This morning I woke up without my alarm and could see a soft pink light peeking through the narrow parting of my floor-to-ceiling balcony curtains. I got up and gathered my things before heading over to the gym, arriving about 15 minutes earlier than usual.
Runs start at 6:30 AM and if Andy is around one can usually hop in the back of his truck with two or three dogs and get a ride out to the lake in Mae Rim. It’s a beautiful 3.7 km run around the lake (one loop) with an option to duck past the rice fields and have a sketchy, steep run up the side of the mountain that tests your quit at every craggy bend.
I’d decided when I got up that because today is the farthest date from my next fight that I’d like to get a long, difficult run in. I told myself that if Andy was there I’d run the mountain behind the rice fields and if he wasn’t there I’d run up Doi Suthep to the waterfall. Upon arriving at the gym I saw Andy’s car and a few dogs milling around, so I knew he was both there and awake (the dogs don’t get out of bed if he doesn’t), but there was a small collection of men sitting on the bench and a few more roaming about the gym, seemingly waiting for Andy as well. I decided I didn’t want to hop in a full truck and have a potentially abridged run up the mountain, as I would have many other people’s schedules to consider rather than just telling Andy to pace around the rice fields until we could meet up. So I put my stuff down in a conspicuous spot so Andy would know Ihad been there and headed out for my own run.
Muay Thai Podcast
About a week ago I downloaded a free podcast from iTunes from the Muay Thai Preservation Project that included an interview with Ongjen Topic of North Jersey Muay Thai. He’s a good fighter who doesn’t utter a great number of words outside of probably knowing him on a personal basis and since I just saw him win a WBC title at the Warrior’s Cup in New Jersey I was interested to hear what he might be saying about it prior to the fight. I hooked my headphones into my ears and turned on my pedometer before hitting “play” on the podcast.
My run ended up taking me up to the waterfall and, because I’m to wary to hitch a ride with a random vehicle on the way back down, I ran back down too. The podcast lasted the duration of my run, which was ultimately a little over 15 kilometers. Listening to fighters and lovers of Muay Thai talk about it beats my music on shuffle any day of the week. I loved it. They cover a range of topics, all of which were relevant and interesting to me, including MMA’s potential for helping with Muay Thai’s growth in the US, how promoters help or hinder exposure of fighters and Muay Thai with their methods, fighter pay, what makes a difficult opponent and how real Muay Thai from Thailand can (or can’t) make it to US audiences and the issue of weight classes when one fighter cuts a lot of weight and the other walks pretty close to the contract weight. I find that one very interesting.
Being from New York and the scene that these guys live, fight in and discuss, I knew exactly who and what they were talking about even when they very diligently refused to “name names.” They are correct and fair in everything they say, so it does not come off as gossipy. However, I do acknowledge that listeners outside of the NY or East Coast fighting circuit (which, I am now also outside of) might be less engaged in those topics.
Nonetheless, I recommend that anyone and everyone check out the podcast. It’s free and of good quality. Furthermore, the Muay Thai Preservation Project is an awesome idea and good cause, raising money to sponsor kids learning Muay Thai. So, if you are able and interested in donating, that’s a worthy thing to do. You can find the free of charge podcast(s) here – I listened to the most recent, podcast #1 from 9/18/12.