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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!

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  1. Kim

    I am in far better shape than I was in my 20’s your *ahem* priorites are a bit different at that age and it is harder to get at the mental aspect of sport. Your body is more agile and keeping weight down is easier so you take things forgranted perhaps that you don’t in your thirties. So many people don’t even begin to get into fitness seriously until their 30’s.

    There are age groups in running and triathlon and amongst women anyhow the 35-39 year old age group is the most competative one out there. It is the largest and the strongest (and amongst men I would say it was the 45-49 where that is the case). I would love to be racing against the 25-29 year olds. It would make my performance acheivements seem much better than they’ve been in my own age category.

    So I agree that experience, maturity and dedication are far greater contributors to success than age. By a long shot.

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks, Kim! I wish you’d been with me that day. You certainly would have shut that guy up. 🙂

    And I completely agree. I know plenty of twenty-somethings, but few are in enviable shape as opposed to the older people I know. I remember a champion kickboxer saying he was “too old” to train anymore at the age of 27. I wasn’t twenty-seven yet, but I still thought he was an idiot. I hope I’m kicking ass at eighty! 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    I have trained in other forms of marial arts and by far Kru Kelly has the best club I’ve trained at.

    Kwest really does become your family..it’s a great workout environment with very friendly people that make you want to come back each class.

    I’m very proud of Kru Kelly and all his achievements as well!

    I’m also proud of you too, Holli. Since I’ve been back training and have had the chance in getting to know you, you have inspired me in becoming a better kickboxer through reading your blogs and partnering up with you at class. Than-you and good luck December 17th!

    Nicole B

  4. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comment, Nicole, and welcome to my blog! I really appreciate your kind words. You are a fantastic partner, and just knowing you will be there inspires me to go to class a lot of the time. It’s tiring trying to keep everything going in my life, so your motivation really helps.

    I’m proud to have you as a friend and partner. I hope we can join Level 2 together! It wouldn’t be the same without you.


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