Thursday, March 5, 2009

The King's Birthday


Well I'm on my way to Minnesota right now and then I'll be off to England.  I'm going to be cornering Patti for her fight there. She has a rematch with a local girl that she has beaten once already. Hopefully this fight will go as good as the last one. I will be there till Sunday then it's off to Thailand. I will be fighting in the King's Birthday which is one of the biggest honors a Muay Thai fighter can ever have. Once a year they bring top fighters from all over the country to fight for the King and 300,000 people.  Needless to say I am extremely honored to have this opportunity. It doesn't even seem real to me. I can't even imagine what it will be like to fight in front of that many people. Maybe I'll actually get nervous for a change, of course ever time I think that I end up being even more relaxed. I guess that it has to do with the fact that I know that God is always with me and that I know that this is what he wants me to be doing. I know that no matter what I have nothing to fear. But actually being to calm can be just as bad as being to nervous. Gotta find the balance somehow. So once again I have no idea what's happening once I get to Thailand. All I have is a plane ticket, that's all the info I got. They always like to keep me on my toes. I didn't even get my ticket till yesterday. Master Toddy isn't even going to be at my fight. I guess it's not that big of a deal considering that he has only cornered me a handful of times. Although I definitely would feel better knowing that he's in my corner. Mark is supposed to come out about 5 days after I get there, although we were having some issues with his ticket and I don't know what happened with that. He better be there, but f not, I know that God is with me and in this I take comfort. I can't believe that it's almost been 5 years since the day I started training, it seems like a life time. Maybe that's because since I started this has been my whole life and before that I wasn't really alive. Now I'm going to be fighting in front of the King, something every fighter wants to do. I truly feel blessed. I've been sick for the last week and a half so that's really put a damper on my training. I wish I was in better shape right now but I'd rather be sick now than the week of the fight. I know that I have to in there and let it all hang out, more than ever. I have to fight my ass off and never stop. I know that I've held myself back in the past, I'm not really sure why. Maybe I'm scarred to see what I can accomplish. But this fight, more than ever, I need to let all that go. I know that I can't fight forever. I don't want to look back over my career and regret never giving it all that I have. I've sacrificed so much over the past 5 years, it's time for me to do something. I'm just gonna lay it all out there and see what happens, at least I will know that I gave it everything that I had. And I know that God has me so no matter what it will all work out the way that it is supposed to. I never pray for victory, only to be able to do my best and for neither one of us to get hurt too badly………………………………..So I'm at the airport in London right now, sitting, waiting. I have no idea if I'm waiting in the right place or when this guy's picking me up. Margarita told me that he had to pick up a few other people at the other airport first (which is about 45 minutes away) and then he would meet me at the arrival lounge. Unfortunately there is no arrival lounge. There's a place near the terminal where people meet right in front of arrivals. I'm hoping that is what he meant because that is where I am at. I can't really see anywhere else that he could've meant. But who knows. I tried to give him a call but I can't figure out how to dial his number from the payphone. So now I'm just sitting here praying that I won't be here all day. I have no way to contact him or anyone else so this could get interesting. Always on my toes J The flight over here was great. The plane was almost completely empty and I had the whole middle row all to myself. So I just watched movies and stretched out and slept. Hopefully this guy will get here soon. I have no idea what he looks like so he could be standing right next to me and I wouldn't know it. Margarita sent him a picture of me but who even knows which one. I mean I look different every few months so that might not even help. ARGH!………………Well he finally showed up after about half an hour of me waiting. His name is Lorne and he's the husband of the chic Patti is fighting. So we get to his car and I'm thinking that the hotel can't be more than half an hour away. Wrong! Guess I'm just used to Vegas. He ends up telling me that it's a 2 hour drive. I hadn't realized how tired I actually was until I sat down. I passed out for most of the drive, luckily. Patti and Kerry had arrived the day before, it's so good to see them. I guess Brandon (Kerry's husband) is coming out tomorrow. After I talk to them for a bit I went up to my room and then Patti and I grabbed some lunch. It is so beautiful here, we are in Bournemouth, it's right on the coast. Everything is very old here, cobblestone sidewalks, everything looks like castles. It's pretty cold although not as bad as I had anticipated. Another thing that sucks is you get your money chopped in half here. Thailand will be nice where it gets multiplied be 30. After we ate I went to my room and passed out. I don't know how I woke up because I was still out of it when I did. Lorne came and picked me and Patti up to take us to his gym so that we could train for a bit. It was so cold in there, I trained with my socks on . I managed to get a decent sweat going. Gonna train tomorrow morning at the gym in the hotel and then hopefully go back to Lorne's gym again tomorrow night before the weigh ins. I'm so tired, although I am finally starting to feel better…………Got up at 6:30 this morning and went to the hotel gym. Went for a run and did my exercises, felt pretty good. They have a gym with some weights and treadmills and they also have a pool. Maybe I'll do some laps tomorrow. After that Patti and I got some breakfast then I layed up till about 2. Went for a walk into the town and then down to the ocean. I love the ocean, it's so beautiful. Just trying to soak it all in and really appreciate everything. My life is definitely interesting. I still can't believe that I'm here. We just got finished with the weigh ins and then had some dinner. Brandon finally arrived, he had one hell of a time getting here though. Lorne went to go pick him up but didn't check to see if the flight was on time before hand. So he gets there and it's been delayed about an hour. Finally the plane lands but Brandon wasn't on it. Lorne couldn't wait any longer because he needed to get back in time for the weigh ins. We had no idea what was gonna happen with him. When he finally got here he told us that he missed his flight and then we he got here he had to take a couple trains and a few taxis to make it to the hotel. I can't even imagine it. I still have no clue what's happening once I get to Thailand, I can't seem to get any info. All's they tell me is don't worry about it, yeah, sure. I know that it will all work out but it would just be nice to not have to think about it anymore. Oh well 

