In world where attention spans are on the decrease and depression/anxiety is on the rise, never has it been more important to take care of yourself and give yourself a chance to actually succeed.
After spending the last 5 or so years working towards something that is still ridiculously far away, I have started to ask myself where do I find the motivation to keep on going. How do I remain focused on the goal and what is it that drives me forward?
I’m not going to pretend to have the answers to these questions, but what I do have the answer to is how I feel while venturing down this path of self-discovery. That may sound a little extreme referring this journey as a path of self-discovery but realistically this is what it is.
I have found something that I know will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. Thai boxing is now in my blood. I can’t think of anything else. It’s an obsession. That’s why I can tell you how I feel about the whole keeping motivated thing.
It’s easy. I want to do it. On the days I don’t want to do it, I still kinda want to do it. The moments where I have to have a little talk to myself and either tell myself that I have to go and push through the tiredness or injuries or whatever, build the resilience and mental toughness it takes to become a fighter.
It’s not easy. Fight camp sucks (kinda). The work is hard and the days are long when you’re getting up early to run and not getting in late from training on a night. The feeling when it’s your moment in the ring, or in an inter club or just your time in the gym is priceless. No one can take that away from you.
Your development and growth is the motivation it should take to get you in to the gym. What more incentive do you need other than your health and well-being. I will be talking a little more about the mental health benefits of training and Muay Thai and how it can help you if you’re not feeling great.
I know and have seen first hand, how much a session in the gym can completely change and shift the mindset from anxious and nervous to confident and free. It is a very evidential shift and one that is replicated every time you take the time to acknowledge it and notice it’s presence.
For me, the social element of the gym is important too. The lads and lasses in the gym are my chosen family. Spending time with these guys is something I very much look forward to. No matter what has happened at home, at work or anywhere else, it doesn’t matter. When you step inside the gym, that’s where your head is.
That’s where the conversations start, that’s how the interactions go. “How’s the weight?” “What you working on at the moment?” “Get much training in over the weekend?” “You see that fight?!”
All questions and just some of the topics that are covered. Reaffirming and cementing the fact that you’re putting in the graft and preparing for a fight or the small, micro accomplishments that have been happening over the past days/weeks.
For me, staying motivated is easy. I love the sport. It’s easy for me get to the sessions that I might not want to because I can see the long term benefits of the short term sacrifices. Having a greater foresight as to the path you’ve decided to explore needs that dedication and commitment.
Seeing the mental and physical benefits on a daily occurrence is also motivation enough for me to stay motivated. Even on the bad days, Muay Thai makes it better. Even on the rainy days, Muay Thai makes it brighter. Today marks the two and a half week anniversary to my next fight. 29th February we go at it again just three weeks after my last outing.
I’m still carrying a few niggles and bits here and there but after sparring last night, I feel confident in my other weapons to see the fight through and be able to work around them if needs be. I will continue resting the areas that need to be rested and working on the areas that I need to work on.
It’s going to be an exciting few months with two fights lined up over 6 weeks. I have 29th Feb and 4th April in the diary at the moment. Two very good opportunities to display what I have been working on.
On the days where you don’t want to train or don’t feel like it, remember the days where you felt great, remember the times you dug deep and used through what you thought was possible. Don’t feel like you have to justify anything to anyone and do what you feel is right. If you need to rest, then take the time to rest. If you need that extra hard session in the gym, then get it done.
No one else will drive you harder or further than yourself. You’re in constant competition, not with your opponents but yourself. Who’s going to win?