It’s been quite a while since I last wrote here. Since then, my Muay Thai training and conditioning was just all over the place. Once good, then bad, then even better, just to get worse again.
It’s not yet a 2016 summary blog post, I’m not quite sure yet if I’m gonna do one for now.
I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve came up with during the last few months. Part of it I had already written in October, part of it is fresh.
What I learned through those past months is, that you need to step back from what you love, what’s your life, to see what needs improvement. To see that things that you thought were sacrifices, were not really them. And that things that we choose out of the need to improve can sometimes lead us in the wrong direction.
So it’s time for story No 1.
I was telling you about my struggles with finding a gym after the last one closed down around May 2016 (Husarz gym), so I kept going to my second gym (Champion gym) that has THE BEST trainer imo (Igor), but he said he was going to Bahrain long-term, then he came back (this, I suspected lol) and then he said he’ll probably stop teaching here (Champion gym) because he was in talks with another gym that’s totally away from my perimeter.
It was August and I was facing a possible season with no place in reasonable distance to train at and – what bothered me the most – with no trainer who knew me. Therefore, I decided to try out a new gym as the “season” was starting out in September. I chose a gym (Eskulap gym) that’s absolutely closest to me (5 minutes by car!), so I was really enthusiastic. The off part – I trained with this trainer (Mr. A) before and I knew I don’t like his style of teaching, nor his Muay Thai.
Well, long story short, my time at this gym (Eskulap) was a failure. I went there a few times throughout a span of a month.
I learned one thing that I have to work after recieving hours of what I percieve verbal abuse and humilation in front of the group. (I don’t work well when someone’s screaming at me and singling me out in a negative way in front of the group ALL.THE.FRIGGIN.TIME). After a particular hardcore training, I felt so low that I was this close to quitting Muay Thai altogether, letting the trainers’ words get to my head and starting to belive that I just can’t learn anything and that I do everything wrong.
Well, to be honest, it was not only the verbal abuse, but actual physical abuse that just pulled me over the top. While training some combination on the bag the trainer came and punched me in the face, real hard, because I was not returning to my guard after a punch fast enough. If my eyes were blades, he’d drop dead right there. I contained myself, and I saw he realised he’s crossed a line, because he softened up immediately. Still, that was it. I was over with this gym and this trainer. And probably Muay Thai at all.
I felt incredible awful for the next couple of days, not having any idea how I should deal with this situation and these feelings. Maybe I was really only a soft coward? Maybe I was overreacting?! But deep down I knew I HAD to trust my instincts and I was sure this is not how I should feel after a training class.
What helped me? A hearful conversation with someone who also trained with this trainer in the past and knows about his ways, who pulled me up when I was totally down. I can’t be thankful enough.
And the second thing was, I went to train with my BEST trainer (Igor) and he was complimenting my kicks, and knees – and also patiently repeating (I think for the hundreth-or so time) the things I still have to work on. He’s also a screamer, but in a totally different way – at least towards me! He doesn’t bring you down or make you feel useless. His advice empowers me. It felt so good to hear something good about my Muay Thai for a change. So I knew that me sticking to Muay Thai was not a mistake.
What has this experience thought me?
Trust your instincts, never disregard your feelings that something isn’t right. It’s a thing I learned from 8limbs.us’ amazing Sylvie. “If you feel something’s off, it probably is.” Trust your instincts. What’s good for someone else might not be good for you. Or the other people just don’t realise yet that it’s wrong and they’re sticking with it.
Trust your insticts and use your favorite pink fairy filter to make you look and feel better!!!!
In between this gym and going back to my best trainer at the previous gym (Champion), I also tried another gym that started offering Muay Thai classes with a highly recognized trainer, but it also fell through as the trainer was only a marketing magnet. Again, that was not good for me, maybe for someone else it is.
In the meantime (because training is not everyday and I need different excercise) I was working on my strength and cardio during interval/HIIT fitness classes. After 3 months of regular training 2 times a week, I noticed I was able to run for half an hour! I was so proud of the work I put in and the results I got out of it. It really helped me gain confidence in my stamina during Muay Thai training!!!
