This week I started training at KC Muai Thai, I actually did a little better than I expected, don’t get me wrong I’m not bragging, I was mostly surprised. Al though I did a lot of walking in Bangkok I haven’t really worked out since I left home, which means I haven’t really worked out in around a week. I felt I was going from 0 to 100.
First thing you notice at KC is the diversity of its fighters, we obviously made some friends and you get to know these people and go out with them. There’s one fighter from Beijing, Shalom; Mikey from Canada, James from England, Arthur from New York, Charlie from Belgium, among others. Not all of them are professional fighters, most often are just regular guys who love the sport and dreamed about being here like I did.
Once again I’m the only girl in the class, which is not bad, I’m quite used to it. My first week training has been by far one of the most challenging things I have come to experience in my life, but still the most empowering. You have to add that the temperature here is more than double what im used to back home, jet lag, haven’t worked out in a week or so, I was still getting used to the food here the first days and again the heat.
So the warm up starts with a 4 km run, after that we do rounds for 3 minutes of several activities.We start with shadow boxing for 3 rounds, bag work for 2 or 3 rounds, pad work for 3 rounds, we work on other exercises as well like doing laps around the gym doing only high knee kicks for some rounds, or elbows. What I love about KC is that they have a very good staff, there’s always one trainer with you at all times teaching you how to do things properly, they take their time and you’re never unattended.
The class itself is two hours long, and between rounds we do 10 push ups and 10 ab crunches. At the end of each class we sit in a circle and do 200 ab crunches, each fighter may choose to do different types of crunches, so we all take turns and count 20 of which ever we like and we all do them together till we reach 200. After that we stretch.
Back home I usually take my sweet time stretching, I’ve done yoga for years, (not the advanced feet over my head stuff) just the basic-middle stage that will help improve my athleticism and remind me to focus on how my body feels. Because of my different way of stretching back home, I could tell some fighters underestimated me, or wondered why was I pulling out yoga moves on the mat, so for me on my first class to see these fighters do the exact same moves I did back home was an eye opener. It all made sense to me, I felt like I belonged.
Here I am, on the other side of the world, training with the best, stretching like I stretched home, taking their sweet time as I do. I always considered my self as a person with a hobbie but here I realized, I’m an athlete just like them and I belong among them, and most Importantly I needed to believe it, my fellow fighter here in Thailand say I’m an athlete, so why didn’t I see myself as an athlete before?
We all doubt ourselves time to time, I did that for a long time, now I realize I’m still a white belt in Jiu jitsu, and still a Muay Thai beginner, but I’m still an athlete, and that doesn’t erase the time I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing MMA for almost two years now. Al though my journey only begins, that doesn’t make me less of a fighter than the guy next to me.