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The journey of an aspiring fighter #51

Published On February 23, 2014 | By Helen Harper | Blog

I won!!!!! I actually won!! I still can’t actually believe it, and even staring at the cup sitting next to me on my bedside table isn’t convincing me, but I did it!

It was probably the worst pre-fight week health wise I’ve ever had, being struck down with the worse sickness I’ve had in memory and completely losing my voice for the majority of the week, but despite all the odds stacked against me I managed to prove people (mainly myself) wrong. I CAN do it!!!!

So the lead up to the fight is pretty much lost in my memory, but luckily I wrote a few bits and bobs down: Wednesday night, technically Thursday morning. I can’t sleep. My mind has gone approximately 360 degrees approximately 300 times. That’s a lot of times.
I’m fighting on Saturday night. I’ve had flu (consisting of a stomach bug, throat infection and aching body to the point it hurt to get out of bed to go to the toilet, which is not ideal with a stomach bug) since Sunday. Less than ideal at the best of times but a week pre-fight it’s certainly not high on my list of activities. Monday I really struggled to get out of bed at all. I had a shower which was the highlight of my day and took literally every grain of energy I had left in me. I don’t ever remember being that ill.
Tuesday I felt slightly better and tried to go to work. They sent me home after an hour, which I was really quite glad of. I won’t ever call in sick unless I’m already in hospital but I really couldn’t do much. I went home and slept, woke up, ate some soup, and went back to sleep. By Wednesday morning I’d been asleep for the majority of 48 hours. I’m pretty sure I’ve never slept that much in my entire life, but I needed it. I went to work today (Wednesday) and by some miracle survived both the lunch and evening shifts although I had a few funny moments. The strangest being on the lunch shift, where I was watching myself pouring a pint, I knew it was me pouring it but it didn’t feel like I was holding the glass, and I thought I was watching someone else pour it. It was soon after that when I got the shakes really quite badly and had to sit down for five minutes. Luckily the manager on shift was very understanding (thanks Nat). I think my blood sugar had got really low hence the shaking, and although I’m on a weight cut I decided to listen to one of the bar guys’ suggestion of drinking a few mouthfuls of coke. I don’t even like the stuff but I felt like I was about to pass out so had a few sips. It actually did the trick and I felt fine again after about 10 minutes (Thanks Matt).
The evening shift went a little better than the lunch time shift and despite almost completely losing my voice again I lasted until 11pm and gladly came home. I felt absolutely shattered and felt sure I’d sleep straight away. Unfortunately my body has other ideas and is completely awake, not even my eyes are tired now. How frustrating!!
Luckily I don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow at any specific time – although I’m crossing my fingers that someone will be about to shadow spar with at some point. I feel like I need to get my head back in the game. It’s all well and good running but that’s not going to help me when I’m being punched in the face. I know everyone will say to me the hard work is already done, but I feel like I need to keep myself focused on the fight by shadow sparring as much as possible before hand.
I must just mention two of my friends, because they are literally the best things since sliced bread. I was meant to get a lift up to Gloucester with one of he boys from Andy’s however through no fault of his own he can’t take me early enough for the weigh in. It has left me in a bit of a pickle to get to the weigh in however, because it’s not ideal to drive 150 miles on an empty stomach and dehydrated. A friend of mine, Andrew Webber did one of the most amazing things someone has ever done for me! He booked a room for me in a hotel for the night before so that I wouldn’t have to travel far before the weigh in. I literally can’t thank him enough!! What an amazing person to do such a wonderful thing? Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know you read my blog 🙂 What have I done to deserve such a wonderful person in my life?!
It doesn’t stop there though. Obviously I was a little concerned that I might not have a corner now – although this is becoming the norm for me apparently – however, another amazing friend of mine, Robbie Lewis has come through and agreed to warm me up and corner me. He has spent a good chunk of his time helping me mentally and is now helping me in my corner too. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved as to have these two amazing people in my life. I definitely don’t deserve it, but I am ridiculously grateful. Thank you so so much boys. I love you guys so much!!

