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


Hello Dear Readers,

I’ve made the first cut of the fight camp. This is what I’ve wanted for so long, and trained so hard for. Basically, this spot in the camp is now mine to lose. How I train this month will determine whether or not I make the final cut.

How does it feel? Well, of course I was elated to hear the news–my dojo’s fight camps are very difficult to get into, unless you have a lot of experience, and many people apply for each one that comes up. It’s a fierce competition on its own. But I’m also scared. There was a moment when I thought, “Do I really want to do this?” I was relieved to hear that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Strength in numbers, after all.

In preparation for the camp, I worked on aggressive sparring with our club’s best fighter yesterday. We’re going to be doing this every week. It’s frustrating how much of my training goes out the window when I’m fighting this guy: I don’t block, half the time I forget to counter, I don’t move, and my arms feel like limp noodles. Meanwhile, whenever he throws a kick, it feels like getting hit by a tree trunk–he throws his entire body in each one. I got a pretty good charley horse in my left thigh from a kick last night, and I can still feel it. However, if I’d blocked that kick–which I know how to do–it wouldn’t have hurt nearly as much, if at all, and I could have sparred for much longer.

Intellectually, I know that I’m getting better all the time–even when it doesn’t feel like it. But it’s difficult not to be hard on myself about these stupid mistakes. All I can do is resolve to be better next week, to keep trying to think of each sparring match as an actual fight.

There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to remain in their comfort zone, and those who are always pushing beyond it. I’m always forcing myself to do things that scare me, and I have a feeling there’s going to be some scary weeks ahead. Sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself, when I could be going for nice, leisurely walks and then spending a quiet evening at home with The Boy. But then I see an amazing fighter, and I know that’s what I want to be.

Thanks for reading!
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  1. thefish

    Love it, Hol. I’m very proud of you. It takes a lot of guts to always step out of your comfort zone. All the best to you.

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks, Vin. Your support and encouragement have bolstered me for nearly a lifetime. You have always been in my corner. Thank you.

  3. Wayne

    Congrats Holli, keep up all the hard work! Keep pushing hard, working on your weaknesses and outside of your comfort zone and the world will be yours.

  4. Story Teller

    Thanks, Wayne. If that’s what worked for you, it is definitely sound advice! Your support and help with my training has always meant the world to me.

  5. Paul @ Creative Conditioning

    Dont give the person you are sparring with too much respect. Once you do that you knock yourself down a peg. A lot of fights end with that one perfectly timed punch or kick and all it takes it taking your time, planning your attack and keeping your cool. Keep it up!

  6. Story Teller

    Thanks, Paul. That’s a great tip, and definitely one of my problems. I give the partners who are way better than me too much respect, which leads to them dominating and intimidating me.


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