Finally got to talk to Master Toddy today. I guess P Jean (MT's wife) is going to pick me up at the airport. He also said that I'm going to be training at Songchai's camp. A huge relief came over me. I'm on the plane right now. The fights went well although both the girls lost. Patti beats herself before she gets in there sometimes, as a lot of fighters do. She kept telling me how nervous she was. I did my best to calm her down. It always amazes me how many fighters get really nervous, I guess I'm just a weirdo. So she was killing the girl in the first round, wasn't even close. Then when she came back to the corner she kept telling me that she was loosing. I was like what are you crazy, you're killing her. I thought she would end up knocking her out. I just wanted to shake her and snap her out of it. I did my best to get in her head but that can be a very hard thing to do in the middle of a fight. That's one reason I hate being in the corner, you have no control, it's a lot easier when it's you in there. Going into the 2nd round she started hesitating a lot more and thinking too much. In between every round I tried to snap her out of it and tell her that she needed to go out there and just put it all on the line no matter how she felt. And at the beginning and the end of the rounds she would do exactly that. She would come out blazing but then fall back into hesitating. It was so frustrating because I knew that she could kill this girl but it was just not happening. She ended up loosing a decision and was really upset. I felt so bad for her, I know what it's like to just not be yourself in a fight and you just can't snap out of it. We went back to the dressing room and I did my best to make her feel better but I also had to get Kerry ready. Kerry was fighting Julie Kitchen who had about 30 fights and Kerry only had about 3. I knew that she could beat her though, as long as she stayed active and aggressive. I watched some of Julie's fights and it just seemed like she intimidated people and that's why she won most of here fights. I told her as long as you're always going forward she should win. That she needed to come out right away and show this girl that she's not scarred of her. She seemed confident and ready to go. I held some pads for her and went over a couple techniques. I told her that Julie would come out and try and bully her and that she needed to get in her face right off the bat. That is exactly what she did. Her boxing was looking beautiful, I was very impressed. She was rocking Julie a lot but wouldn't follow up with a 2nd combination that would've knocked her out. Julie definitely looked scarred, but she also had a lot of experience and knew how to stay in there. Julie was doing a lot of really good work in the clinch, which Kerry doesn't have a lot of experience in. She ended up loosing a decision and I think that it was just because of the clinch work. It was an amazing fight, best of the night for sure. Kerry amazed me. To have such a close fight with an experience girl like that was amazing. She was happy, she knew what she had accomplished. I know that she could've beaten her it was just here lack of experience. Hopefully they'll rematch one day. The fights didn't get over until about 1:30 in the morning. I had to wake up at 5 in order to get to the airport in time. So now I'm on the plane on my way to Thailand. It still hasn't sunken in but it's starting to. I just pray that everything will go smoothly. Can't wait till Mark gets there on Friday, it's gonna be a lot better than last time when I was there all by myself without an English speaking person in sight. Not sure how the camps gonna be, I don't think anything could be as hard as last time, but you never know. No matter what it's only going to be about 2 and a half weeks so I know that I can handle it even if it's hell. It will definitely be an adventure. We will just see where God puts me and what he has in store. 

Well I slept almost the entire flight here, although it was extremely uncomfortable. P Jean walked right in as I was walking to find her. She and MT picked me up. I was so great seeing them and not having any trouble figuring out what I had to do. They took me over to MT's new factory where he's making all kinds of new equipment. I still had no idea when or where I was training. I just layed down on the couch outside of his office and passed out. I was out for about 6 hours, I couldn't believe it. When I woke up he told me that I wasn't going to be training at Songchai's place and that he was going to find me somewhere else. I was thinking to myself, "here we go, the start of the drama". He said that there wasn't any fighters at the camp and that the trainers were unreliable. So he and P Jeans brother (Boy) said that they were going to take me over to a different camp and see if they could find me a room near it. As we were driving I asked why they didn't just take me to the same camp that Patti had just been at and they said that they were. I was so relieved, Patti had said nothing but good things about it. I also knew of the gym (Sasiprapa) and knew that it was definitely a good one. So we arrived and MT introduced me to the head guy (Takhoon), a very nice man who spoke good English (another relief). He told me that there wasn't any room at the camp to sleep but that there was a room that I could rent right across the street (the same spot Patti stayed at). So he got me set up, told me to grab a shower and then come back over and join them all for dinner at the camp. So I said goodbye to MT and Boy. The room was about the same as the one I had stayed in last time I was in Thailand accept this one had a T.V. Patti had told me how hard the beds were and that she couldn't even sleep on them. Luckily for me I don't mind hard beds. So after I showered I walked back across the street. There's a couple of foreigners here, it's gong to be nice to be able to actually communicate with a few people this time. The first guy that I met was Shane,  a young kid from Ireland, who was also going to be fighting on the King's Birthday but it was going to be the day before mine. I also met J.J., a guy from England, and Steffen from Denmark. They were all really nice. So we all sat around watching T.V. (Triple X), which was in English with Thai subtitles, waiting for dinner to be ready. Good old traditional Thai food, gotta love it. Takhoon's mother was the one who always cooked, she was amazing.  Who knows what the hell it is but I love it. Don't ask don't tell is the best policy. You don't want to know what it is, just enjoy it. After we ate we watched a little more T.V. then I walked with Shane and J.J. to so they could show me where the internet and the store were at, they were right around the corner. I was really tired so I just walked back to my room. It was pouring rain while we were eating so all of the streets were flooded. This is going to be another great experience. Mark gets in on Saturday which will make it all that much better. Gotta get up at 7:30 to start training, I'm really looking forward to it.

Got up at 6:30 this morning. I slept great although I kept waking up every hour for some reason. Walked over to the gym around 7:30, met another guy from Ireland, then me and the rest of the foreigners went for a run. Takhoon told me to only run half of  what everyone else was, but there was no way I was going to do that. It ended up being a little over  6 miles. So we ran, or jogged, just like last time I was here. I talked with Steffen most of the time. Found out that he was from Denmark and that he's fighting in the amature world championships next week. It's like a 5 day long tournament where they fight everyday till they loose. The weather's pretty nice, not anywhere near as hot as it was last time I was out here. After we got done with our run we did 2 sprints to finish up. My legs were pretty shot after that and it felt like I pulled my calf pretty badly. So we went back to the camp, stretched out and shadow boxed for a bit. Then one of the trainers grabbed me to do pad work. He was a bit older which was nice because he gave me two rounds of real light pad work. Then another, much younger trainer, came and got me. I saw a picture of him on the wall and it looked like he had recently retired from fighting. He was pushing a lot harder. I was just grateful that they only did three minute rounds as opposed to the ten minutes I had to do last time. After that I did some clinch work for about half an hour. Started with one of the younger fighters, who was just crazy strong. I tossed him around pretty easily, of course I did outweigh him by about 20 pounds. Then they gave me a bigger guy who was built like a tank. Huge legs, crazy strong, definitely outweighed me by about 15 pounds. He kept trying to toss me but never did. It is definitely my goal to be able to toss him once before I leave, although he might kill me if I do. So after I got done I did a little bit of shadow boxing to cool down and then did some sit ups and stuff. Talked with Takhoon after that to find out how much everything was going to cost me. After we talked he told me to grab a shower and come back to eat. So after I showered I went back to the camp where we all ate together. I love this crazy Thai food. Hopefully my stomach will hold up. Takhoon told me that my fight probably won't be till about 8PM and my flight leaves at midnight so I may have to find a different flight. Gonna have to talk with MT and figure it all out. I would just like to get outta here after the fight, plus I need to get back for Dorian's fight. He was on the Ultimate Fighter and has his first fight in the UFC, I told him I'd be there. After we ate I with Shane over to the internet spot. Went over there for about half hour then wet back to my room to rest. I tried to sleep but was never able to. Gotta train again in about an hour. My calf is killing me but I'll manage. I'm really trying to appreciate everything and not rush threw it……………….Well, one day down and I can barely move. I pulled my calf pretty badly and now I feels completely torn. I don't know how I'm gonna train with it tomorrow, oh well. I just pray that it heals up a bit, we'll see. Training tonight was great. Started out by doing about a mile jog to warm up. That was pretty tough to do with my calf. After that I got warmed up then hit some pads with a new trainer. I know that he still fights, I think that I've seen him fight before. He looks a lot like Danny Steele. I felt good although it kills me to kick with my left. It would send shooting pain all threw my leg. My right kick felt great, he kept telling me hat it was really strong. Did about five rounds with him and then did a few more rounds on the bag. They kind of have the same mats that we have at MT's, it's so much nicer than concrete. The only problem is that everyone's sweating so much that it turns into a slip and slide. After that we clinched for about an hour. The Thais are so strong and technical, it takes everything that I have not to get dumped on the ground. I think they're at least slightly impressed, which makes me feel good. Came back to my room and grabbed a shower. About to head back over there and eat with everyone. Gonna hopefully get my hands on some Thai oil, I really pray that this heals quickly. Other than that I feel great. I mean I know that I'm not anywhere near where I need to be but I'm confident that I'll be ready by fight time. 

