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Hi everyone,

I recently read the blog from Emma Thomas that Sylvie had re-posted (I am posting the link to it below).

https://8limbsus.com/female-fighters/by-emma-thomas-muay-thai

It gave me the impulse to write the few words below and I wanted to share how Emma's post touched me to the core:

If you would ask me what kind of individuals I look up to… I would answer that I admire people who have incredible personal qualities such as Courage, Kindness, Generosity, Determination, and Dedication… If you also have great wisdom, chances are you are a role model to me.
Emma's post touched me in many ways and I’d like to express support to this incredible person.


I am one that agrees that the best learning outcomes come from our failures. And more often than not, the harder you fail, the greater the lesson. This is where I stand anyways and I have yet to have managed to deal with successes better than with failures.
I noticed in the article that the rationale for the person to tell Emma to quit was the amount of consecutive losses she had had. Not a valid argument in my opinion. You do something because you enjoy it, want to improve, are passionate about it, want to share the moment and practice with someone who shares the same passion as you, sense of accomplishment, to gain wisdom, know what you are made of and so on… The list of valid reasons for doing something can be endless. I really don’t think that the opinion of the judges sitting ring-side (no matter how qualified they may be) and the official outcome of a fight would be the main reason why fighters fight. It could be the main motivation for spectators but that also has to be proven (many spectators can actually appreciate a fight regardless of the official outcome, unless they bet money). Let’s not mention that stepping in the ring is, alone, a win each time. Let’s also not mention that Emma Thomas stepped in the ring right away at the most difficult place to do so: Thailand, the mother land of Muay Thai. How could anyone with a little bit of common sense tell her to quit after only 11 fights in Thailand. That just doesn’t make sense at all…
I have had successes in life, although I do not recall any of those successes occurring before failing first. I have failed more times than I could ever count; from every failure, there was a learning outcome. At times it was a big lesson and sometimes a smaller, more subtle one. In many occurrences I repeatedly failed before any kind of incremental improvements.
All the times I failed helped me become a better person. For each time I failed there was a lesson around the corner and incremental improvements arose.
On another hand, the ego trip and euphoria provided by unexpected successes have blurred my thoughts and ultimately set me back. Things that worked out on the first try have had a tendency to make me stop pushing and searching for a better self. The kind of feeling that gives the illusion that you’ve got nothing else to learn after all. Retrospectively that feeling is infinitely detrimental to one’s mind and soul.

Edited by Joe Kimble
Fixing typo
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Thanks for your thoughtful response and kind words, Joe. 

It's really interesting for me to look back on that post with the perspective that I have now. I knew at the time that the person who'd told me to give up was wrong, but it seems even more ridiculous now.

It's crazy to read that I'd only been training for a year and a half at the time, that I'd had 11 fights, and that I'd only had three consecutive losses at the time. Those numbers are so insignificant, they're almost nothing! A few years later, I would go on to have five losses in a row, and even that doesn't mean much at all. Also, looking back, I think I was way too kind to the person in question in my writing. But, I respected them a lot, and that's part of why it hurt so much. You're absolutely right about that not being a valid argument, and the reasons for fighting being so much bigger than winning. 

I actually haven't fought now for over a year and a half, and I go back and forth constantly on whether or not I still want to. Sometimes, all I want is to get back in there. Other times, I'm fine with letting that part of my life go. It's bittersweet to think of that, but the important thing is that those feelings are coming from myself, rather than someone else who thinks they know what's best for me. That guy wasn't the last person who told me to give up, either. After one of my last fights, my boyfriend at the time did, too. Yeah, he's an ex now. 

Thanks again for your post and for bringing this article to my attention. I never liked to revisit this one because it always brought up some feelings of shame and inferiority for me, but this time it was a very different experience. I actually really needed this today ♥️

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You are very welcome! Your post definitely hit a soft spot in me. 

There are so many people who don't try to better themselves and I think that it causes them to completely miss out on certain fundamental and universal truths.

The fact alone that you had the courage and determination to repeatedly step in the ring and pursued your passion for so many years makes you a Winner in my book (and I'm positive thousands of other people feel the same way I do).

Sorry for the bf, his loss...

Edited by Joe Kimble
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21 hours ago, emma said:

I actually haven't fought now for over a year and a half, and I go back and forth constantly on whether or not I still want to. Sometimes, all I want is to get back in there. Other times, I'm fine with letting that part of my life go. It's bittersweet to think of that, but the important thing is that those feelings are coming from myself, rather than someone else who thinks they know what's best for me.

This part feels particularly important for female athletes. @Kaitlin Rose Young (and of course you and me, Emma) and I have had a few back and forths about how unique it is for women to be asked when they're going to stop fighting, even after very objectively successful fights! But I love your point here, that whatever you're thinking or feeling about the progression of your Muay Thai career (or your Power Lifting) is coming from YOU. That's so, so hard in the world of sport, where you have trainers and mentors, teammates, "fans" or people who support you (or don't), etc. Everyone has an opinion and, for all the reasons that be, a lot of people feel justified in voicing those opinions to women, especially. It can be hard to tune it out. It can be hard to go against it. It can even be hard to dismiss it when you KNOW it's total bullshit. Which is crazy.

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On 6/23/2019 at 1:10 AM, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

This part feels particularly important for female athletes. @Kaitlin Rose Young (and of course you and me, Emma) and I have had a few back and forths about how unique it is for women to be asked when they're going to stop fighting, even after very objectively successful fights! But I love your point here, that whatever you're thinking or feeling about the progression of your Muay Thai career (or your Power Lifting) is coming from YOU. That's so, so hard in the world of sport, where you have trainers and mentors, teammates, "fans" or people who support you (or don't), etc. Everyone has an opinion and, for all the reasons that be, a lot of people feel justified in voicing those opinions to women, especially. It can be hard to tune it out. It can be hard to go against it. It can even be hard to dismiss it when you KNOW it's total bullshit. Which is crazy.

You hit the nail right on the head... And those people feeling entitled to "offer" (read: impose) their opinion are men more often than not. It's fucked up.

I have been guilty of this in the past and I am grateful to have people around me who have educated me. 

 

 

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