Welcome back, Dear Readers.
One Minor Setback was the name of my old volleyball team, but I think it’s an apt title for this blog post. It’s also a timely reminder that, although we may try our personal best to achieve our goals, success is not always within our control.
My kru informed me on Thursday night that I did not make it into the fight camp. No fight camp means no fight in April, and it probably also means the green prajioud test will be postponed until later in the year as well (although I’m trying to convince him otherwise–I’ll let you know how that goes).
When he first warned me that I might not make the cut, I was upset. Mostly because he’d told me that it was best to train for the green prajioud within the context of a fight camp, but it’s pretty hard to do that if you’re not accepted into the camp. And also because I felt I’d more than shown my dedication. I keep applying for fight camps, and I keep getting turned down. It was feeling pretty hopeless.
Thankfully, Kelly took the time to send me a really nice email explaining his decision. It was so nice that I feel much better about it, and optimistic about continuing my training. Without going into too much detail or betraying his confidence, the reasons behind his decision were basically two-fold: 1) there have been women training hard in Level 2 for much longer than I have. They have been waiting for a long time for their chance to fight. I can’t dispute that, and I fully recognize that every woman he chose deserves her spot on the team.
The second reason is that I’m not ready yet. Yes, I have about fourteen or fifteen years of experience, but it’s been off-and-on. There were times I was without club or coach, and others when I settled for rec-league level training. It’s been a long time since I sparred, and I confess I’m a bit nervous about it. I’m also recovering from a knee injury. I fully accepted these limitations when I applied for fight camp, and was confident I could overcome them with 11 weeks of hard, fight camp training. But is it a good idea to give me more time to train before I fight? Yes, definitely.
The dojo Kelly and I started training at was ran by a man who was a genius when it came to martial arts. He was phenomenally skilled, and very charismatic. But when it came to sending his students into battle, he often didn’t seem to put much thought into it. People fought before they were ready. They fought when they were much too young. They fought opponents who were way more experienced. People got hurt. A lot. Kelly is different. His fighters tend to be very well-prepared, if not over-prepared (if such a thing is possible), and as such, even his first-time fighters don’t behave like first-time fighters. They don’t flail around and panic, pummeling their opponent with out-of-control punches. They’re savvy–they seek out weaknesses, and then move in for the kill. While I don’t think a coach can make you a fighter–you either have that instinct or you don’t–Kelly does very well at honing that instinct in the people who do have it.
So, April will not be my month. October or November will be. The good news is–I’ll be much better prepared when the time comes to fight. The bad news is–I’m now looking at almost a full year of brutal training instead of a few months.
I’m going to need all the support and encouragement I can get. Who’s with me? 😉