Day two down, feels like I've been here for a month, my body is shot. This morning I could barley get out of bed. Managed to do four laps (about 4 miles), not sure how. Got back and kicked some pads. My shin is still jacked up from that Mexico fight, it was feeling ok but now it's screwed again. I can barley kick with my left cause it hurts my calf so bad. I'm useless right now. After that I did about 45 minutes of clinching with the strong Thai. Dumped him three times, he smiled but  don't think that he was happy about it. I was like, " Oh crap, now he's gonna kill me". They gave us a really good breakfast today. I mean it's always good but this was really great. After I ate I hobbled down to use the internet. The weather is so much nicer than last time, it's beautiful. I've been trying to ice both of my legs twice a day, it takes the edge off a bit but I'm still in a lot of pain. Passed out for about three hours then trained again. Did my one lap then got back and shadow boxed for a few rounds. One of he trainers asked if I wanted to spar, of course I did. So me and Steffen and the strong Thai rotated with each other just straight boxing. The Thai's boxing wasn't great but he was extremely strong and hit really hard. I think he was trying to knock me out. Me and Steffen got some good work in together. After we were done sparring my body was dead. And then I got to do pad work. I got to work with the Danny Steele looking guy. I really like working with him, he's really nice. My kicks felt good today. Did five rounds with him then I had to kick the bag for five more. I was dying and trying to take easy but one of the trainers was standing right next to me yelling ,"Go harder, harder". I finished off with my exercises and was dead. Got back to the room, grabbed a shower and went back to have dinner. We had fried rice, it was so good. It's not like the greasy stuff back in the states. I think the guy that Anthony fought the first time we were in Thailand is one of the trainers here. I could be wrong but he looks just like him. After dinner I went to the internet spot. I think Mark gets in Saturday night. It'll be great when he's here. Went to 7/11 for some soap and ice for my legs. Tried to find some ibuprofen but I couldn't tell what was what. I'm so tired! 

I'm dying, couldn't make it to training this morning.  I couldn't sleep last night and I felt so sick when I tried to get out of bed this morning. I really tried to get myself to go. I just kept praying that God would guide me to what I should do. I just kept having the feeling that I should just get my rest. I kind of slept, not really, in and out of consciousness. Actually I haven't gotten any good sleep since I've been here. I wake up every hour throughout the night, it's like clockwork. I haven't even had to use my alarm clock yet. I feel like I'm dying, my body is in so much pain and this rock hard bed isn't helping. I wish I had some ibuprofen, hopefully Mark will have some with him. I got to train tonight though, no matter what. I feel like I'm about to have  a breakdown…………….I really don't feel like writing right now. I somehow got out of bed and trained tonight. The run sucked, my body seems to just be slowly shutting down. Started shadow boxing, I could barley do that, then somehow managed to kick pads. I started feeling a little better but still not great. Me and Steffen clinched for about half an hour. I felt really sick while we were eating. For some reason I just can't stand the food right now, I get sick just thinking about it. Went down to the internet for about half an hour but I had to leave because I started feeling really sick. I just pray that this goes away quickly. 

Well I finally got a good night sleep. I passed out around 8:30 then woke up around midnight thinking that it was about time for me to get up. I was so relieved when I looked at my clock. I had to double check to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. Then I passed out again till about 7. It was so nice to actually sleep. I got up, ran my 4 laps, my stupid calf started killing me again, but I was grateful it was feeling a little better. I did a bunch of pad rounds, that permanent lump I have on my shin started swelling up huge, it was killing me. Felt like my leg was on fire. After training my stomach was really bothering me so I wasn't going to eat. Then MT and P jean showed up. It was so good to see them, MT said that he was talking with the promoter to see if he would put my fight on earlier so that I could make my flight. Well I was at the camp when we were talking so after they left I decided to just go ahead and eat with everyone. I tried to only eat a little because my stomach was killing me. After that I went down to the internet for a minute then came back to my room and iced my legs. I wasn't able to get a nap in, just couldn't sleep. We had to start training an hour early today because Takhoon's doing a seminar, just like MT's back home. I felt pretty good training  tonight, although my legs are killing me. My left one had a pulled calf and my right one has the swollen shin, got to love it. Sparred with big psycho Thai guy today, he rocked me once really good. After that I did some pads, I was really tired but managed to push threw.……………… So earlier MT called me and said that P Jean didn't have her phone on her so Mark wouldn't be able to call her when he got in. He told me o take a taxi to the airport and meet him. I wasn't even positive that Mark was coming in tonight so there was no way I was just going to wing it and go down there. I had already e mailed him the hotel and gym info so I figured he would be able to find his own way, although I was a bit worried. So I just called him to leave him a message, he answered. I thought he would've been on a plane at that moment but apparently he wasn't coming in until tomorrow night. I'm sure glad that I didn't go down to the airport, that would not have been fun. 

Well I got an ok sleep last night, it was really noisy all night though. My leg wasn't feeling much better today. Shane asked if I wanted to go with him and the rest of the guys to get a massage after training tonight. I guess it's only like 300 Baht (like 10 bucks)  for 2 hours. Barely made it through the run, my body just wanted to quit. I just got to make it through today and then I can rest tomorrow. Right after we ran I had to start clinching., didn't even get to stretch. We went for about an hour straight. Then me, Shane and Sammuk (big Thai) rotated between clinching and doing sets of either kicks, elbows or knees on the pads, it was HELL! After that we did 100 knees on the bag. I'm spent! My stomach is feeling a little better today………………..So there's a guy who always hangs around the camp who is always wearing a full face motorcycle helmet. Apparently he never takes it off, whether he's eating, sleeping or just hanging out. I said maybe it's stuck. There are so many interesting and wonderful people around here, there always is in Thailand……………………..Finally made it through my first week of training, just barley, I'm feeling it. I weighed myself this morning, it said I was only 64.5 kilos (141 pounds) which is only 3 pounds away from what I'm fighting at. I couldn't believe it. I mean I feel skinny but not that skinny. It's a good thing though because I think that weigh ins are going to be the day of the fight. I don't think that I'll have too much trouble getting the rest off. So I go to the gym at 3 because I thought we had to train earlier today and they tell me to come back at 4. So I go back to my room and watch some fights on the TV then go back to the gym at 4. Takhoon was there and he tells me to wait until  4:30 to go run because there's some Japanese tv people coming to film for a May Thai promotional commercial. I thought that I had gotten away from all this tv drama when I left the U.S., apparently not. So we all wait around until the cameras get there to go on our jog. We were all cracking jokes on each other while we were running, it was a lot of fun. Just giving each other a hard time. I really like these guys, they're great. So then we get back and we had to wait some more to start shadow boxing because the film crew wasn't ready. They're trying to make everyone here believe that they're going to be big stars because of this commercial.  I mean you might get a glimpse of someone for about half a second, you think that's going to make you famous, give me a break. Just like back home, I don't know why people want to be famous so badly. Finally got to do some pad work with that trainer that I think Anthony fought. I really like is pad work, he makes it more of a sparring session than just holding the pads, a lot like Lookchang. Then I had to go in the ring with the balding guy, who I hate working with because he kills my leg for some reason. But any pad work is better than none I guess. I felt pretty good tonight. After training I grabbed a shower and then me, Shane and J.J. went to get massages. It was only like a 5 minute cab ride. So we go in and I don't know what to expect. I'm just praying that this is a legit place. So they have us sit down and these ladies come out and wash our feet, it was actually really nice, I don't think my feet have ever been that clean. Then they take us to this room that has these 3 little mats on this raised bed type deal. So we change into these pj's that they give us and these 3 older Thai ladies come in. They were talking and laughing the whole time, not that I understood what they were talking about, although I'm sure most of it was about us. They kept trying to talk to us but we had no idea what they were saying. Shane could understand a little of it but for the most part we just laughed cause we had no clue. These massages were so painful, I thought they were breaking stuff in me, but I knew it would be good for me in the end. I know tomorrow I'm going to be hurting but hopefully Monday my body will feel a lot better. After we left my knee was killing me, I think that lady stretched it too far, I was gimping down the road. It had started bothering me during training. I think it's a nerve or something because it doesn't feel like the actual knee. After the massage we went and ate at this barbeque place, it was amazing. We had fish and chicken wings, I can't believe how good it was. After that we went to the 7/11 for some goodies. I got some strawberry soda (kind of) and some chocolate and then we went and got some sticky rice from one of the venders and headed back to the camp. J.J. wanted to watch the soccer game but it wasn't some of the guys were already watching a movie. We tried to get it in my room but it wasn't on any of the channels I had. So me and J.J. walked back to the barbeque to watch it. Shane stayed at the camp because tomorrow at 5Am he has to go to Cambodia to get his passport stamped so he can stay longer. I almost had to do that last time I was here. I feel bad for him, doesn't sound like any kind of fun, it's like a 8 hours there and back. I'm so tired after eating all that food and candy. Mark's supposed to get in around 1:30. One of Pope daddy's in laws is supposed to be picking him up at the airport and bringing him here. I'm not sure if they're bringing him here right away or if he's just going to stay with them when he gets in. I guess I'll find out by tomorrow. It will be so nice to have a day off.

