Saturday, March 31, 2012

WKA Tournament Day 1

Here we are in Richmond, Virginia, for the North American WKA tournament. The long awaited day has finally come. Feeling good this morning after a good night's rest and filling my tummy the night before. As we're walking to the venue, Kim, one of the trainers at The Wat, turns to me and says: "You have two fights potentially. And oh. They've moved you up one weight class" as she gives this look that says "don't freak out" lol

Hmmm... moved me up one weight class huh? What that means is no one showed up in my division at 132lbs. So now I'll be fighting in the 143lbs division, which is funny because that is EXACTLY what I weighed BEFORE I started cutting weight 3 weeks ago... hahaha sigh... That does not mean all my efforts were in vain people. I now know I can make 132 fairly easily and that will most likely be useful to me sometime in the future. You gotta look at the brighter side of things in life, makes everything a more pleasant experience :-)

So they'll have a couple pounds on me, no biggie. I think I pack a little bit of weight behind my punches too. Being lighter means I'll be faster so it'll work out. To be fair, I had a feeling something like this might happen because there is definitely a limited number of female fighters, particularly in the open division for which you need to have 3 previous wins in order to participate. That was the main reason I wanted to go down to 132 in the first place, just to give myself more options. All is well.

Finally I fought this girl, who I think is from Illinois; she's a good fighter. It's always nice to have a fight where both contestants use good technique and it doesn't look like a bar brawl. The fight went for three rounds, I paced myself, looked for openings and stayed strong until the end. The decision went in my favor, yea! Tomorrow is the final for the belt. I soaked in a warm bath this evening, refueled and now resting up to have my name written in that empty box tomorrow :-D

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weigh-in completed.

Done and done.
A whole month of regulating every single thing I eat and drink, every single day. Combine that with training and running 6 days a week, which lead to a whole lot of sweating. And the result?
132.0 pounds. Nice.

How did the whole process feel? Not bad at all, actually. Ok, there was one day this week when I felt on the low side after working out in a sweat suit. Oh. And my stomach was definitely doing some major growling today from not eating or drinking anything. But all in all, it was pretty good. I wasn't starving, I ate really healthy, I felt good and more importantly I reached my goal!
That being said, 132lbs on me, a 5'10" woman is WAY too skinny for me. My cheeks are hollow to the point where I risk biting them when I chew and let's not even get started on my butt cheeks!! They are gone gone GONE! Which btw is NOT a good thing!! Let me put it this way, half way into the six hour drive to Virginia, I was soooo uncomfortable. And I'm wondering why in the world am I soooo uncomfortable... Oh yeah!! I don't have any padding on my butt. Right. I literally had to pull over get my shoulder pillow I use for long flights as padding on my seat to be able to bear the rest of the drive. Ok yeah, that worked fine but I'll just take my natural butt padding instead, thanks. And I'll thoroughly enjoy my bubble butt and not fitting into the 26" skinny jeans. That works just fine by me.

So the tournament starts tomorrow and goes on until Sunday evening. In the morning, we'll find out how many people are in our weight brackets and how many fights we'll have for the weekend. I'm excited!
Time to get some rest and get ready for the real work to begin!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almost there

So the last week of training before the tournament is finally here!
I feel good, training has been going very well, no injuries and my weight is just where I want it to be. It's nice when hard work leads to results! But that's usually the case isn't it? Results comes from blood, sweat and tears. For me it's been lots and lots of sweat!!

It's funny how quickly fight training goes by though. Before I started training it seemed like so much work: training 6 days a week, running 6 days a week, losing 10 pounds... Say what?!? Seriously, when I thought about it in January it seemed impossible, although I knew I had done it many times before. I had a little bit of winter blues/blahs and that did not help at all. I was just like: "no way. there's just no way." Then the weather got better and I snapped out of it, just in time too lol

And then you just go through the motions and voila, already in the last week and it wasn't so bad after all! The most amazing part is that I feel great! It's definitely from working out regularly which gets your endorphins going AND from not eating so much. We really don't need to eat as much as we do, makes you feel groggy and heavy, and just slows you down. But why oh why does eating feel so darn good then? Argh!... lol

I'm happy about discovering new healthy recipes though. I'm most definitely going to add more vegetarian meals to my everyday diet. After giving up meat for almost a month now, I decided I want to eat less meat from now on. However, I don't think I'm ready to give it up altogether. I miss eating meat though I now realize I don't need it. Maybe someday in the future I'll become vegetarian, maybe...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The first mile

Boy. That first mile sucks.
Each time I go for a run, which is 6 days a week when I'm training for a fight, it's the first mile that's the hardest. I'm always wondering why I can't move my legs any faster, why the incline seems so steep, I wonder how I'm going to get through the entire run if the very first mile is this hard. And inevitably, once I push through that first mile then everything gets better, my breathing gets smooth, my legs start moving, the incline doesn't seem so bad anymore and I think "ok. I can do this."

Very same thing happens for the first round that I jump rope. I guess it's like a car with a standard transmission. It takes more effort to put the car in first gear to get it going then to switch into second or third gear after the car is already in motion. Makes sense but doesn't make it less sucky, lol.

