Hello dear readers,
My muay thai instructor had his first fight last week. Although Kelly trained in Thailand and earned his certification as an official kru, he’d given up the dream of fighting after a severe workplace injury.
Something must have changed his mind, because he traveled to Calgary for his first fight. His opponent outweighed him by twenty pounds and had six fights to Kelly’s zero, and Kelly won!
I am proud of my coach for so many reasons. It takes guts to get in that ring, no matter how long you’ve been training, and for Kelly to do it away from his home turf and all the friend/family/club support he’d receive here is even more courageous. Second, he can’t help but be a better coach now (not that he’s wasn’t already great, cause he was). I firmly believe that you can’t know what it’s like to be a fighter until you’ve experienced it yourself. And third, I am especially proud that Kelly wasn’t deterred from fighting just because he’s not in his twenties.
Recently someone asked me my age when they found out I’d been a journalist for twelve years. After I told him, he asked me if there were “age categories” in muay thai. I knew what the guy was getting at, and I wasn’t impressed. I said no, and Mr. Uncouth replied “wow, so you could end up fighting someone who’s in their early twenties?” I informed him that in muay thai, as with most martial arts, experience counts for a lot more than youth. Maybe it will take me a little longer to get into fighting shape, but I don’t think so, because I’m in better shape now than I was in my early twenties. I’m a lot stronger, and I have a lot more training.
I used to train with Kelly back in the day, when he probably was in his twenties. And he looks a lot better now. I’ve watched him work his butt off every day at the club, and he’s in incredible shape. He’s one more living example of the fact that life doesn’t end the second you turn thirty.
Today marks my return to the gym after two weeks off, so I know it’s going to be brutal. My red prajoud test has been set for December 17th, and the training will be challenging.
But Kelly is a generous, kind-hearted coach who is willing to give of himself and his own time to help each of his students succeed. He even left a well-paying job to concentrate on his club full-time! How many people would do that?
If anyone can get me there, he can. I am lucky to have Kelly as a mentor.
Cheers to you, sir!