The Gear

  Yes I did, and maybe I will.  

This trip feels really bitter-sweet for a few reasons, some work, some personal and I’ve been struggling to get excited about it.

Milano. Come on! I know right?  Well wrong. From having to pack, yuck, to realizing my curated schedule is going to be dramatically disrupted to missing my hour long morning commute when I get to think – I am working on getting  excited. 

So in my attempt to make things a little more “normal” while I am away I googled and found the highest-star rating Muay Thai gym I could find close to my hotel.  Awesome.

Emmanuel is on the ball.  He replied sometime at 2am his time to welcome me to his club.  And then it started sinking in.  I was what?  Going to randomly show up at some gym where I don’t speak the language and from the photos on their website, they are serious.  Never mind that this is the first time in the country, being sent by work to an office where I am not so sure they know what to do with me when I arrive.  

Let’s add on some more unknowns while I am at it and commit to meeting a group of what looks like a hard-core Muay Thai group.  

And so I spent the better part of the day Saturday and all morning Sunday stressing about whether to pack my gear.  If I don’t pack my gear I don’t need to show up.  If I pack my gear, I might be lugging it around three airports for no reason.  

If I don’t take it, I might be royally disappointed and be getting ansty for my flight home.

In the end I packed the gear.  Emmanuel, I am one step closer to setting foot in the gym you proudly call your own.  

And now it begins again, should I have brought my shin guards, my chest guard, what about a mouth guard? Am I still going to have teeth in April!

If it was linear, it wouldn’t be my life 🙂

The pre-Grade Quandary

Tonight is the night.

It is Grading Night.

It’s not a surprise.

We’ve known about the date for weeks. In fact we’ve known this was “likely” happening months in advance.  Heck, we signed up for this “punishment” so what did we expect.

Not all Muay Thai programs grade their students. Then again not all Muay Thai dojang’s focus on technique which is what I particularily love about being a student at T.H.A. Martial Arts Toronto.

That doesn’t mean to say I enjoy grading!

I’ve gone from White to Yellow and tonight is my grading for Orange.

I’ve been to classes, I’ve practised on the mat, I’ve practised in my head on the way to work, on my way home from work, while eating dinner, in my sleep. I’ve been mentally living my moves for weeks….mostly in my head.

All day, while working, I’ve been pushing the thoughts of grading out of my head. I pace my condo, strum my ukulele, roll my hand wraps.  And yet here I am 3 hours before I must present myself at the dojang and the idea of this grading feel like punishment to my brain and later, to my body!  I am contemplating, why oh why I ever thought Muay Thai was a good idea!

I am imagining a very exhausted, tired Donnafay.  Picking myself up from the mat. Wishing I had better conditioning, better footwork, more focused punches, killer kicks.

But I have committed myself.

I pull myself back to the moment of now.

Take a deap breath.

Gear up.

As prepared as I’ll ever be for what awaits….

Bring it.