Finding that one idea

January 23, 2014

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I saw this picture from a newsletter I receive from Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend

I know if I harness my focus on one thing, I know I’ll be able to succeed.  I have enough ambition to power myself forward.

The problem is finding that one thing.  It’s not like that I don’t have an idea.  It’s that I have many ideas. I want to do fashion and fight photography, run my own muay thai gym, have my own PR firm, own a bar that is upscale and plays raunchy music from the 30s….

Everyday, these ideas bounce around in my head.  I want to do something I love, but I love doing many things.  

Do I need to have one idea if I’m passionate about many things?  Who knows? Maybe I’ll figure it out down the road.

On a side note: I got media credentials to cover the UFC event coming up this Saturday in Chicago.  Pretty stoked about that.

Victory and Defeat are .001" apart. "...

Victory and Defeat are .001″ apart. “Keep On the Ball” – NARA – 534496 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know this blogging for self-discovery shit is overdone, but hey, I’m gonna write what I feel like writing about…

Currently, my mind is scattered all over the place.  From teaching, to learning about social media and getting ready to start this internship at Documentary Arts Asia, to preparing to fight, I’m having trouble focusing on one thing.  I was motivated train this morning.  Hell, I even woke up at 4:30 AM to go run, before my visit to Chiang Mai immigration, which is a nightmare.  But I wanted to fight.  Then, after my teaching gig at a Thai high school, I came to the gym to train.  I hurt my right shin last week during kick sparring, but I thought I was OK today.  However, when I kicked the bag, the pain came back.  It sunk my motivation.  I struggled to make it through the rest of my session, which I barely did.  But these nagging injuries defeat me mentally.

I remember when I boxed in the Navy, how much of a gym rat I was.  I used to call the boxing gym my “office.”  I went from 205 lbs to 149 lbs in 7 months.  I loved training.  I only had five fights and only won 2, but I still loved stepping into that ring.  I ate healthy, I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke for like 8 months.   I ran 4 miles a day and 13 miles on a Sunday.  I remember doing hardcore training with sledgehammers, sprinting with tires, stair runs….I loved running on the beach in the summer because I loved how the girls would stare as I ran by. I was proud of who I was….and hell, I looked good.  Well, not at my skinny point, but I looked good after I put on a little weight.

But then, I got cocky.  I drank a shitload on a St. Patty’s Day one day like I was 205, but actually 150 lbs.  I had a bouncing gig at a club, but since I showed up drunk, they let me go.  So I went out on a bender with my friends that night and it wasn’t pretty.  I barely survived that.  So I fell into the habit of drinking and even smoking again.  Then, I had a falling out with my trainer, and I tried to find the heart again….but I couldn’t.  So I left the Navy and went back to Wisconsin.

For the next few years in Wisconsin, I was unemployed and just drank and smoked almost every damn day.  I did celebrate getting out of the Navy with a buddy by going to the Japan and the Philippines.  I even did an improv acting/writing workshop at Second City in Chicago.  However, I couldn’t find the same heart I had for fitness that I once had before.  I did the whole Wisconsin diet of beer, brats, cheese, etc.  And I gained all the weight back.  I worked odd jobs, but it was working online towards my BA in international relations and getting the GI Bill that kept me afloat.  I studied international relations, but I enjoyed the opportunity of studying other things, such as literature, Russian, French, Spanish, art, etc.  And I was getting paid to do it.

But I didn’t have the balls to leave home for some reason.  As much as I hated Townieville, Wisconsin, (I do like Milwaukee and I still have awesome friends there…I just hate the suburb I lived in), I felt stuck.  Then, I woke up and said, “Fuck this…I’m gonna travel.”  That’s when the opportunity to go to China arose and I decided to go to Thailand first to train muay thai.

I trained and I lost alot of the weight I gained and I fell in love with this place.  I loved muay thai and I loved my gym.  I knew I wanted to come back and fight.  I made a vow to come back.

So I went back home, but fell into my own habits again.  Drank and partied alot, didn’t work out, etc.  I started to hate being stuck in Wisconsin, so I decided to go back to Chiang Mai, with no return date in mind.

I came back, trained, and I missed it.  I loved being back here.  I was happy to even have a few fights.  I shed off the weight and felt alive again.  I pushed my return date to May of this year, but I thought, “Nah…I wanna stay longer.  I’ll leave in September.” Then, I realized I had no money, so I had to find a job.  I found a teaching job that gave me a year contract, so I said fuck it, I’m here til March.  I wanna have a few more fights before I go home.

