The teenager you see in the middle is my little brother, next to him is my younger sister.
Once upon a time, he was overweight, unfit, and full of sadness.
He was the youngest of three siblings who bore the brunt of our parents separating at a young age, as well as a horrible accident that saw him get hit by a car at age 9 years old.
All confidence was lost.
Fear was high.
The world was the enemy.
The saddest memory I have of him was him refusing to see sunlight, instead choosing to video games and eat takeaway food for breakfast.
He was truly a mess.
The events of a troubled childhood would manifest into a teenage hood marred by pain and sorrow.
At seventeen he decided to flip the script. A young man who was eager to learn self-defense, better his appearance, and lead a healthier lifestyle, he started training Muay Thai.
He started following in the footsteps of myself, my father, and our step-father a six-time Muay Thai world champion… But more importantly, a journey of discovery for himself.
During this period he lost the fat around his belly, his muscles became more striated and I noticed a different kind of beast emerge.
The young little cry baby I once knew, was transforming into a strong, confident, and resilient man capable of handling himself.
He trained consistently for nearly a year, never missing a beat until it was time he was ready to have his first fight.
I trained him day in day out because I saw the fire that burned inside.
The image you see was taken moments before his first bout.
March 17, 2012. 72.5kg, trim, positive, and ready to take on the world.
He won that fight and is one of my most memorable moments as a coach but also as a brother.
He was not only my first ever fighter, to fight for Champions Gym Fight Team, but he went on to win three out of three bouts before moving on to doing and becoming better things.
Today, my brother is a bushranger and works in the Northern Territory wrangling crocodiles, wild buffalo, boars, bushfires protecting the remote communities and natural environment.
I am proudest of my brother because he became a better version of himself mentally and physically and he continues to dominate in everyday life.
My parents named my brother “Jakawan” gifted by Buddhist monks. In Thai it means “Universe”. The kid has always been destined for great things.
Life is bound to bring many battles. For the most part, each battle will have the path to victory detailed from those who have already experienced it. But it’s safe to assume the Covid-19 pandemic is relatively uncharted territory. The regularity we enjoy in our day-to-day lives has mostly disappeared and we are left in the unknown. It’s likely you have asked yourself, when will this end?, how does that look?, what happens to me and what happens to those I care about?. Just reading such questions provokes an overwhelming internal struggle. As we are severely limited by what we know and heavily restricted with what we can do, the rabbit hole just appears to get deeper and deeper. But getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is undoubtedly a familiar feeling and learning from past experience is bound to serve you well. Before you get to the end of the rabbit hole, think about the cost of the rent you pay to your thoughts. We are here now, and like always, we should do the best we can.
Before we were painfully limited to frequenting a low number of locations, exercising from home was considered to be the convenient option. An option that would often send you off in search of an alternative. Most commonly due to a lack of progression and feeling unfulfilled. Hopefully you were lucky enough to find the alternative but it is vital that the memory of such a privilege does not encourage you to let your progress stop. The truth is, exercise has never been convenient. It takes grit, mental strength and a willingness to improve no matter what the surrounding. Pandemic or not, such attributes are completely controllable by you. It has always been that way and it always will be. As the scope clears and you gain an understanding of the length of time the pandemic is going to impact your life, you can start to focus on where you want to be when the norm has returned and what you can do right now to make sure it happens. The fears in your mind can hold you hostage and being proactive is the antidote.
We have an innate desire to learn and grow as regularly as we can and such an action always leads to improvement in many aspects of your life. Though it may look a little different, the opportunity is still present. The ability to refine every technique, to sweat every day, to build your fitness and nourish your body correctly is no longer a 20 minute drive away, it’s as close by and as convenient as being in your pocket. The leadership you need is available and seeking you out to answer all your queries. Staying in touch with your community and staying in touch with yourself has never been easier, nor has it been more important than right now.
Control your foresight and set your target. You were on the right path and it should stay that way. The thought of starting again is enough to motivate you to stay consistent. The hard work you have put in and the progress you have made is rightfully yours and it’s worth fighting to keep. The most important note to make is that the only bad workout is the one that never happens.
See you online!