Suture

There is a divide in Muay Thai training that is indiscernable within myself.  On the one hand, Muay Thai is love and art, breath and passion.  I need Muay...

There is a divide in Muay Thai training that is indiscernable within myself.  On the one hand, Muay Thai is love and art, breath and passion.  I need Muay Thai in order to be who I am and who I want to be.  On the other hand, Muay Thai is a sport, a game, a discipline.  Sports are something one can be good at. 

I feel this difference in my body: in how I love and hate my body in equal measure.  I love it for what it can do and how it takes care of me; I hate it for how it fails or begs for rest, or refuses to look how it feels.  I can also feel this emotionally, in the way that I get excited to train or look forward to sparring; I also feel it when I am disappointed with myself for how I’m training or how poorly I’m sparring. 

But I never seem to choose in favor of positivity.  If I do poorly, I never think to myself, “well, it’s a sport; I train for myself and I can only improve with time and dedication.”  Rather, I think it is a deficit in my person, rather than my training or knowledge.  If I do well, I do not attribute it to how hard I’m working or how much I enjoy it.  The only constant between these two sides is that I always love Muay Thai.  If I hate myself or have a shit day, I still love Muay Thai; if I land sharp punches and powerful kicks, block and move with purpose and confidence… well hell, I really love Muay Thai.

But there has to be a way to stitch the two together in my head and heart so that I don’t go through this intense guilt and stress that castrates me.  I have to be able to see the sport side and give it space, know that improvement is not given but earned.  And I have to see the side of it that is necessary for my well being – that I do this because I love it and I may never be prolific… I don’t like to think that, but I do have to accept where I am before I can yearn for where I will be.  I can’t keep fighting with myself.  It’s not a fair fight.

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A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see patreon.com/sylviemuay

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