I haven’t left Chiang Mai.  But now, I’m feeling the burnout.  I haven’t fought since April.  I wanna fight, but today, I just felt that demotivation hit me.  But I was motivated all last week.  I think I’m gonna take a break and hit up Crossfit and I’m excited about this social media internship.  But I miss stepping into that ring and going toe-to-toe in a test of combat.  I miss that fear and adrenaline rush you get before the fight.  But right now, I just feel burnt out and my focus is scattered all over the place.

Anyone out there deal with the same thing?  What did you do to overcome?

Why Thailand?

October 7, 2012

Moat surround Chiang Mai town -- Chiang Mai, T...

So after getting out of the Navy, moving back in with my parents, working on my degree online while stuck in suburbia in Wisconsin and just being constantly frustrated about being stuck around all these small-town minded townies, I decided to hike up my skirt, pick up my balls, and go to Thailand to train muay thai.  It was something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid anyway, but my dreams got shuffled underneath reality (besides, I was gonna go to China anyway for the International Scholar Laureate Program anyway, I figured, “Shit, if I’m in the area anyway….”).  And I had the GI Bill anyway, and I was working on my degree online, what ties do I have to being stuck in Townieville, Wisconin.  Then, I thought about where in Thailand I wanted to go.  Tiger Muay Thai  in Phuket came up first on the list, and the gym looked really nice, but I thought to myself, “I want to experience real Thailand, this seems like fucking Cancun…” And I was right, it was just full of dudes trying to get fucked up every night and fuck bargirls (I’ve had my share of hookers in the Navy, but I’m over that shit now).  So doing some more deeper research, I checked out Chiang Mai.  Reading it, I felt like it was real Thailand.  Going on fightpassport.com, I found out about Siam No.1.  I have no idea what drew me towards it, and it received a mediocre review.  However, the new owners commented on the review and talked about how things changed, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  I hit up Santai Muay Thai  and I fell in love with the place.  Not only with the gym and the family atmosphere, but the surrounding area of San Kamphaeng.  I truly felt like I was in Thailand.  I stayed for two months, before heading to China and then home, but honestly, I didn’t feel like it was long enough.  I didn’t wanna go to China, but I’m still glad I went.  And honestly, it was kinda nice to go back home and see my friends.

Back home, I fell back into my old habits of eating fatty Wisconsin food and drinking almost every weekend, erasing all the gains I made in Thailand.  I was so unmotivated to work out, and being in a culture that prides itself on outdrinking the rest of the US (which now I realize is kinda fucking sad, if that’s all you have).  I let myself get angered by the towniedom, and after four months, I had enough of the shit, so I left.

Actually, there were many factors on why I left the US.  A lot of it cultural.  For one, I got sick of the mass consumerism that American culture reinforces in our head.  Example, the Apple fanboydom.  What the fuck is the point of standing in line for hours to get a new iPhone to replace the one you have that is just a year old?  And how materialistic our culture is makes me sick (actually, Thailand is pretty materialistic as well, but they’re not that douchey about it as us Americans).  Also, I feel that reality shows are the downfall of our society.  Can anyone tell me why the fuck the cast of the Jersey Shore is famous?  It’s like being a dumbass gives you a claim to fame.  Coupled with the extreme partisan political landscape of America..and especially Fox News, it was time to fucking go.

Here is also someone who shares my pain: 17 Cultural Reasons why this European never wants to live in America.

I booked my ticket in October 2011 with no return date in mind.  I was shooting for returning in May, but I decided I wanted to stay longer and I didn’t achieve my fight or weight loss goals, so I pushed it back to September.  Then, I thought, “Shit, I need more money,” so I started looking for a teaching job.  I was lucky enough to land a job teaching English and the contract was for a year…and this was right after I landed an online teaching gig.  It was a complete honeymoon at first, until I got railroaded with the dark, ugly side of Thai culture (I’ll save that for another day) and it’s been frustration ever since.  But the kids are nice and respectful, for the most part, so that’s the slight bright side of my day (despite a majority of them being hard to control).  It was like swallowing the red pill and seeing the cultural structural flaws of Thai culture.

Nonetheless, I still love it here.  This feels like my second home and will always hold a place in my heart.  However, after nearly a year, I kinda do miss home and I will head back in June (after a few more kilos lost, hopefully, a few more fights, and one more Songkran).  I will carry on with my life and let my wanderlust take me elsewhere, but I have a feeling my path will take me back to Chiang Mai.

I don’t really want to think about having to leave this place anytime soon though.  I know I will shed a tear when I finally leave.