you don t say good luck, you say don t give up

Just got home from my first ever muay thai fight. Everyone was really nice about it, although to be perfectly honest, judging by how I fought I wouldn’t have won if it was a decision bout. I didn’t keep a tight, high guard like I was supposed to, and if it were any other more experienced fighter I would’ve taken multiple punches from that. But it was a non-decision fight, so we both came away with medals. She got me with a low knee, it hit me right in the groin–that’s a huge bruise right there, it’s still hurting even now, and god it is ugly, I saw it in the shower. Greg was really spot-on (really what do you expect he’s the best in the UK), while we were warming up he told me she was going to come in with her fists and try to hit with her longer reach, since she was taller than I was, and he told me to just go for the kicks. So I right-kicked, a lot, and I landed a few. Sprained my foot with one, where she was out of range and I hit her side with my foot, but yeah. It was alright. No visible bruises on my face, a few tiny ones on my arms, some on my legs (but since it’s winter nobody will see anyway), and then that horrible horrible one on that groin gap. Ow. Greg was in my corner and Max was there too, and it was nice just to have someone really shouting instructions at me because my mind was a complete blank. And to have someone in such close proximity that you can really hear the cheering, that’s absolutely one of the best things about muay thai, as compared to judo. I could actually hear everything, instead of the dull wall of screaming that I usually get with judo. Also, lots of positive encouragement even during the fight. Every round, Greg just kept telling me I was doing great. Do you have any idea how heartening that is, especially given the fact that Branko prefers to swear at me and tell me I’ve got a long way to go, and that’s how judo coaches all seem to be? It makes the final "go on then, give us a hug" at the end something I actually WANT to do, to thank my coach, to hug in relief that it’s all over, instead of something I have to begrudgingly get through. All I’m saying is…there’s so much support. It’s something that I haven’t had enough of in my entire history of playing judo.All in all: I didn’t sleep well last night (nerves!!!), but I had a great day. Those bruises and that sprained foot, they all hurt like crazy, but I guess it was worth it, just to see what I could do. And it showed me that I don’t really have to feel like I’m fighting alone either, because the muay thai team is just so supportive. It was rainy, my shoes and socks were completely waterlogged by the time I got home walking from Euston station, it was cold, my hoodie wasn’t enough to keep me warm, but the round of drinks after the fights helped a bit. It’s a wonder what a couple of vodka crans can do, no wonder people drink so much here. There was no more hot food in Sainsburys by the time I got there, but that could also be a good thing. I probably don’t need to eat that much, I just feel like rewarding myself for…not a lot really, so I probably don’t deserve it. Enough empty calories from the drinking anyway.

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