So, the 16th of March. Back in 2005 I'd fallen into bad habits. I was seriously overweight and spent most of my time watching TV, playing computer games and eating takeaways. Although I had a bike it only got used once or twice a month. However change was in the air. In January 2005 I bought a Sony PS2 and GTA San Andreas. As part of the game you can train at 3 martial arts gyms, one boxing, one kung fu and one kick boxing. I was kind of curious about the boxing so I bought some cheap shorts and gloves and decided to see if I could find somewhere to give it a go. After a bit of Googling I found a few boxing and kick boxing places that looked promising. Some had web sites while others just had email addresses. I left it for a few weeks but then in March 2005 I had to do some work in Cardiff so I called into a martial arts shop there and bought some Thai boxing shorts because the boxing shorts I had didn't fit, with the proviso that if I was going to spend that kind of money I'd better use them. After watching a couple of old fights on the C5 show Now is the Time I finally got round to doing things and sent the following email to Richard Smith, the main instructor at Bad Company on the 8th of March:
I'm interested in joining the gym and coming to classes. Before I do, I was wondering if you had any requirements regarding health or level of fitness as it would be fair to say I'm somewhat unfit and overweight. In the past when I've spoken to my doctor he's suggested that the best way for me to overcome this is to get more exercise, such as joining a gym. I'd also be interested to know if there is any particular equipment or clothing I should bring when I do come.
If you'd like to contact me over the phone, my number is xxx.
By the time I got a reply the next available open session was Wednesday the 16th. I was very nervous when I got there but I decided the best plan was to go with the flow and see what they could teach me. During the warmup Richard came over to me and told me to just do what I could, possibly the first and last time he'd not told me to try harder. Can't remember much about that session but I do remember trying to do a push kick and falling backwards. I was pretty achy afterwards but I decided I was going to try doing six weeks and then decide whether to continue. Unfortunately after that I got mumps and had to miss the next couple of sessions. Certainly wouldn't be the last time I was disappointed that illness or an injury meant I'd miss training.
However plans were already in place to do something about it.( Read more... )
Final weight at the end of the year was 84 kg, a total loss of 49 kg. I also got my waist down from 48" to 33". My chest went down from 48" to 40" but now it's more like 42" now I'm doing weights and muscling up.
From here I'm planning on continuing as long as I can. My strategy is making hay while the sun shines: at some point I won't be able to train at this level and I may have to stop but that isn't any time soon. Since the October fight fell through I've been wanting to fight again and I'd really like to get something organized, Thai boxing or MMA.
I've got various thoughts on the atrocious pseudoscience that infests areas such as sport and nutrition but I've written about them elsewhere. I've also got various thoughts the banal platitudes that some people use as motivational "systems". I think the problem is that people will try anything that might give them an edge regardless of how ludicrous it is which opens the door to snake oil merchants. Let's just say that the proper scientific method works for nutrition and I've never been particularly keen on proprietary techniques such as NLP. The real test of a motivational technique is not when you're sitting in a comfortable room while a charismatic person whispers warm sounding platitudes at you, but when you're lying badly injured in a hospital bed or if you've suffered some other misfortune. I knew losing weight and getting up to fighting standard would be a long hard slog but I think it should be obvious from all this that I don't give up easily and I'm pretty resilient.
Enough rambling. After 5 years in this game I had to write something just to mark the passing of time.