Tag Archives: Muay Thai

The skinny

17 Jul

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People always tell me, “Oh, but you’re so skinny.” Even though I don’t feel like it. Even though I’m always self-conscious about my belly. Even though I had to size up within the past year.

But that’s not really the point. The point is that when some people say it, they make it sound like I have it so easy. That I don’t have to worry about my calories because I will “always” look good. And it just pisses me the heck off. So, when I read this article on how a woman spent $7800 on losing weight after pregnancy, I’m a little incredulous.

First off, $7800, even over the course of 12 months is a lot of money. Second, she did not exactly follow a diet plan during pregnancy if the Butterfingers are any indication. Third, I’m amazed at the whole tone of blaming the celebrities for perpetuating the myth that women can easily get back to pre-baby shape.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that it is one, big, fat lie. I know that pregnancy changes a woman’s body in sometimes unflattering ways. I believe that it will be extremely difficult to get back in shape. Nine months of growing can’t simply be reduced in less time than that. But I never for one minute think that celebrity weight losses are something that I can easily follow. For one thing, they have lots of money to hire someone to yell at them every single day for several hours a day (or an hour a day) to get their butts off the couch. Plus, it’s their JOB. Maintaining their weight is part of their job.

For normal people like you and me, we have to push ourselves to turn off the TV, put away the junk food and slog our way to the gym. It’s just too much effort.

But that’s exactly my point. It takes a lot of freaking work to be in shape. And I don’t think we spend enough time pointing the fingers at ourselves instead of the media, the celebrities, our neighbors or whoever else we can blame. I’m not talking about kids who really have no idea what they’re eating. I’m talking about full-grown, educated adults who should know better.

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My Biology teacher once said: “A minute on your lips, forever on your hips.” And boy, was she right. Whenever I eat that extra french fry (which I had tonight, by the way), I understand the ramifications. Which is why, I will be going to the pool tomorrow to exercise and hit the gym right after to spend a few more minutes cycling. In the old days and I hope they will come again soon, I would train in Muay Thai 2-3 times a week, squeeze in some squash and maybe some swimming. Do I enjoy them? Heck, yeah. But the reason I enjoy them is because I took the time to find something that interests me. Again, with the understanding that if I have to force myself to exercise every single time, then it’s a losing battle. Does it get any easier? Heck, no. It’s intense, it takes time, it costs money but it’s totally worth it.

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People think I don’t struggle because, oh, I’m so skinny, aren’t I. Guess what, I work for it, not just in exercise but also in willpower (which I have been lacking these past few days but I do have it). I’ve also invested a lot of time being active long-term with the understanding that with all the temptation of food, diet alone can’t save me.  I actually have to move my a$$ and it doesn’t have to cost me $7,800, that’s for darn sure and I take responsibility for every pound that I gain.

(Thanks M.P. for pictures 1 & 3. The rest were taken by a photographer during Muay Thai training camp in Thailand.)

Hey stranger

5 Jun

If you know me or have followed me before, then you will not be surprised when I say, “It’s been a long time.” If you don’t know me then, you won’t mind if I say: “It’s been a long time.”

So what now? This is precisely why the period of inactivity stretches, I just don’t know where to begin. Thanks to D.’s influence, I’ve learned over time to do bullet lists. Aren’t they just the niftiest things ever?

  • We’ve won 2 awards to pilot a project in the Philippines
  • D. got an internship in the Philippines – we really know how to kill 2 birds with 1 stone
  • Oh, and no MIT in the fall but I’m still going for an MBA at Hulthigher education for 1 year
  • I had to go for another visa and got it! Totally different emotions from last year
  • D. and I plan to go Thailand to a Muay Thai camp after his internship- so excited!

So many things to look forward to and as you can imagine, they all took a lot of work and time. It kind of stopped about 2 weeks ago but I’ve been sort of bumming around. Still working but hardly any structure to it. I know I have to get back on the saddle soon but I’m still in vacation mode, so I will most likely write about fashion for now.

The Art of Eight Limbs

4 Aug

The sport of Muay Thai has saved me more times than I can count.

I don’t mean in the way that I defended myself with Muay Thai skills when I was attacked in some dark alley. My redemption is more of the emotional kind. In that 16 ft. square ring space, I feel in control. So, when I had to leave it and settle for a general purpose gym space, sparring against the bag and Thai pads instead of a real person, I sort of became undone.

But that’s what happens when more than a year ago, I suffered a concussion in that space that I love so much. Sparring against my regular Uruguayan partner, everything was coming along as usual. He was egging me to take more risks, throw more combinations instead of my jab-right-step-back routine. We were not even 30 minutes into it when he suddenly swiped me on my unbalanced legs while I was throwing a punch. I never even saw the floor coming up to meet me. All I remember is a roaring in my ears like there was a massive bell ringing next to it.

I don’t know how long I was out but it was enough to open my eyes to worried looks from a crowd of people who came up to the ring to see me. The rest of the night was a daze as I pressed two ice packs on my suddenly overheated head – I had just enough sobriety to drive home.

Months later, a year later, I could not bring myself to seriously spar again. Added to my fears is D’s adamant refusal to let me do it again. “Your brain is the most important part of you”, citing articles, one after the other, of how even 1 concussion can significantly affect the health of the brain, especially in old age.

These days, I still train in Muay Thai. But I feel like I’m slower on my feet, although that could be age or the ligament partial tear on my left knee from a soccer injury in November 2010. I see newcomers to the sport and witness their bumbling attempts to do the roundhouse kick correctly. And I also witness their progress – some all the way to fighting on the amateur level.

And I get envious and upset and vengeful all at the same time. My form and technique are much better than theirs. Much, I tell myself. I was told by one instructor when I started how much potential I had and how he would train me if I ever wanted to fight. Two other instructors offered to do the same. But vanity stood in the way – I did not want my face (cute by some people’s accounts) to be disfigured. When I got over it and felt ready to fight, I found myself in a maelstrom of losing my job, changing cities and a broken heart. And of course, the concussion.

Just like in life, there is an instinctive recoil when you see that blow coming. You fail to counteract decisively. That moment’s hesitation can cost you a fight, an opportunity.