Just got finished with my Monday training, felt pretty good today, it was nice having a rest yesterday. My weights still holding so I'm happy about that, especially after everything I ate this weekend. Mark's still got about 10 pounds to drop. MT came by with P Jean this morning. It was good to see them again. He said that he's going back to the states on Wednesday but that P Jean was staying. He told me that he had talked with the promoter and that he said he would put my fight on earlier but that he was flaky so who knows. He gave me his number but what am I supposed to do with it? Mark said that he was going to stay a few extra days after the fight and just hang out. Time's going to start going by really quickly now. I had a little freak out while we were at the movies last night, we saw Beouwolf. I got nervous about the fact that I might get nervous, it was really weird. I do have a real peace about this fight though……………We had a little get together at the gym after training, actually it was pretty big. I guess Sasiprapa was signing some agreement with a Korean gym where they were going to trade secrets and have fighters go back and forth to work with each other, or something. We actually couldn't really figure out what it was all about. All's I know is that they had a ton of amazing food of which I had way too much. They're still out there singing Kareoke. I'm so full, luckily I don't have that much weight to loose. I forgot to mention this dog that was at the barbeque the other night: So after  a while I noticed this dog sitting right next to me as I was eating. He was just sitting there starring at me with the sadest eyes I've ever seen. He looked like he lost his mommy or something. He wanted some of my food but we had just finished. So he's starring at me and I'm starring at him trying to say 'what do you want, I don't have any food'. Just then he places his paw on my leg as if to say 'please sir, I'm so hungry', He was a little pudgy so I knew he hadn't missed a meal in a really long time. I'm sure he had been doing this routine for a long time. He just kept starring at me, it was the cutest thing I had ever seen, he just kept starring and putting his paw on me once in a while. Eventually he gives up then I see him go over to another table and do the exact same thing. We were all cracking up.

Felt great training this morning even though I was exhausted when I woke up. They were jamming last night till about midnight. I felt great hitting pads. I clinched for a while with one of the Thais, not sure his name, he hadn't been there till today. So unbelievably strong for his size, it sucked. Then I did a round with Shane. After that Mark and I did a few. Right about the end of the 3rd round I went to throw him and all his weight was on me as I was bent sideways, I heard and felt this loud pop and immediately had to stop because of the pain. I couldn't breath, it felt as if someone had smashed my ribs with a sledge hammer and then set them on fire. I couldn't even do anything after that, it hurt just to breath. I think I may have cracked a rib or popped some cartiladge. When I move a certain way I can feel it pop. Of course this happens now right when I start to feel really good, that's the way it goes sometimes though. Just part of the game.

I couldn't train last night because of the pain. I couldn't even move without it killing me. I just rested and prayed that I would feel a little better, no matter what I'm just going to have to work threw it……….. Well I managed to train this morning. I started off with 6 laps, that was fun. Managed to do pad work but I can't really do anything with the right side of my body. I could barley punch, if I did it too hard it would be too painful. Well we'll see if it gets better in time, if not I guess I'll only be half a fighter, nothing I haven't done before. There's no way I won't fight though. If both my legs were broken I'd tell them to just hold me up in the corner and let us fight. 

Dying today! I got nothing left, my body is falling apart, I'm at the end of my rope

Mark and I went over to the mall right after training. We were trying to find some stuff to help him loose some weight, no such luck. They sure had plenty of stuff there to help him gain weight. We ended up getting some cashews to snack on, for some reason they tasted like the best things ever. They have so much food at that all, it's torture walking threw there. I can't wait until I can just pig out. Took some of those pain killers that we got last night. They worked although they put my body in a coma and kept my brain awake. So I just had to lay there all night wide awake and unable to move. I think I got about 20 minutes of sleep. I got up and trained anyway, I felt like a crazy person. I actually felt pretty good during the run, other than the severe pain in my knee. I was actually feeling awake and energized. So we get back and do pad work and guess who I get, the guy that always messes my shins up. So instead of trying to hit the pads light and save my shins, I decide to go as hard as I possibly can. I was trying to go right through them. When he'd have me clinch him I would knee the pads so hard, tried going  right though his spine. It was picking him up off the ground and he would make grunting noises. He didn't seem to enjoy it too much. After 3 rounds he told me to stop. I felt good today………………….Training went well tonight, finally got to do pad work with big chin again. He's so much fun. Both my knees are killing me, they feel broken. I tried to kick the bag a little with my right leg but my ribs just can't take it. 

My last day of hard training. I felt ok this morning. Everyone was telling me that I looked great, I didn't think so but usually other people can judge you better. I just felt like I was really stiff. My weight had gone up a little, 65 kilos, no big deal. I ate a lot yesterday. P Jean brought a few bottles of the magic drink, which completely cleans every once of anything inside of you, it ain't fun but it works. I know that Mark's going to need it, he calls it Montezuma's Revenge. Apparently he had been reading the scale wrong so that it was always 1 extra kilo over his actual weight, that's 2.2 pounds off. I think that we're going to go to the spa tonight, they have these really hot and cold pools which are great on your muscles and joints. 