Story no. 2 – because if there’s a high, there’s a low
At the beginning of November I started to feel off and shortly after I got sick. I dunno what it is, but it’s currently my 6th week out of training. I gained 4kg during this time, mostly because I was comfort eating. Everyone’s life was going on around me, but I only could feel miserable and the frigging cold was not going away. So I sat at home, alone, devastated that I’m missing out on so many fantastic training opportunities, knowing that with every day my stamina gets worse and worse until it disappears at all and being pissed off with the inability of the doctors to help me. I mean, I could work and stuff, I just lost my voice, was coughing all the time really bad and was feeling awful. But no fever, no nothing. I was eating all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to eat just to calm myself down, to have a piece of the happiness the world around me was experiencing and after 3 weeks I hit an all-time high. I won’t tell you my weight here, but it’s incredibly high. Hitting up on BMI 33 – obese level 1 alright. I felt awful.
I don’t know what happened, if it was the lowest point or what? I didn’t stop eating even after I hit this high weight. I still went on for a day or two and then, just stopped eating all those sweets. It was already more than 3 weeks that I couldn’t work out and my cold was not getting better – it was getting worse again. I called it getting into the 2nd act of a theatrical play, because it all seemed to me like a tragicomedy.
So yeah, I realised that while my body is fighting the cold virus or whatever, I need to aid it, not pull it down for whatever reasons I had.
First, I stopped going to shops and buying all the wonderfully colorful looking sweets (Xmas is near, all shops are awfully filled with sweets).
Second, I started to meal prep again and introduced healthy carbs that I was staying away from before, while I was trying to eat paleo. Uh-uh, not now. I added rice, wheat, tapioca, sweet potatos, even whole-grained pasta to my meals. I tried to balance it out and try combinations I never tried before. Salads, fish, even a bun here and there. Homemade stuff. Get creative. Try out things. It was even fun for a few days to cook and experiment. But I’m not a lover of cooking, so the fun was there only only for a moment 😉 But it was enough to bring me back on the good path. I prevented overeating, I ate when I was starting to feel hungry, but also kept an eye on the clock to not eat too often. I even went out and ate a whole lot of freaking good sushi (thank you for the treat <3)
Third, I remembered that it’s easier for me to lose weight when I’m actually not working out. So I realised, if I can’t have any say in when I’m gonna be healthy and ready for training again, I can spend my time contributing to my goals that I want to achieve through my training, even if I can’t work out at the moment. And losing weight is a must-do to get to my goals. So what should I wait for? I can start now and maybe I can lose a bit of weight until I can go back to training?
The results? I lost 3,5kg in the last 3 weeks out of the 4kg I gained since the beginning of my cold, so I’m more or less back to “starting” weight. I’m currently in the theatrical act no. 3 in my play cold (ha, see pun here??”called-cold?!) “The sick rebel” and I have no idea when it will totally go away. The doc says I need to keep warm, stay at home and wait it out. I know there should be something I can do, but for now it’s sticking to my healthy diet, taking the meds I was prescribed to take, and boosting my immune system with all the possible natural stuff.
What have I learned from it?
It shifted my perspective. I was so engrossed into training, trying to make everything work with my job and part-time job, as well as fitting in all the training sessions and trying to cook and eat clean, I totally lost sight of my goal. Which is not one thing. I’m still not ready to put it in one word, one sentence. But what I know and what I saw again – I was reminded that me working out is not what I have to do, it’s what I choose to do. Because it’s fun to train and see what your body is capable of doing – whatever size it may currently be at.
One more effects of shifting your (camera) perspective: it makes you look better in pictures, like so (me at BMI 33 lol):
So that’s what I do. I love Muay Thai and I still want to get better at it and learn to execute the moves in a beautiful form of martial arts, but it’s only part of the whole journey.
There are so many more things I can do to enjoy my life, enjoy my body and the things I am capable of doing. The universe hates emptiness. In my case, if I have to sit out from training for a month, or two, or longer because of an illness – it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of my life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to begin something else, something new. Thanks to this whole experience I was reminded that I have so much more talents that are impatiently waiting to be used again! I don’t have to be afraid to be bored and in the endresult comfort-eat again out of fear of missing out, because it’s me who’s choosing and creating what I want to do in this time.
So for now, the Muay Thai Rebel rebels while remembering the love for painting and decorating stuff. I needed it in a way. I’m happy I got to share my time between the things that I love, I’m healthier this way mentally – even though my body is still battling a cold. ;(
Here’s a piece I’m especially proud of (it’s a small fragment of the whole painting). Who can guess which anime is it inspired from?! 😀 If you guess correctly, I’ll tell you my tumbrl url so you can join the wonderful fandom ;D Well, or I can do sth else, hit me up with an idea.