Goals are important things. They give us context and room for what we want to achieve, they make us believe in ourselves in a focused way. My initial goal when I first moved to Thailand was to achieve 50 fights, which was seemed near impossible when I first pictured it back in 2010, on my first trip to Thailand. I had only ever conceived of it and knew it was possible because Sylvie Charbonneau, a Canadian woman at my same weight who spent five years at the same gym I’m at now in Thailand – Lanna Muay Thai – had just reached 50 fights and retired when I arrived. Her achievement not only planted the seed in my head, it proved that the fantasy was a possibility. The reason I chose Lanna Muay Thai on that first trip was to come train with Sylvie – I knew if she could do it then that meant there were women for me to fight and that the gym could and would train me – and her gift to me really was just leading by example.
You can feel what that 50 fight goal meant to me in this short 5 minute documentary made on my goal last year, thoughts about the goal and about fighting frequently in general:
As I approached 50 after my first year I realized it was not only reachable, it was surpassable. What do you do when you get close enough to your goal that you realize you’re about to blast right past it? Make a new goal: on to 100.
100 Muay Thai Fights
100 Muay Thai fights also seemed vast, but not impossible. I saw that I was capable fighting very frequently here in Thailand. A great deal of this came from being able to manage my pain threshold by mentally minimizing and properly treating injuries. This is something I talked about in past posts like Keep Moving: The Importance of Training with Injury and Training Through Injury: Kicking on Shins. Yet there is always the understanding that whatever goal I set it is also thoroughly restricted by how much money we have to remain here in Thailand. Goals, as much as they require determination and dedication, also require time. We’ve been very fortunate to have stayed in Thailand this long already and with the goal of 100 fights in mind, I knew that it was just a matter of getting more time here.
With 100 fights now seeming reachable – at the time of this writing I just had my 71st – and coming upon our 2nd anniversary here in Thailand – April 6th – I wanted to focus my goal of 100 fights. I came to Thailand this time with 3 Thailand fights accomplished. In the first year since moving here I fought 27 fights. In my 2nd year I hope to have fought 34 times. If things break just right financially we think we can remain in Thailand until June 2015. That would give me just enough time to have fought 100 times in Thailand. This would give me a grand total of 109 fights, counting my 9 amateur bouts in America.
I’m attracted to this number for a few reasons. Of course it is a nice round number. 100 fights in any sport is a significant accomplishment. But I believe that by reaching 100 fights in Thailand itself it sets a beacon for other women to come and fight here seriously, and prolifically, as well. As far as I know it will be the most fights any western woman has fought in this country. If anyone knows of other women who have done this or anything close please do message me, I’d like to bring their accomplishments forward. Honestly, very few western men have fought 100 times in Thailand. This is an honor, really an honor beyond any belt, for me. Fighting as much “like a Thai” – and the Thai women I fight here fight very, very frequently in stretches – in the culture of Muay Thai has a cumulative, almost spiritual value that is pretty much impossible to describe. Just as Sylvie Charbonneau made so many things possible for me, just in terms of my imagination, I want other women to think these things are not only possible, but also desirable. I want women from around the world to not only come here to fight, but come here to fight a lot. From the messages I receive from women, this already is starting to happen.
My Fight Rate
Below is my fight rate since arriving at Thailand, calculated out to 109 fights with 100 fights in Thailand. My husband is into these kinds of graphic representations (and he’s responsible for creating this one) because they allow us to see if we are above the line or below the line in terms of tracking progress:
You can always see this fight rate graphic, as well as my complete fight record here.
The You of Me
It would be a big mistake to think that this is something that “I” am doing, or “I” am achieving. Or an even bigger mistake to assume that there is something special about me. There isn’t. I didn’t want to fight, I wouldn’t have dreamed of it, when I first started with Muay Thai. And at each stage of the dream all I’ve done is commit myself to something that I love and that was right in front of me. It’s something anyone can do. And I have done this, so far, through the generous support of my trainers, numerous gym owners, my family, and so many others who have offered the emotional energy through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and this site. We can’t climb high without others. If my personal goal is to achieve 100 fights in Thailand, my more grand lifetime dream is to have that number become surpassed by several by the time I’m reading blogs of women in Thailand 10 years from now. I don’t want this kind of achievement to remain exceptional.
So hopefully if I stay healthy, remain financially viable, and continue to get the huge support from others I will be reaching this goal around June of 2015. Onward!