Man, that drink really works but it isn't any kind of fun. I lost about 5 pounds last night. Mark ended up getting his own room, he couldn't handle the hard beds. I ended up crashing out over there last night. His is only about a dollar more a day and it's so much nicer. Nice soft bed, English TV channels, no bugs. I got up this morning and got my head shaved and then Mark and I went and checked our weights. I was like 1 kilo over and he was about 2. We were pretty happy about that so we went to go eat. A lot of the venders are closed on Sundays. We passed the fried banana lady and just had to give them a try. We only got about 4, they're little slices. They we so amazing, taste like donuts, I could've eaten about 100. After that we ate lunch at a spot right next to his hotel. We tried to order some chicken and steamed rice but the lady didn't seem to understand what we were saying, although I knew I was saying it right. So we ended up just getting chicken fried rice. It's not that greasy so I wasn't too worried about it. So we go to pay and the owner is behind this sliding glass window, he asks what we ordered, speaking perfect English. What the hell. He was right next to us when we were trying to order, crazy. After that we went to the room and passed out for about an hour. When we went to go train the trainers gave us Thai oil massages. It burnt like hell but it really loosens you up and makes you sweat. I put my sauna suit on after that and just did some light stuff on the bag. I was only .7 over afterwards. The other guy that runs the camp told us that tomorrow we are supposed to go to a press conference for the fights at 10 in the morning., or at least I think that's what he said . We were having trouble communicating. Hopefully at this rate we won't end up having to use the sauna.

So it's just a big mess over here. Today we went to the press conference, we had no idea what exactly we were supposed to be doing, we were just told to be there. One of the guys from the camp took us. So we go to the hotel where it was being held, go up to the floor it's on not knowing what to do. It hadn't started yet so we just sat around for about an hour. Finally they said they were about to get started. Most of the fighters I saw there were part of the S1 tournament. They said for all the fighters to come inside but we didn't know if they meant the S1 fighters or everyone. So we're just standing there feeling stupid, tried asking a few people what we were supposed to do and couldn't get a straight answer. All the other fighters had there shorts on but we didn't even bring ours. So we end up just walking in with the rest of them. It was this huge room with all these people from all over the world. Mark and I didn't even know if we were supposed to be in there with them. We also noticed that not all of the fighters were even there. The S1 is an 8 man tournament and there was only 8 of us there. But I knew I was supposed to be fighting a super fight as well as a few of the other fighters. It was crazy, we had no clue what was going on. So Songchai starts talking and thanking all of us for coming. All the press people were taking our photos and stuff. Mark and I were just laughing about the whole thing. We were standing out like sore thumbs, everyone else in there fight gear and us in our normal clothes. So they thanked all of us again and took some more photos and then it was over. So Mark and I waited around to try and get some answers. Finally got to talk with Songchai Jr., he seemed more confused than us and he was the promoter. I asked him if I was supposed to fight at 138 and he just said 'sure'. Same with Mark. Then this other guy comes up, I didn't know if he was a trainer or if he was helping with the promotion. We were trying to find out when the weigh ins were and Jr. said he didn't know. I was thinking if he didn't know who were we supposed to ask, it was nuts. So the guy, who I later found out was Steffen Fox, says why don't you have them at your stadium and Jr. says 'ok'. Then we ask what time, Jr. says 'I don't know". Steffen says 'why don't you have them at 5', Jr. says 'ok'. I just kept thinking that this was the craziest thing I had ever seen. I mean this is the biggest Thai Boxing promotion in the world and the promoter has no clue as to what's going on. Then they were saying that they didn't have all the guys for the S1, Steffen turns to Mark and says 'do you want to fight in it?'. Mark said 'sure'. And I was just thinking 'how do they not have all the guys for this fight, this is crazy, they're just going to ask Mark, who had no clue, if he wants to fight in this 8 man tournament", I couldn't believe it. So we left feeling more confused than ever. I mean it seemed like the weigh ins were tomorrow at Sonchai's stadium and that Mark was going to fight in the S1, but we didn't know anything for sure. I also found out that the fights didn't start till 8, I don't think I'm going to be able to make my flight unless I leave right after my fight and I won't be able to stay for Mark's. We'll see, it will all work out……………………………Weighed myself before training, I was 65 kilos (4.5 pounds over). I figured that I would try and at least get down to 64 and then tomorrow I could go to the sauna before weigh ins. So I put my sweat suit on and jogged up and down the alley for about 30 minutes. My knees were killing me and I had zero energy. There was this really old guy, who's always out there jogging, running up and down the alley as well, he kept me motivated. After that I skipped rope for about 20 minutes and then hit the bag for 2 rounds. I felt dead and could barley move. The trainers gave me a massage, which almost put me to sleep, I was so out of it. I was just praying that I lost at least 1 kilo. So I got on the scale after I dried myself off as much as possible. It said 63 kilos, I couldn't believe it, I sweated out 4.5 pounds. I felt so dehydrated but not as bad as you would think. The trainers were all happy. I just thanked God. Mark was also right where he needed to be. 

This morning Mark and I went and checked our weights. I had no energy and was just praying that I was still on. Mark checked his and he was .3 under, which was great. So then I checked mine, I was 2 pounds under, 134 pounds, damn I'm skinny. We were both so happy. We went and ate a little and then layed up till it was time to leave. P Jean came and got us at 4. I was hoping to finally get some closure about who I was fighting and everything else. But as long as I weighed in and could eat I was happy. We got there about half an hour early so we just had to sit around and wait. It was at Songchai's stadium where Ardra and Felice had fought the first time we were out here earlier in the year. Finally everyone showed up and we were able to weigh in. We were both dead on weight. So we were still trying to figure out who we were fighting and if Mark was really fighting in the S1 and everything. This one trainere was talking to me, he seemed to know me but I had no clue who he was. I asked Songchai Jr. if he knew who I was fighting and he said he didn't know yet. I tried to get P Jean to talk to him but she couldn't get any answeres either. I just didn't care anymore and all I wanted to do was eat. So we left and headed back to the gym. P Jean said the travel agent was closed because of the King's birthday so she couldn't get my ticket changed. But she said that she would take care of it. It took us almost an hour and a half to get back to the gym, there was so much traffic, I was going crazy. Starving! We almost jumped out of the car a few times to grab one of the street venders but the cars would always start moving again. We finally made it back to Mark's hotel and the first thing we did was go to 7/11 and get some chocolate, just a little. Took Mark over to the barbeque place, it was amazing. We ordered so much food that the waiters brought out a bunch of extra plates. We laughed and told them that it was just us.  I was forcing it all down, I just couldn't leave anything left over on the plate. So after we were done we waddled down the road back to the 7/11, my stomach was about to pop but I wanted more. It's such a sick thing, you kill yourself eating healthy and training to get down in weight. Then, after you weigh in, you do the worst thing you can do and fill yourself with junk. It's funny because no matter where I go in the world all of the fighters I've met do the same thing. So we got some more chocolate and soda and I just had to get one of the banana/chocolate crepes. We went back to his room so stuffed that I could barely make it up the stairs. Even then I just had to stuff the rest of that junk down my throat. We were both hurting so bad. I was dying and couldn't even lay down.

I woke up this morning and went and got some waffles by the 7/11. I still need to pack up all of my stuff. Well today's the day, finally. I feel really good. My body feels a little weak but I know that it will come back to me by the time I fight. I just can't wait to fight, I just pray that I will preform at my best and put on a good show. 

