Sunday, March 30, 2008


"You went out there and decided that you were losing that fight," John Eckles said. I had to admit that he was right. I felt good in the first round but I was tentative in the second and third. I didn't do what I have been trained to do. I didn't do what I know I can do.

The first round was a toss up. I felt like I landed at least as many scoring punches as he did if not more. Round two I started slugging more and round three I just didn't do what I have been training to do. I started feeling emotions welling up when the doctor gave me his spiel about the symptoms of concussions. I made a beeline for the lockerroon and fell apart.

I was overcome with a million different shades of disappointment. Disappointment that I lost. Disappointment that I didn't fight up to my ability, that I didn't win for my student Moises, for Amanda, for my friends who came to watch. I felt like I disappointed my trainers and the guys I work out with.

Pat McPherson and Josh O'Brien made their way to the locker room and hung out with me for a bit. Pat talked about keeping it in perspective and told me that I should remember that getting in the ring at all distinguishes me even from most guys who train martial arts and that the experience, the process, and the lessons learned are what I should remember. Josh told me the he didn't last a full round in his first ammy fight. It made me laugh but it didn't make me feel better.

I cried off and on for the next two days. It's weird considering how casually I dismiss so many happenings in my life. I try to maintain a Buddhist-like, "shit happens" outlook but I worked harder in the last six months than I have worked for anything and coming up short hurt bad. The loss was a character-builder for sure, and I have made several conclusion in the wake of it.

I am in better shape now than at any point since high school but it's not enough. I need to buckle down on my diet, get more consistent with my training, and be fanatical about rest and taking care of myself. I spent part of today prepping food for a one-week Zone meal plan. It's recommended by the peeps at CrossFit and I think I need some portion control in my life. The meal plan focuses a lot on particular food combinations/nutrient ratios which I am curious about as well. I am back to the three days of CrossFit, three days of MMA routine as of tomorrow.

This project will not be constrained by an arbitrary time limit. I'd really like to do this all in a year, wrap it up with a bow and move on, but that's not how life works. My goals have changed since I started this project, I've changed. The story was an excuse to immerse myself in the type of martial arts training I've always wanted to do but managed to find a reason not to. I want to become a good fighter, a skilled martial artist, and a better, credible instructor. If that means that I fight four, five, six more USA Boxing matches and pushing back my pro-MMA debut, fine. If that means I spend a year or more on my grappling before my pro-MMA fight, fine. If that means I fight in half a dozen Muay Thai smokers before my pro-MMA debut, fine. Not only do I want to see this this project through, I want to do it successfully. I want to win for myself, for my bride-to-be, for my gyms, my family. Of course time is my enemy - I turn 29 next weekm but I think that if I bust ass I could still pull this off in a reasonable amount of time.

Losing sucks. Back to the drawing board.


Ryan J. Downey said...

You continue to be inspiring. GO!

Naptown Chris said...

Keep your chin up. Nobody wins every time out, so learn from this and prepare for the next trial.

Steve said...

Don't be so hard on yourself... you actually got into the ring and fought... something that most martial artists never do... definitely an inspiration to me... be strong, keep fighting!