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Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

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Happy Monday, Dear Readers.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I apologize for all the glitches on this blog recently…apparently Blogger has been having some issues. I hope they’re resolved.

I had an incredible experience on Friday afternoon. After realizing that I wasn’t receiving the type of focused, one-on-one training that I need to get me where I want to be by the fall, I called in some professional help. Once a week, I will be sparring and training with the former super featherweight champion of the world (who is soon to get her title back, dammit!)

I’ve known Olivia a long time…since the old days of Sik Tai, and she’s always been one of the most impressive martial artists around. From her days as a gymnast, she’s super flexible (going into a split, standing or otherwise, is nothing for her). She’s also incredibly fast and skilled. Most importantly, she’s a fantastic teacher who is great at explaining technique and breaking it down for you. She is understanding, patient, and has a great sense of humor. (And she showed up on a motorcycle–how cool is that?)

The awe factor when training with someone of her level is huge. She can kick me five times, in five different points of my body, without ever touching her foot to the ground! And being assessed by a former world champion, even one who is your friend, is pretty damn intimidating, I’m not gonna lie. But it was so, so worth it. Hiring Olivia is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. I just wish I’d done it sooner.

During that first training session, I felt like a big geek. I was in so much awe of Olivia, who could land twenty shots for every one of mine,┬áthat even the stuff I do well was not working that day. I thought I was in excellent condition, but it’s amazing how much harder pad work is with someone of that skill level. I thought I was going to die, and a two-minute round was a long, long time. Somehow, I still managed to feel like I was on top of the world by the end of it.

All is not rosy, though. I have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be, and a lot of homework in order to perfect my technique. I want to be able to look back on that first session and be amazed at how far I’ve come.

Have you ever been inspired by someone who is at a much higher level than you? What did you learn from the experience?

Thanks for reading!
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