So here's what happened: P Jean picked us about around 4. I took us about 45 minutes to get there. There were people linning the streets for miles. P Jean said that they were all waiting around for the King to drive by. It was crazy, the people just went on and on. It was a beautiful scene. So we parked about half a mile away from the fights.Unlfortunatley it took us almost 2 hours to walk it because of all the people. I can't even describe what it was like. It was insane, you were just being crushed on all sides. I couldn't believe it when I saw people there with babies. I mean the could so easily get trampled. I was starting to loose it, I just kept praying and I knew that God wanted me to have peace and just enjoy the experience. I just put my heart and ease and didn't think about it. Mark, on the other hand, was about to snap. I thought he was just going to start mowing over people. The worst part was that there was no where to go because the streets were all blocked off until the King drove by. So we just waited and waited. Finally he drives by and the ocean of people burst into applause, not that most of then could even see what was happening. Finally we were able to start moving, just barley. There was still people everywhere and we had to move, we knew the fights we starting soon. We made our way through the thousands of people, we all had to hold hands in a chain or else you'd be lost and never found again. We made it across the street to where the event was. There was just thousands and thousands of people, I can't even explain what it was like. We were walking through the wet mud and realized that it was wet from people using the bathroom, sure was glad that I wore my flip flops. Oh well, nothing you can do about it. The only thing I could compare it to would be Woodstock, it's like a huge fesival with venders and music and fights and about 300,000 people packed side by side. It's held in this huge field right next to the palace, it's quite a site. We finally make it to the ring, which is surrounded by so many people that we can't even get to it. We finally get Songchai Jr's attention and ask him where we're supposed to go. He points us to the back, unfortunately the only way to get there was to squeeze through some bars underneath the stage. I really was trying keep my cool about everything  but it was getting difficult. Some of the fights were already going on, I think it was part of the amature finals. So they had no dressing rooms, not even a place that resembled somewhere to get ready. People were just doing what they could. There was just the smell of piss and garbage and people everywhere. To say we were annoyed would be an understatement. But there's nothing you could do about it so what's the point in getting upset. We finally found a place to sit down, kind of, next to a tree. We found out that Mark was fighting 2nd and I would be 6th. It was about 7PM and the tournament was supposed to start at 8. P Jean said that they had to wait because everyone in the country lights all these candles at the exact same time, it's a huge thing. So the tounament finally starts and we do our best to stretch get warmed up although there was just no room to do it. Some random guy walked past, who happened to be a fighter, and was nice enough to help us get ready and wrap our hands. This was all definitely an experience I would never forget. Finally Mark's fight was coming up, Shane and J.J. showed up to help us out. Mark seemed really nervous, I kept telling him that he fights better when he's nervous, which is true. So we walk to the ring and finally get a good look at the thousands of people, it was an unbelievable site, it gave me goosebumps. People were just cramming in everywhere trying to get a look, they were even climpbing up on the light poles and buildings. We get in the ring and the first thing I noticed was that Mark's guy seemed a lot bigger than him, we found out later on that Mark could have been 158 and didn't need to drop so much weight, not that it mattered now. So they start off and Mark looked really sharp. And would come out on top in all of the exchanges. He looked like he had this guys number. He was keeping his hands down and his chin up a bit, I tried yelling at him. All of a sudden he gets hit with a hard right hand, that he didn't even see, and then a left hook and he was down. He looked pretty out of it but was coming around and starting to get up. The ref counted to 4 and stopped the fight, I thought it was a bad stoppage. He should've given Mark a chance. But maybe it was for the best. Mark was pissed, obviously, I felt really bad for him. But that's how quickly it can happen in this game, it's just part of it. So we walked back to our tree and I had to start getting ready. I felt pretty good however I was a little concerned about my injuries. I still couldn't throw anything with power on my right side without it killing me and I just prayed that my right hand would hold up. But I also know that if you focus on those things than they are bound to bother you. So I put them out of my mind and shadow boxed. I almost tagged about 5 people that were walking by because they were just so close. Shane came over and gave me the scoop on the guy I was fighting, he knew of him. He told me that he was a good boxer and that he would just come straight in at me. He said that he was very aggressive and that the fight could go either way and that I couldn't let him bully me. Well the last thing I was worried about was someone bullying me. I felt extremely peaceful as I was walking out. But once again, I was too calm and just had no adrenaline. I was thinking 'oh man I'm going to feel this'. It was the most amazing experience walking out in front of all those people, once in a lifetime. So we both started doing our Ram Muay's. I noticed immediately that he was over in my corner digging me a grave and doing all that disrespectful stuff. So I sped through the rest of mine so I could go over to my corner while he was doing it. So I squared up right in front of him, he was trying to intimidate my but once he realized he couldn't he got this surprised look in his eyes. I think he's so used to getting in peoples heads that he wasn't sure what to think of me. He looked like he had been through some serious fights, he was all scarred up and mangled and definitely looked tough. The ref brought us together in the center of the ring and I immediately noticed that he was way bigger than me, came to find out afterwards that he outweighed me by 15 pounds. The ref told us that it was three, three minute rounds. I thought it was going to be a 5 rounder and wasn't sure if the ref was confused or what, guess I'd find out soon enough. I knew that I would need to fight him smart and not get into a toe to toe war, although I knew that would be hard for me seeing how that's exactly how I prefer to fight. So I came out the first round trying to use some movement and a lot of front kicks and jabs just trying to get my distance down. He was countering me really well with hard leg kicks. Unfortunatley I could feel every single thing that hit me or that I hit, damn this calmness. I could definitely feel the weight difference, especially in the clinch. After the 1st round I felt pretty good but I knew that I needed to pick it up. Going into the 2nd I really tried to pick it up and land harder shots I also started to block a lot more of his kicks, which felt great, but he was starting to pick it up as well. I landed a hard right hand over the top that stunned him but I felt my hand break when it landed. It was killing me, I couldn't believe that I did it again. There's no way I was gonna stop so I just pushed through it. Every time we would clinch up he would just slam elbows ontop of my head, I knew that I couldn't keep letting him do that or else he was going to open up a cut. I was landing some good right kicks but I couldn't put much power into them because of my rib.  I started switching over to my left leg, which was landing great, but I just couldn't get much power on it. He was really good at kicking the inside of my leg every time I kicked. Those leg kicks were really starting to take affect, I didn't know how many more I could take. He was landing some punches but they didn't bother me at all. He ended up cutting my head and they stopped it for a minute to check it, Mark told me it was a scratch and we got back to it. My head was starting to swell up from all the elbows as well as my leg, and my hand was basically useless. The rest of the round went about the same. Going into the 3rd I knew that I was behind and my legs were starting to lock up. I tried to give it everything I had but just couldn't get anything going, his size and his constant pressure were just too much. He opened another huge gash on the top of my head, I actually didn't even know it was cut. He landed one leg kick that almost put me down and buckled me a bit, no one had ever done that to me before. I just kept pressing forward, I landed a spinning elbow that opened a cut on his left eye. We were just going at it toe to toe, exactly what I wasn't supposed to do but at this point I had no choice. The bell sounded and Mark came out to help me to the corner, I told him that it was over because it was only 3 rounds. I don't know how much more I could've taken if it would've been 5 rounds. My leg was completely locked up and I could barley stand on it. I bowed to the crowed and gave him my respect. The whole place was applauding, it was amazing, although at the time I was very disappointed and out of it. I managed to make it out of the ring and back to our tree. When I finally got to sit down my legs seized up and I couldn't move them anymore, they were throbbing. I can't even describe the pain, I've never felt anything like that before. It felt as if my leg was going to exploded. I was trying my best to stay strong but alls I wanted to do was break down and cry. Not only from the physical pain but the emotional as well as having just went though all that. It was almost too much. My hand and my leg just felt like they were being smashed over and over, I wouldn't done anything to make the pain stop. My leg was locked out so I couldn't move it. I tried laying down and it was too painful and I tried sitting up and it was just as bad. I just wanted to be transported from that place to somewhere safe. There were people all around they would just come over and touch me, it was really weird. Shane asked if I knew who all these people were and I said I had no idea, he started laughing. He asked me if I knew who the guy was that I just fought. I had no idea, he told me that he was a world champ who no one would fight because he knocks everyone out. He said he didn't want to tell me before the fight but that he was really worried about me. He said that just going the distance with him was an accomplishment in itself especially with the weight difference. This made me feel a bit better. He was icing my leg down which hurt so bad but I knew that if I didn't I wouldn't be able to walk for a really long time.. Mark had some pain killers so I took a bunch of them and J.J. went and got me a beer.  I never thought that the pain would ever go away, one guy accidentally hit it and I wanted to knock him out. Finally after about 30 minutes the pills, beer and ice started doing there job and the pain went down just enough to where I could think straight again. I just wanted to get out of there. It was so weird to me that all these people would come by and just touch me. I asked P Jean what that was all about and she said that they just have a huge respect for fighters, especially ones with a lot of heart. She said some kids came by and wanted to rub my leg out for me, she said it would cost them and they wanted to know how much. Too bad it's not this way back home, they just have so much respect and appreciation for fighters here. It's wonderful. So I was finally able to get up, with help of course. They were going to get me an ambulance but that was the last thing I wanted to happen, let me go out on my own. So J.J. and Shane helped me walk. We started walking back to the car and went by the medical people. They told me to sit down and had a look at me. This ended up drawing a huge crowd, I guess it was a good show. I asked Mark how bad the cuts were on my head and he said one of them could use a few stitches but the other one wasn't so bad, he didn't seem too concerned about them so I wasn't.  So the doctor ends up just tapping some gauze on my head and sending me on my way. P Jean ended up just getting a motor-taxi to take me back to the car. It was so painful to get on the bike though because I had to bend my leg, which was almost impossible. Right when we started moving the gauze flew off, figured. Made it back to the truck where we waited for everyone else to walk back. They stuck me in the back so I could keep my leg stretched out. At this point everything started to hit me. I was so upset, I tried my hardest in that fight and just couldn't get anything going. He was just to big and too aggressive, I felt like I let everyone down, including myself. I called Gina while I was waiting there, I couldn't even get any words out, there was no way for me to explain how I was feeling or what I had just been through. I just told her that I was sorry, she told me that I had nothing to be sorry about. At this point I couldn't hold my emotions back anymore and I was just a wreck. It was as if all the pain and sacrifice of the past 5 years all came out of me all at once. I just felt like I failed. She did her best to console me, I wanted her to be there but I was grateful that she didn't have to see that fight, I think it would have scarred her for life. I told her that I wasn't going to be able to make the flight, she told me just to relax and get home whenever  I could. It's a good thing I couldn't make that flight because I was bleeding all over the place and my leg was swollen up like an elephants. Finally the guys showed up and we took off. It was really nice just sitting in the back of the truck with all of them, talking about everything we'd all just been through and just having some good laughs. We stopped at a gas station and picked up some chocolate, medicine for my leg and head, some beer and some Jack Daniels. I was starting to feel a lot better. Shane never drinks so we got him to try some Jack, it was hilarious, he was like 'why the hell would you drink that'. We had a lot of fun. So we made it back to the hotel and said goodbye to P Jean and thanked her for everything. She told me not to worry and that I fought wonderfully. She said that she would get my ticket taken care of and that she call me. We all went up to Mark's room and drank some more. I took a shower, which absolutely killed the gashes on my head. I looked in the mirror and it looked as if someone had taken an ax to my head. I asked Mark if he was crazy, the cut was horrible. He said that he told me it needed stitches. I guess he didn't explain the severity of it. Oh well, I wasn't going to go to the hospital now. I did my best to clean it up. My whole head was swollen from taking about 50 elbows and my leg was just gigantic. I couldn't bend it whatsoever. J.J. left and Mark and I went over to the internet. I was feeling pretty out of it, plus I was bleeding all over the keyboard. After about an hour we headed back to the room. For whatever reason we were both awake until about 6 in the morning. We ended up just walking back to the 7/11 and got some more junk.  We ran into one of the trainers and he asked how it went. We did our best to tell him. He saw my head and asked why I didn't go to the hospital. He didn't really speak English so I just said it's ok and not to worry. We went back to the room and slept for about 5 hours. Got up and ate some waffles and some more chocolate. I sure am grateful that Shane was icing my leg last night because if he hadn't I'm sure they would've had to cut it open to relieve the swelling. I was able to hobble around. We ended up going to the mall, it was really painful for me but I knew it was the best thing because when I sit around it just locks up on me. We went to pizza hut which had the rudest waitress for some reason and the food took forever. It was so good though. After that we went over to Dunkin Donuts, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We walked around for a bit then went back to the internet spot. We went back to the room after that and Shane and J.J. stopped by. We went with them over to the barbeque and had dinner, it was so good. 

