Health Fitness

Returning to Thailand to pursue a lifelong dream – Competing Muay Thai in Thailand (Pt5)

(Entry #5) I’ve never felt so old

I had an epiphany this morning. I realized why the elderly are always so irritable. Aside from the fact that they must be upset seeing young people do stupid things, they are most likely experiencing some kind of pain in their bodies. The more they try to live among the young and do young things, the more pain they are likely to experience. It hurt in places I didn’t even know I had.

To say that I am sore from yesterday’s training session would be an understatement of monumental proportions. When I went to bed last night, I couldn’t find a comfortable enough position to sleep. I thought about walking to the Family Mart and getting some ibuprofen, but that would have meant going up a flight of stairs. Needless to say, it was another sleepless night. However, I think I watched all the Muay Thai documentaries on the web, so it wasn’t a waste.

As the sun came up, I was able to muster the energy to get out of bed, and my high Muay Thai got my blood flowing enough to make it through another session. I call it a muay thai high, because there’s something about it that touches my heart in a way few other things ever could. I love muay thai. I love being close. I love hearing it, watching it, and nothing makes me feel more alive than getting punched in the face.

I was definitely moving a little slow during the race to start the class. There were a couple of ten-year-old Thai boys from the competition team who were also running. They would run past me, then when they were out of sight of the trainers, they would walk for me to pass them. When we would go back to where the trainers were, they would run past me to get yelled at by the trainers for letting me past the little kids. They laughed a lot about it.

After warming up, I was paired up with the Goliath-sized German for training. Apparently his name is Mustafa, not Lucifer as I wrote yesterday. It’s so big that I couldn’t hear what he said as far as my ears are. However, he is a good partner to train with. I started chatting with him for a while. It looks like we’re going to be here for the same amount of time, so we’ll be seeing each other a lot.

They also matched us up for sparring. It was a clinch match today, so it’s all an inside job. It was a fort as it seemed. I just had a lot more experience than him in riveting. The rounds would go like this. He would move hard, and I could get angles and score on him. Then he would tire me out, and he would brute force me and rag doll me until the end of the round. All three rounds went more or less the same way. If it was a fight, hopefully I could have finished it sooner, because if not, he would have kneed me until next week.

During the pad rounds, I was able to work with a trainer I had never worked with before, but always wanted. He looks like a curmudgeonly old man, but he’s strong as an ox. I’ve seen him hold giant pads, and they can’t move him. He pushes you beyond your limits. I have seen him beat up the Thais when he is training them. He accepts nothing but the best of you. He pushed me to the brink of throwing up today. I literally had to stop the round and go dead over the wall. When this happens, all the other trainers support the trainer who made the ‘Farang’ vomit. I could see them over my shoulder giving him a thumbs up. Other than that the rounds were amazing. When I came back after throwing up, I had such a burst of energy that I finished the round with some of the best Muay Thai I’ve ever done.

Today I am very sore again and I am going to have a Thai massage. Without them, I don’t think I could get through this. They are my little piece of heaven in a week that feels like hell. Besides Muay Thai, Thai massages are the thing I miss most about Thailand when I’m in the United States. I’ve been to a few massage places that claim they do Thai massage, but it’s always ended up being like going to McDonalds for good Thai food.

The lady in the chicken coop stopped me on my way back from training. She invited me to go to a Buddhist ceremony very early the next Tuesday morning and then she asked me to help her feed the monks when they came to bless her chicken coop the next day. Apparently a lot of them come, and she wants to make sure they’re all well taken care of. I am very excited to be included in something so important to her.

Next Thursday is Songkram, the Thai New Year. Here is a bit of information about it.

It’s basically a national fight for water. Tiger is closed that day, and everyone will be spraying each other with squirt guns or throwing water balloons. Everyone around here is very excited about it. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Day 2 of training in the books.

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