I grit my teeth and hit “publish” and the familiar, yet never an easier sensation of excitement and anxiety consumes me. It’s a feeling similar to entering the ring to fight. I don’t fight anymore, I retired in 2011 from fighting Muay Thai, but writing, something I have done all my life is a constant reminder of what I love about fighting.
Fear. We all have it. Fear will never completely disappear. We just have to find a way to own it, to cut through its thick air with a knife.
My fighter Emily fought last weekend. We had just finished the last round of pad work to warm her up. She was greased up and ready to go, the first glistening sweat on her brow, her second wind getting ramped up, her mouth dry and her eyes full of feeling.
As I talked her through some mental visualization techniques to keep her energy focused, I was reminded of what has been missing in my life these past few months: fear; or more specifically stepping through fear.
I often get asked how I got into Muay Thai. The sport seems such a part of my life now I sometimes forget that its unusual or even interesting to outsiders that anyone, especially a woman would gravitate towards a full contact sport that appears bloody and violent. When I meet other coaches or fighters I find their stories fascinating. What draws people to this type of training, what makes them want to excel in a sport that is so highly competitive, so physically demanding and pays nothing in the beginning and has no promise of a financially stable future is always very personal and tells me so much about who they are, where they came from and who they want to be.
Me in elementary school on my way to an orchestra recital. I know what you’re thinking… future Muay Thai fighter right? 😉
This blog is about my Muay Thai story, my reasons for loving to fight and my reasons for wanting to make Muay Thai a part of my life forever by coaching and supporting the sport in any way I can. It’s a bit long, but not as long as the book I will one day write about my adventures.
If you read on I hope that my story will resonate with others in the sport and remind them of their humble beginnings as well as help Muay Thai beginners see that with enough strength, passion and dedication anything is possible. I also hope you will see that my love for Muay Thai, as violent and bloody as it can be, is really about empowerment and self discovery.
WMC Muay Thai July 18th 2010
I won my fight Sunday against Sheree Halliday (UK) in an all out war for 5 rounds. Much respect to Sheree for flying to LA to bang it out in the ring. She proved to be a fierce competitor and I was excited we put on such a great show for the fans.
Although as always there are things I want to improve upon, I know I left it all in the ring that night. Sheree had good push kicks and a couple of nice elbows (i have a sweet battle wound of four stitches over my left eye), but I was able to push the pace constantly and keep her moving backward into the ropes the whole fight with my strikes and aggression. I landed many punches that knocked her head back. Two out of three judges felt I scored the most damage and controlled the fight (Official judges scores: 48/47 and 49/46 Richardson, 48-47 Halliday), so I won by split decision. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a rematch sometime in the future 🙂 Continue reading…