I found that the best strategy is to not think about. If I sit and think of how hard that first mile is going to be, I may decide to just not run at all or I'll run but I'll focus on how hard it is and then it's really feel like it's hard. Instead of just doing it and getting it over with.

That's Nike's line right? "Just do it". But for real, it's so true!
And I only truly started understanding the depth of its meaning since I've been doing muay thai and trained like a real athlete, or since I've become a real athlete I should say.
We always make reasons why we can't work out, don't we? Or why we can't do more than 10 push-ups. We make excuses for ourselves. "I can't do this because...", "I can't do that because..."
Truth is we can do just about anything. All it takes is to "Just do it".
You just need to start doing it and keep doing it. And one day you'll wake up and realize that you just did it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Muay Thai at the Mecca

What a great night of fight yesterday at Madison Square Garden! Great fights, great venue, amazing turnout. A little bit of drama happened unfortunately towards the end but I guess that added some spice.

A big big BIG congrats to Nick Vaughan and Brett Hlavacek from The Wat! They both won their fights by KO, it was awesome. When I grow up I want to be just like those guys :-)

Oh. And because everyone was at MSG last night, I guess there was confusion as to who was teaching pads class at The Wat last night so Phil (that's Phil Nurse: owner and Kru of The Wat, unbelievable fighter and best Muay Thai teacher around. Don't take MY word for it, apparently a few guys in the UFC seem to think so too and they also just happen to be the champions of their weight class... Just saying.)
Back to my story: so Phil asked yours truly to teach class! I was like " want ME to do what?!?" lol It was cool though, people were sweating and hitting pads so mission accomplished right? haha

Hopefully next time there's a card at MSG I'll be on it too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fuel for the day

So I'm trying to make weight at 132lbs. A little lighter than the usual 135 but nothing crazy. So far so good. I woke up this morning at 138.5 so I'm not only on track but a little ahead since there's still two weeks to go.

When cutting weight basically here's what we do:

Eat small portions.
Cut out all junk food and fatty food, basically no empty calories.
Cut out sugar, salt.
No alcohol.
Eat something every two to three hours.
Drink lost of water.

Here's what I had today:
Nothing like starting the day with a glass of fresh vegetable and fruit juice, with some whey protein thrown in there for good measure

Kale salad for lunch. Added sunflower shoots, kalamata olives, tomatoes and pine nuts.

Pre workout snack: Greek yogurt, nuts and a grapefruit. I LOVE grapefruit!!!

Post workout snack to hold me over while I make dinner. I would have rather had crackers or pita with my homemade hummus but no more in the house so celery sticks it is. Yes yes homemade hummus, yummy!

Finally dinner time: quinoa with bok choy and mushrooms. So tasty.

Have I made you nauseous with how ubber healthy my diet is?!?
It's actually all very tasty and I'm far from starving away all day. Just gotta load up on the water, about 3 to 4 liters and it's all good.
I'm not usually vegetarian but I gave up meat for lent and it's actually been great. Simmer down Red...
I may add more pasta and rice though to bulk up these meals a little.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Three years

Three years have come and gone from the first time I walked into The Wat, Muay Thai gym in NYC.

I first walked into The Wat in February 2009 looking for a good workout, to get in shape, get rid of my little potbelly and keep it moving. Now three years have gone by and boy there sure has been some big changes in my life since that day... that dreadful day! haha just kidding
But seriously if I knew then that walking into The Wat would lead me to become a Muay Thai fighter, to compete in a contact sport, to punch people in the face and get punched in the face on a weekly basis... If you had told me THAT when I walked in, I would have first laughed at you, then told you that you're crazy and if I had believed any of it I most DEFINITELY would have walked right out never to return again.
I think that's fair to say.

Luckily no one told me any of that. Or unluckily if you'd ask my mom lol
Come in they said, take a class! They were so nice, I felt at home right away, as I still do three years later.

So here we are.
Three years later indeed.
Five fights later.
Five wins later.
Getting ready to compete for a second time in the WKA North American Championships, but in the open division this time around.

The first time I did the WKA's was in June 2010. It was my first fight. First fight ever, in my life. I'm standing in my corner, the bell rings and my opponent CHARGES at me. I'm thinking: "OMG this girl wants to kill me!" lol
I thought we'd dance around each other for a little while like the thai fighters do in the youtube videos, ease our way into the fight maybe...
Yeah. There was none of that. It was  fight and it was ON as soon as that bell rang.
Well I think I've evolved some since those days as a fighter and as a person so we'll see how things go this year.

The tournament starts March 30th. Training has been going well. Running is going to pick up.
Oh yeah. And I still need to cut 10 pounds. Bah. 10lbs in 20 days. Easy peazy.

So I FINALLY started my blog 2 years after I was supposed to but here it is. Not sure who'll be interested in the details of my sweat, blood and tears shed in preparing for my fights but it's here. At the very least I'll use it as motivation in preparing for my fights. AND I won't have to hear my dear friend/little sister, Hsin, annoy me about it EVER again!!! Victory is mine hehehe