My head’s pounding. Body aches. My legs are stiff and my arms feel like lead. And it feels glorious. I just came out of my muay thai test at Krudar. And I passed! It was the toughest test I’ve ever had to go through in my life so far, and I think, it’s one of the few tests I’ve taken where I’ve learned a lot; about myself and what I’m capable of and the boundaries that I can break. It definitely set a new bar in my training and my outlook in life.
Kru says, before you can defeat your opponent, you have to learn to defeat yourself. The test was a grueling 2 hours of intense conditioning and endurance workouts, muay thai style. The first half was regular class drills but longer, about 1.5 hours. The real test was the pad sessions with the fighters. One would think, if they were watching, that the 1.5 hours of exercise and conditioning was enough on its own to be a challenge. Let me tell you, I’d rather do another round of cardio over 5 minutes with a fighter.
(My session wasn’t filmed but the above video is what the advanced testing is like. Our pad session was similar to this one. The students in the video are now senior ranks and fighters. People that motivate me and I aspire to be.)
It was the best worst 5 minutes of my life. I didn’t know what exhaustion was until today. The thing about the motto of “Krudar strong” is that it pushes you to your limit and then pushes you to go beyond it. I thought I was going to give up and pass out after every hit and every kick, but after every kick, punch, knee, elbow, my trainer would keep yelling “go harder! You can hit harder than that! That doesn’t count, that wasn’t your best! Go again!” ; and I would find that extra lil bit of strength to throw another hit.
After the 5 minute pad session came a surprise drill. 3 minute pad session. 1 minute each a different fighter. And this time they hit you if you put your guard down! All I can say is I did my best and gave it my all. I got hit a few times and got kicked in the stomach, a few times too, but surprisingly each time I got hit, I got motivated to hit back harder.
At the end of the day I passed. But during the huddle session, Kru and the other trainers and fighters put a lot of things in perspective. It’s not about passing or failing. We all pass and fail. And failing is often necessary in order to succeed. It was all about pushing yourself and giving it your all, and being honest with yourself. We were all hand picked to do the test, and that in itself was an honour. To me this test became more of a test of my dedication and hard work rather than my physical fitness and strength. It’s not about how many kilometers you can run, or how much weight you lose. Its all about teamwork, dedication, hard work, and spirit and fighting yourself. How honest are you with yourself? Really?
The important lesson I learned today was that I know myself and I know what I want and that with the answer to getting to where I want is simple. Hard work. The challenge is not knowing what you can do and perfecting it. It’s knowing how far you can take yourself and improving yourself. The respect and acknowledgement and the support I got from Kru and the rest of the fighters, trainers, and peers, I felt was the biggest reward of the day.
My next challenge is coming up and I’m stoked. Ready to give it everything I got. Spartan Race, YOU’RE NEXT!