The journey of an aspiring fighter #44

Published On December 15, 2013 | By Helen Harper | Blog


It’s been a seriously up and down week. However, I always say, and will be sticking by it, that the bad times not only let you appreciate the good times but also help you realise how amazing the people around you are. Which is a truly beautiful thing.

Monday 9th December 2013
I’ve just realized it’s almost been a year since I started my weekly postings! That’s pretty cool actually, and quite amusing when I read back my old posts….!
I went for my run this morning, but only steady state, not sprint. I think that was what was messing my ankle up so I’m giving sprints a break for a few weeks. My ankle felt fine this morning, not even a niggle, which is obviously brilliant.
Today was the first day I handed over the teaching reins to the new teacher at school which made me feel extremely emotional and slightly redundant. I don’t want to leave!!
After school and my 5.5km run it was Muay Thai. I think Bung hates me again because he shouted a lot today, a real lot. Maybe he just wants me to do well on Sunday and it’s his way of showing he cares? No, I’m going to go with him just enjoying the power and abusing it somewhat…. Pads were horrible, usually the bit I enjoy the most as well, such a shame. However clinching was actually OK today which is usually the bit I struggle on – weird to have it the other way round, but I’m not complaining, the clinching was amazing! I got thrown a few times of course, but it was no where near as bad as the other day. I managed to hold my ground much better this time.

Tuesday 10th December 2013
The first time in about a month that Bung hasn’t made me cry!! I’m so proud of myself!! Maybe he was being nice to me, I’m not sure, but either way I’m happy I stuck through a hard session and didn’t let him get to me. Six rounds of pad work followed by three rounds of bag work and finished up with 20 minutes of clinching. BOOM! Smashed it. I’m so happy!! Bung was actually happy today, he didn’t even get angry with me! This is a big deal for me…
Only one more hard session of Muay Thai before my fight, Thursday will be an easy one and Friday will probably just be a run and shadow boxing, sit ups and a bit of bag work. Saturday I am going to have an amazing massage, and Sunday it’s fight day!! So excited!!
Currently I’m sitting in Calorie, having just enjoyed the most beautiful meal I’ve had so far this week of black rice and chicken with vegetables. Love these boys, they are awesome for making the food on the street so much more edible!!

Wednesday 11th December 2013
I’m sitting in Calorie again as I write, I love sitting here chilling in the comfy chairs, watching re-runs of TUF and eating amazing food, just bliss.
Training was weird today, Bung took me on the pads first (only one 10 minute round) which wasn’t that weird, and then I did 3 rounds of bag work. Then he told me to wait….. So I waited… And waited…. And waited…. About half an hour went by and he kept telling me to wait. I wanted to spar but he didn’t want me to spar. After half an hour he asked me to do my 300 knees and 300 front kicks to the bag as normal and then my usual 300 sit ups. If he’s in a good mood I get 300 (sam-loy) and if he’s in a bad mood or I’ve irritated him more than usual I get 500 (ha-loy) of everything (knees, front kicks and sit ups). Obviously for this reason I do try not to annoy him because 500 is horrible!

marleyandmeMy friend Marley and I who left to continue his travels today! Safe travels Marley!

Thursday 12th December 2013Oh my goodness, what an emotional end to the week. Today I had probably the worst day since I’ve been in Phuket.
It didn’t start bad, work was fine, the usual fun and games but we started our Christmas craft so the kids were super happy and excited about that. I got to training, knowing it would be my last big-ish session before the fight so really mentally preparing for the wind down. I was also very sick (AGAIN! Only a cold but I felt absolutely rough) couldn’t breathe through my nose which is always rubbish and my throat was swollen and making me sound a little too much like a man. Anyway, I did my run and my pads with Bung. He was really nice to me on Tuesday and not so bad with me yesterday so I was feeling pretty good about this week. Then we went straight in to sparring, and I sparred with a new girl who is actually a friend of mines sister.
I am always way too nice in sparring, and today was no different. I got the crap beaten out of me in the first round and felt pretty rubbish from it, but I am a fighter, just got to power through it. The second round came and I forgot to block a kick. One kick. Bung shouted at me and I felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I was getting beyond frustrated with myself, why am I still forgetting to block kicks? It’s been 6 weeks of solid Muay Thai now, surely I should be enough in the zone that I am remembering these things?? Bung saw the tear. Big mistake. “Why you crying Helen? What’s wrong with you?” By this point I knew he was more pissed at me for crying than for not checking the kick but I just said “I’m not f***ing crying, leave me alone” (I know this because I have the whole thing on tape) but he told me to get out the ring. I by this point was beyond emotional, and was crying my eyes out assuming my fight was now canceled and I was now banished from Muay Thai forever. Luckily this was not the case. Also luckily, there were a few guys around that got me back onto my feet (thank you particularly to Chile and Suman) I went back and finished the session with a few rounds of bag work and 15 minutes of clinching. The clinching was actually really good but I still felt really deflated. Bung was refusing to speak to me, or even look at me and certainly not going to my fight.
So, there you have it, my mission has been set: win a Muay Thai fight despite my trainer refusing to train me only 3 days before the fight. In two years within the Martial Arts community, I have never once had a problem with my trainer believing in me. It’s always been myself not believing in me, not my trainer! Well this time, I am going to believe in myself, because someone has to, and I believe that I can win this fight and leave Phuket on a high.
Bung has said some pretty nasty things to me in all, like he will bet on the other girl because that’s the only way to make money from my fight, and that I am not strong enough or good enough to be a fighter. All this says to me is that I must prove him wrong. None of the other trainers speak to their students like this, only Bung and I look forward to changing trainers when I next fight Muay Thai because I will never ever ever ever give up because of someone else.
Friday 13th December 2013
You would think this would have been the bad day, but actually it was a pretty uneventful day. I still felt a little emotional from the events of last night, but mostly just grateful to have such amazing people around me. After training last night I went down to Calorie and chilled out with the boys who make me feel about 200X better about the whole situation (especially Rob, thank you!) It’s a really wonderful thing when you realise there are people around you who totally understand you and have been in similar situations, or even just had similar realizations.
I just did the long run for training and then three round of bag work. I was pretty angry that Bung still wouldn’t even look at me, so I may have pretended that the bag was Bung’s face. I am sorry if that makes me a bitch…. actually no I am not. F (the dancing trainer) came over to me mid way through the second round and said “Very good, same same on Sunday and you win the fight!” which made me feel very good (obviously!)
F does the announcing at Bangla so I know at least he will be there to support me. Hopefully some of the other trainers will come too.

Saturday 14th December 2013
Sleep, eat, shop, eat, sleep, beach, eat. Pretty much outlines my Saturday! I managed to catch up with quite a few friends too, in particular Johanna (my Swedish friend from Muay Thai) and Mr. Spargo who’s birthday it was today! Happy birthday Mr. Spargo!

Now time to relax and focus on the fight, get ready to smash the s**t out of some poor unsuspecting girl. Whoever my opponent is, I am sorry in advance, I will be taking my anger out on you ever so slightly…



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About The Author

English Mixed Martial Artist fighting out of Andy Roberts BJJ and Legacy BJJ with a pro record of 4-1.

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