Well it's Friday. There's a hug show at Lumpinee tonight. It's there anniversary and there's going to be like10 title fights. I'd really like to go but I just don't think I can handle being around all those people being in this much pain. And I'm not really in the mood to see any more violence. Mark, Jeremy and his girl ended up going. Shane and J.J. decided not to go, apparently Shane ate too many donuts this morning and got sick, I can imagine. I'm in a really strange mood. I'm in so much physical and emotional pain. I'm still really upset about the fight although I know that God has reasons for everything and that I shouldn't dwell on it too much because it happened for a reason. I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do next. I think that I just need to relax and enjoy my last few days here. I'm just in a weird place right now, maybe I'll get drunk……………..We all will stumble and fall, but not all of us will get back up again. Proverbs 24:16 says that a righteous man will fall 7 times and arise again but that a wicked man will not. We all go threw some of the same things. We all go threw the same trials(1 Peter 5:9), even if we feel like we are the only ones. The difference is that some of us take those trials and turn them into victories while other people use them as excuses to not try again. No matter how hard you fall, or how far, you can arise and overcome. You can turn your weakness into strength. How you overcome your losses is what people remember, not so much the wins. Anyone can have heart and show determination when things are going their way. How many people can pick themselves up off of the ground and keep going when everything is telling them to just quit. This is as true in life as it is in the ring. No matter the setbacks, no matter how many times you fail, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue on your journey. I know how hard it can be, it seems so much easier to just give up. But if you quit you will never truly be happy and you will always regret it. So push threw the hard times because the reward is great. As long as you continue to try and never give up you will never fail and you will never loose. One of my favorite bible verses is Psalms 27:1, it says, " God is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" God is my light (he shows me the way), he is my salvation (he saves me), whom shall I fear (knowing this how can I fear anything). That's why I have it tattooed on my back. Follow your heart, find your dreams, never quit, never stop fighting, no matter how many times you fall………………………………...So I'm sitting here alone in a Friday night in Bangkok eating dinner. I can't believe that I'm here, I can't believe that I just fought on the King's Birthday, it all seems so surreal, like it didn't even happen. But I have the scars to prove it. I realize, looking back, that at the end of the day it doesn't really matter whether you win or loose. Sure it feels a lot better to win but the real joy is in the journey. The real joy is in going after your dream, even if it doesn't turn out just how you would have wanted it to. At least you know that you went for it and no one can ever take that away…………………..Shane and J.J. have got to be two of the funniest guys that I have ever met. They've definitely made this whole trip even more of an experience. I met up with them at the internet spot then we went and got some chicken and sticky rice. I don't know what it is but I could eat this all day everyday and not get sick of it. I had it like 3 times today. Grabbed a beer and some sweets and we all went back to the room. We watched a few flicks, those two crack me up.

