. Training is harder and dieting is more disciplined and I have begun to ask myself why I’m putting myself through this. The spirituality aspect of fighting is embodied in reflection and self actualisation. I’m not getting paid. I win no notoriety. This does not enhance my career. The purpose of this chosen path is for me and as I begin to ask more of these questions, layers of my identity will be revealed.

One of the spiritual aspects of training is getting to the point where I can use the skills picked up in everyday life. The physical…yes, the mental strength…of course, but it’s the artistry I really find can be useful. There has to be an element of creativity to competing in martial arts, and there also has to be an element of creativity in your life. The difference is important to comprehend, in life if you fail to access your person creativity portal, you can get stuck in a rut, your life can become cliché and routine and you end up bored. When you fight, if you fail to be creative, your opponent can read the patterns your giving off, expose you and hurt you. The impact of your lack of preparation in life can take decades to come to fruit whereas in the fight you have minutes, sometimes only seconds to analyse interpret and execute. It’s that pressure that will make diamonds, and the understanding of yourself in an ultimate moment that the soul harvests. I’m not sure what will happen in April but I will continue to prepare, I will look to learn and I will embrace the spirit within, whilst understanding the consequences of my decision to do this and getting mentally prepared for warfare.

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