Do this sport long enough and you are gona have injuries. I always compare it to a statement I heard about bull riding, “It’s not IF you’re going to get hurt, but how bad.” I can honestly say that I’ve never had a single muay thai fight that I did not come out of hurt, not necessarily injured but definitely hurting. That being said my four boxing fights and one MMA fight I came out of smiling and thinking “What the hell, there seems to be something missing here”. Guess that’s why I was never drawn to those sports as much, I just never got that rush from them, they almost felt like intense sparring matches rather than actual fights, boring! But to each his own.
Over the years I’ve had my share of serious injuries; Broken noses, toes, fingers, fractured my skull, snapped my ankle, and more stitches then I can count. On one hand I love coming out of fights with injuries, as long as they’re not too serious, let’s you know that you’ve been in a fight. But on the other hand when those injuries cause you to have to take time out of doing what you love it can really drag you down. I just recently had my surgery on my ACL, having torn it two months ago, and I will be out for some time while I’m recovering. Luckily this is not my first serious injury or I think that I would be having a much harder time with dealing with it. In the past I have had to learn the hard way about coming back to soon before the injury is completely healed. I broke my hand (multiple times) back in 07’ and to this day I still have problems with it because I rushed getting back in to training/fighting. Of course part of that was because my original doctors were idiots and didn’t get me fixed up properly.
One of the most difficult parts about having serious injuries is the time away from the gym, especially for someone like me. I’m the type of person that, even after a war of a fight, can only be out of the gym for a few days before I start to get depressed. This is what I love, it’s my passion, so if you take that away from me I am left with a huge hole in my life. It’s very easy to start to get down on yourself, sit around eating junk food, drinking, getting pilled out (or whatever you happen to be doing). You start wondering if you will ever be back to where you once were or whether you will even be able to be back at all. Anytime you have set backs in life it can be so easy to let those things pull you into a downward spiral that some never recover from. One bad thing leads to another and another and another. This is in anything in life, not just injuries/losses/setbacks in fighting. It’s normal to get depressed when these things happen but you can either use them to motivate you or you can use them as an excuse, which unfortunately most people do. You look at your setbacks and think ‘why me’ and start thinking about how hard it’s going to be to bounce back and whether you even have the strength to do it. Part of you just wants to use this as an excuse to quit; I mean who would blame you. But I would never quit, no matter the adversity, no matter how hard it’s going to be, as long as I’m breathing I’m fighting.
No matter what your injury is, or what you are going through, there is always something you can work on, I don’t care if you’re in a full body cast and the only thing that works on you is your eyes. For every person in a horrible situation making excuses there is another in that same exact position(or worse) that’s over coming those adversities and making it, so don’t give me the “you don’t know what it’s like to be in this situation” excuse. I don’t care how good of lives you think certain people have, everyone has hard times and hard circumstances to overcome. No matter how hard your life is there is always someone with it worse than you, so stop crying.
Let’s say you broke you hand, as I have many times, well you still have two legs and one good hand that you can work plenty of techniques with. Let’s say you have a busted leg, well you can still sit in a chair and work some hand movements. And even if you are in a full body cast and only your eyes work you can always watch fights and think about techniques and strategies. Instead of looking at your situation as a negative you need to turn it around and work those things that normally you never would. So much of this game is mental but how many of us really put the time into mental training. Well when you’re injured and can’t do much else that’s a perfect time to take advantage and do it.
Before I originally broke my right hand I used to almost solely rely on it, it was my go to weapon. Well it was pretty much out of commission for over a year so I was forced to get really good at my left. Now my left hand is even better than my right but if I never had broken my hand then I probably wouldn’t have grown into the fighter that I am today. So it’s about turning these negative things into positive ones, in any situation in life. Obviously this is easier said than done and just as I’m writing this down for you guys to read I am reading it and reminding myself of the same things. It will be a constant struggle and you will always have days when it just seems too difficult and you want to quit. But it’s not about whether you fall it’s about whether you get back up and get back up even better than before.
“FACE YOUR FEARS, LIVE YOUR DREAMS!”