Starting Muay Thai was a culmination of a few things for me. I grew up watching boxing with my father, who would keep VHS tapes of all the great ones to review. He was the first person to teach me how to shadow. We kept an old punching bag in the garage and he taught me how to hit it without breaking my hands, and that was all I could do. Down the line, a few friends were training and teaching and kept telling me to come try it. At the time I felt like I needed something to ground me. A darker element of what led me to Muay Thai is that I had been assaulted and was trying to work through it. I never wanted anyone to take my power again. So I went to my first class.
I've learned that Muay Thai runs deep in a person's mental, physical, and emotional fortitude. The traditions are just as important as the sport. The mental aspects of training have been very interesting to me. I'll read anything I can get my hands on related to sports psychology. I see uncomfortable situations in life as training tools for the ring. I have no idea what is going to happen next, but I want to see how far I can take it.
The first day I walked into Stay Fly, Justin said to me "You will never be pressured to fight. No one fights unless they want to. But if you do want to fight, you have to show it. I am here to show you the technique. The rest is up to you. Conditioning is your responsibility." I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. I think the reason Stay Fly is known as a fighter's gym is because there is so much self-motivation. People are there because they want to be, they love it, and they want to fight. It's a contagious attitude. No one is going to hold our hands through this experience. We all know what is expected of us, and what we have to do to achieve our individual goals. We're also all hell bent on being one of the best teams of fighters around. When one of us goes into the ring, we all go in.