This is something of an intro to Robyn Klenk who wrote a guest post for me after visiting me in Thailand, be sure to read it: Guest Post by Robyn Klenk – Stretched Thin and Growing in Thailand
One night, a few years ago, I called my husband from the parking lot of my job before heading home in the wee hours of the morning. I was tired and the air in my car was cold and harsh, but my husband’s voice on the other end was excited. “You have to read this email you got from a woman, inviting you to spar with a group of women on Sundays,” he said. I, too, was immediately excited. If I’d known then that “this woman” was the woman I know now as Robyn Klenk, I would have been too excited to drive.
Robyn is one of those friends you forget ever having not known. I remember meeting her, sure, but given the short amount of time we’ve actually spent in each other’s presence, it’s astonishing how connected I feel to her as a friend, mentor, confidant, and sympathetic mind. When I get really hard on myself, it’s Robyn’s voice I hear in my head telling me to suck it up, get out of my head and be more aggressive. Among many things, perhaps the greatest thing Robyn has taught me (in terms of changing my training and fighting) is that aggression, like a skill or strength, must be trained. And like all things, if it’s difficult then it requires even more of your time and focus.
When the idea of Robyn coming out to Thailand to train and have a fight became more solid, more like a plan, I lost my mind. I could not wait for her to be here, to experience training in the Thai style and ultimately to fight Muay Thai in the context of a place and atmosphere that is utterly different from what she has experienced before. Robyn is a hard-worker and I knew that giving her the experience of just training, with no other distractions other than how to feed yourself, would be a shot of pure intoxicating joy. Added to that was how badly I wanted to have another woman in the gym to train/play with.
The experience of having Robyn here was amazing and I had so much fun with her on every single day of her visit that it was only a few days into her arrival that we were already lamenting how quickly she would leave again. It’s never enough time. She got a lot out of this trip, more so than I think many others would because of the kind of person she is. In the simplest explanation, Robyn can fit months into a few days because she knows to ask – she asked Den to explain things to her and to repeat being dumped on the floor two or three times so she could see how it was done and then how to counter it. She asked Daeng to spar with her and when he got the better of her she wanted it dissected and would persist until she understood. She’s amazing and she squeezed every drop out of the fruit she had in front of her. The second greatest lesson Robyn has taught me is to insist on instruction – to practice asking and you’ll get more.