I did end up doing a couple of light sparring sessions on Thursday, with an amazing friend of mine, Mike Peacock who has been great, extremely supportive and shared a lot of his knowledge with me and also a new friend Jay Terrell who has just come back from Chang Mai and agreed to help me on barely any notice at all even though he didn’t actually know me before Thursday. Wow. Blown away by the awesomeness of people yet again. Thank you to both of you.

Friday was pretty much a traveling day, although I managed to grab a quick coffee with my friend Jaga before I left which was awesome. I’ve missed this girl! I actually really enjoyed the drive up to Gloucester, it’s a very picturesque route. It gave me a lot of time to just chill and be with my own thoughts which was pretty cool.
Saturday came around quickly and before I knew it I was weighing in bang on it at 54.9kg which I was extremely pleased with. I must just also thank Brad Terrey all the way in Phuket because he taught me pretty much all I know about weight cuts, he is the master, and I follow his ‘rules’ every time – and every time I weigh in perfectly with less and less stress the more times I do it. Thanks Brad!

Post weigh in, sitting in M&S cafe, I wrote a little more:
I just weighed in for my first ever K1 fight, and my first fight in England. Excited.com!! Also, just found a shopping mall with an M&S cafe which pretty much made my day in itself. I just devoured a sausage and caramelized onion toastie and a caramel and pecan crunch bar which was pretty sure dropped from heaven. Wow. I feel amazing. Literally amazing. Bar the fact I can’t breathe properly anyway. To me the hard work is done (the weigh in) the fight is the easy, fun part. This is what I was made for, this is where I am meant to be. The cage is my stage and I am ready to entertain!!
I’m really starting to like this Gloucester place too, bar the extortionate amount they charge for parking. I can see why one would want to live here….

So the fight. Yeah. I don’t actually remember any of it. I remember everything up to walking in to the ring, Mario wrapped my hands beautifully (thank you) and Matt warmed me up (thank you) and Robbie calmed my nerves (thank you). I was really chilled out up until about 2 fights before mine where I had a ten minute freak out, and then I was fine again. Once I heard them play my walk out song (Pharrell Williams – Happy) I was absolutely fine, walked to the ring as if I’d been doing it every day of my life and felt great. I don’t remember any of the fight apart from feeling more gassed than I have ever felt in my life. I seriously need to work on my cardio. Oh yeah, and not getting sick the week before a fight would be great too. By the end although I couldn’t remember any details, I just felt like I hadn’t done enough, and when Robbie came into the ring the first thing I did was apologize for not doing enough to win. When they held up my hand, I was more shocked than I have ever been – I certainly didn’t feel like I’d won. It was a split decision, and honestly I really think it could have gone either way. Sammy was absolutely amazing, what a lovely sweet respectful girl – I really hope we can train together when I am next back in the UK.

For now, I just want to thank from the bottom of my heart, and in no particular order: Robbie and Matt for cornering me; Mario for wrapping my hands; Lenka for trekking all the way up to watch me fight and eat junk food with me afterwards!; Andrew for helping me with accommodation the night before; Paul and Dan for having me on their insanely awesome show; Andy and the guys at Andy Roberts BJJ for putting up with me in the gym over the past few months; Boyd and the guys from Phuket Top Team for supporting me all the way from Phuket; my sponsors Vicious Circle, Calorie, Battle Balm, and Pony Club Grappling Gear; all the training and sparring partners I’ve had especially in the last month (in particular Mike); my mum and step dad for letting me stay with them whilst in England; my dad and step mum for being generally awesome; my whole mental family for being really supportive especially on weight cuts even though they don’t really get why I am doing it; all my friends from around the world who are the most incredible people I’ve ever met – I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!!!!!

UIhandwrap UIhandwrap2Mario wrapping my hands

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Leroy (Matt’s friend) and I after the win

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Matt and I after the win

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Jelly legs! Can’t move….

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The shock on my face says it all!

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Lenka and I with my trophy!

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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.

0 Responses to The journey of an aspiring fighter #51

  1. Awesome! Congratulations!

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