Woke up this morning to Mark bringing in waffles and chocolate, what a nice way to wake up. It was so good. I passed out again after I ate until about 1:30pm. My legs are feeling better everyday, so is my head. They're still killing me though, just not as badly. My cut seems to be healing a bit and it's not getting infected which is really good. We got up and got some chicken and rice and some more fried bananas, I just can't get enough. We went to the internet spot for about an hour. I feel so blessed to have so many people all over the world who wrote me and told me how much I inspire them to go after their dreams. I couldn't ask for anything more. It's an amazing feeling. We're all supposed to have a going away dinner tonight at the barbeque. Most of the guys are heading back home within the next few days so Takhoon wanted to have a nice dinner and say goodbye to all of us. It should be a great time. I think that it's going to take me about 24 hours to get home, with all the flights and layovers. I have a 5 and a half hour flight to Korea, an 11 hour layover there than a 10 hour flight to LAX. Actually it will be a little over 24 hours. This trip has definitely been an adventure. Mark brought me a bunch of donuts from the mall, mmmmmmmmmmmm so good! We went and had dinner after that. It was me, Mark, J.J., Shane, Jeremy and his girl. It was really nice just eating, talking and appreciating everything. After that Mark and I went to another restaurant that had a bar called The Fish. It was empty. We shot some pool and drank some beer. It seemed if everyone that worked there was in there watching us. I guess there was nothing else to do. It was really weird because every second they would refill our beers, even if there was only a sip missing. We ended up taking our drinks outside where there was a band playing cover songs of English music. They were actually really good. I had to go to the bathroom so I went and asked someone where it was. They pointed me around the corner. So I'm standing there going to the bathroom and all of a sudden I feel these hands on my shoulders starting to massage them. I was like' what the hell'. I turned around and saw that it was this bathroom attendant guy. I tried to say 'no thanks, that's ok' but he didn't seem to get it. So I finished and walked over to wash my hands and again he starts massaging me. Then he pops my back and stretches my arms out. It was the strangest thing, I didn't know whether to hit him or tip him. I kind of felt violated. Steffen and J.J. showed up so we all hung of for a little while drinking and listening to music. After that Mark and I went and got some more junk food and went back to the room. I can't wait to go home tomorrow although I am going to miss this place. I've met some really wonderful people here. 

Well I'm sitting here at the airport in Bangkok all by myself waiting to go home. It's going to be a long journey but at least I'm heading home. This has been an amazing journey in my life, one that I will remember as long as I live. Just like any journey it had its ups and downs. Sure there were things that I would've changed but I know that God has his plan and for that I am truly grateful and feel extremely blessed. So I started realizing today that the guy I fought's trainer knew who I was, he was talking to me at the weigh ins. This leads me to believe that they knew he was fighting me and the promoter was full of it. I dropped all that weight just to fight a guy who outweighed me by 15 pounds. I know that if I would've weighed the same it would have been a different story. Hopefully I'll be able to get a rematch one day. He has a WMC world championship and I want to take his belt. We'll see what happens. I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone, I got to meet some really great people on this trip. God willing I will be back one day. I just got to get my hand fixed, I can't keep breaking it every fight. Last time on my trip home I had Anthony's crazy ass to keep me company and pass the time. This one's going to be a lot less entertaining. I can't wait to see where God leads me to next, I can't believe where he's taken me all ready. It's a crazy life! I'm just amazed at how many people I've gotten to affect through fighting. Countless people write me all the time telling me how I have inspired them to change their lives and go after their dreams, I can't even believe it most of the time. I just think 'what did I do ?'. I just try to do my best to stay positive and be a good example to people around me and pass on the things that I have learned along the way. I pray that God continues to allow me to use all of these gifts to help people.…………………….. I'm here in Korea for my 11 hour layover drinking a beer and about to pass out. The food court that me and Anthony hung out at last time is under construction. I was so disappointed because that was one of the best parts of having our layover here. They had Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Subway and all kinds of good stuff. People here seem to be so rude. Maybe it's just because I have just been in Thailand where everyone has a smile on their face and they go out of their way to be nice to you. Like after the plane landed here everyone was pushing and rushing to get to the front and the doors weren't even opened yet. I was getting ready to snap on someone but I just took a step back and let all of them pass and then took my time. This layover is actually kind of nice so far. It's really giving me a chance to relax and reflect on everything. My leg swelled up so badly on the way over here, it felt like it was just about to explode. Plus I accidentally whacked my head on the tray of the lady sitting next to me. My cut started gushing blood again and I had to put my hand over it to try and get it to stop. I took my sweatshirt off and stuck it on top of my head to stop the bleeding. I went to the bathroom to try and clean it up, it hurt so bad! The old Chinese lady next to me looked really worried. My head was just throbbing. The blood didn't want to stop so I just got a bunch of paper towels and stuck them under my hat and put it on, seemed to work ok. I think I'm going to pass out for a little while…………………..Man, that was a painful nap. My leg kept cramping up on me and waking me up because of the pain. Am I the only one who gets really bothered by people who don't cover their mouths when they're coughing. I mean I don't want your germs lady. It's driving me crazy……………………….Well that went by rather quickly, I guess I slept through most of it. Hopefully this plane will have those personal TV screens where you can watch movies that you want and play games. The flight will go bye so much faster if it does. If not I guess that I'll do my best to sleep. Probably have to take some pain killers because it's almost unbearable.

End Note: Well that was an amazing trip. I hope that all of you enjoyed reading about it. Right now it's 2 months later and I'm still recovering, can you believe that? Not sure when I'm going to be fighting again, it depends how long all this healing takes. Right now I'm doing my best to stay in shape and stay positive although it's not easy. Hopefully I'll be fighting again by April or May, I will keep you posted. Thanks for reading this and thank you for your comments, they mean more to me than I could ever tell you!
-God Bless you all! 

1 comment:

  1. I saw this was going to be a long post, so I grabbed a slab of chocolate and some coffee (strange combo, but good, haha), and sat down to read. It definitely sounds like a journey all right... It can't be called a "journey" if there aren't both ups and downs, but it all works out for the best in the end, even if we don't understand it right away. Like you said, God lets certain things happen for a reason. He knows what's best for us. Here's a scripture that I find encouraging when I feel like things are falling apart around me, and I just don't know which way to turn:

    Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    You fought a champion, and you didn't give up. That makes YOU a champion.

    On a lighter note, you sure eat a lot dude, LOL!

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this, it was a great read. :)