its Monday and I’m heading to China tonight for my fight in EM Legend.
I’ve been in fight preparation but over the past year, my fight preparation has changed a lot. I wanted to share with you how and why. So, the topic came up this weekend when I ran into a friend at the beach and he asked me surprisingly “Aren’t you prepping for a fight?”, like I should have been at the gym instead of the beach. We got to talking and the conversation topic was not new to me. A lot of times, I get the same questions asked from my students or teammates. “Why am I so exhausted and feel powerless?!”
“Why do I always get these staff infections?!”
Today, the answer for me is actually easy. Overtraining!
But I have to admit it took me a good while to figure it out. For years I would overtrain.
A lot of people overtrain without even noticing it.
When I came to Thailand the first time, I noticed that the training is different then what I had experienced back home. The training sessions here are about 2-3 hours per session including running, skipping, pad work, clinching and a little bit of weight lifting.
After my first couple of trainings sessions I just felt exhausted. I didn’t enjoy training anymore, I just kept going cause.. that’s what we do right? I’m a fighter so I should train, train and train. I was too proud to skip a session or skip the 10km runs in the mornings before the actual training.
The result of my overtraining was my first (of many) staff infections, on my leg that almost made it impossible for me to fight. I got better, went back to my routine and another infection came along. And then it was a new infection almost every month. I was so upset and starting questioning ,why?!
It effected my training and my mindset.
After multiple times to the doctor looking for advice or a cure. The answer was always the same. My immune-system is weak. I have to rest.
Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.
I used to be obsessed with training and never skipped a session. I would go crazy in my mind, having an upcoming fight and skipping a training session was not an option. Having a beer or a cheeseburger the month of a fight was not an option. Having a social life was not an option. I called it the “Fighter’s life”.
It was time to change. I tried to follow the advice from the doctor and tried to listen to my body. I have learnt that there is a difference of skipping a session because you are lazy or because you need to recover.
I still train hard but if I need a break, I take one. I mix it up, I do Muay Thai, I run, I do yoga, I swim. I overall stay healthy and fit but still enjoy the other good stuff. Since I have changed my training schedule and my mindset, I never had infection again. And I feel stronger then ever. I feel strong when I enter the ring fully rested with a calm mindset rather then a tired body and stressed mind. My advice to anyone who wants it, keep your mind strong but calm. Train hard but smart. Stay healthy and fit but listen to your body.
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.