A quiet putter and crackle hisses in the kitchen like damp wood in the heat of the flame. Thank god a friend offered me to go in on a co-op order of wild caught Alaskan salmon a few weeks ago. It's saving me this last week dinner-wise.
An hour or so ago I was watching the sweat bead on ever pore of my legs and run in rivets as if they were following the invisible blue trail of the veins under the light Irish skin. Today was 2.5 gallons of water. Tomorrow will be three, and then Thursday only one before cutting it off almost entirely until weigh-ins Friday night at 6pm.
My body composition changes drastically from morning until afternoon as it tries to process the massive intake of water. It looks cut and like there is not much fat but carries water everywhere. After only an hour of Thai Pads I was two pounds lighter. Josh and I bounced lightly trading combos and returns. Both of us felt good. Our cardio isn't great- we're fatigued. His kicks were steady and hard as a cricket bat with each slam into my side. His face is thin and he looks older than when I started at the gym. He's lost a lot of weight training there and more in camp this time. We traded practice hits following our combos and spoke little. Coach Chris gave us some reminders.
He's been doing that every day this week; small clips of his vast knowledge with what we can utilize. Coach won't be at our fights. The ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) North American trials are being held in New Jersey the same day so he'll be there with a few of our jiu jitsu fighters. Coach Wally, the soft-spoken weapon will corner us.
Today was a breakthrough in the blues of camp. My head was clearer, my punches longer and fluid. More like how I felt before camp or half-way through.
There's a plethora of podcasts out there today but my favourite has always been NPR: TED Radio Hour. They compile related TED Talks into one cohesive talk hosted by this guy Guy. Tonight I listened to the one called Champions. Diana Nyad talked about her epic swim from Cuba to Florida. She said she felt made to be a champion on a cellular level. She failed four times before successfully making the swim at 64. Four times she stood on the shore of Cuba believing she could achieve her life-long goal and four times she could not.
And yet she still believed she could. That is fascinating to me. I think it's because she believed, not that she could do it, but that that aside she knows that her in her DNA she is a champion.
While sometimes I have been champion, arguably my cellular composition is a fighter. It certainly matters if I win- that is the goal. But to fight for a goal, whatever it is, is the part that is the realest. It is the fight and struggle that I exist and glory in.
Occasionally, this reduces me like a nice jam broiled in a pot to a sobbing heap of a human when I feel I have fallen short. But most of the time it causes me to survive and to take the harder road and to struggle. To sit in the sauna until my heart races and I don't think I can last until the time is up and then to stay in an extra minute, and then another, and finally an extra five minutes. Or to push through a hundred kicks and then take the knees and kicks of your partner's body colliding with yours. You displace yourself from the beating and can feel gratitude for the hours put in that has allowed you to continue. The threshold changes every time you push yourself no matter what arena you fight in.
Unfortunately there is one fight whose outcome I cannot change: it appears I have savagely burned my salmon...