Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thailand Journal



















This is my journal that I kept on my first journey to Thailand. I hope that you enjoy it! If you want to see the fight just go to youtube.com and look up Kevin Ross vs Kongla

3/20/07

Today's the day. After over 4 years of waiting I'm finally going to Thailand. I'm going to be there for 2 months training in Bangkok then I will be going to Phuket for a week and fighting there. I'm extremely excited and nervous at the same time. The more I think about it the crazier it seems to me. I've never been there before, I don't know anyone, not sure where I'm training or where I'll be staying. All I know is that Master Toddy's brother, O, is supposed to be picking me up from the airport and taking care of me (whatever that means). I've never met the guy but if he's anything like Master Toddy's other brother, A, then he'll be great. I'm still pretty sore from the fight, March 17th in Vegas, it could be a lot worse though. I just don't want anything slowing me down over there. I don't want to be one of these sissy ass foreigners that goes to Thailand and can't hang with the Thai fighters. I was reading last night online how a lot of the camps over there have separate workouts for the foreigners cause they can't handle it. Well I don't want to be just another foreigner passing through. I want to earn these peoples respect. That would mean the world to me. I know that the 10 year olds over there can probably beat my ass but I know this is what I got to do to take my fighting to the next level. It sure as hell ain't gonna get me to where I want it to be staying in the U.S. If I ever want any chance of fighting in the K1 MAX than this is what I got to do. Even though I'm a bit nervous, I have this warm, peaceful feeling all over. Before I left Gina's this morning I was reading this book that was talking about how short our lives are. It compared life to a breath on a cold winter day. It comes out and shines brilliantly for an instant and then it's gone, just like that. It really made me realize how short our time on this earth is. We need to go after what we want, we don't have time to sit back and wait for it to come to us. Most people run from their fears, even if it's something that they truly want. I say you should run full speed towards the things that scare you the most. Unless you want to live the rest of your life wondering how things could have been, go after your dreams. There's nothing worse than regret. This isn't a trial run, we get one shot at this life, make it count. So no matter how much I'm gonna miss my family, friends and everyone that I love back home, I need to go after this while I can. I already wasted years putting this dream in the back of my mind because I was too scarred to face it. Covering it up with partying, drugs and alcohol. Not anymore. This is my dream and as long as I am able, I am going to pursue it with everything that I have. I have complete faith that I am doing what God would want me too and that's why I have no fear anymore.........................................I'm at LAX right now, waiting for the plane to Taipei. It was interesting because on the flight here from Vegas I was reading this book that Gina's mom (Danna) gave me that was talking about running towards your fears instead of away from them. It talked about how instead of facing our fears we run and hide behind other things such as partying, sex, work, etc. And these things do tend to work, at least for a little while. But, eventually, the liquor wears off, the lover leaves and the work runs out. We all fill our lives up with these distractions that we think will make us happy. But in the end all they do is drag us down and eventually can destroy us. I know that I've been blessed with so many gifts and I know that I was given them for a reason. Nothing makes me happier than when someone tells me that something I've done or said or written has inspired them to change their lives. That they now want to be better people and go after their dreams. I don't think there is anything better in this world than having a positive impact on someone's life. Knowing that you made a difference to them. Countless people have already told me that I have made that kind of an impact on them and every time it surprises me. I just want to do it more and more. To continue to help people in one way or another, anyway that I can................So I'm about to get on this long as flight. Flying is definitely one of my least favorite things to do, especially long flights over the ocean, alone. The close I get to Thailand the more real this is all becoming. For some reason it still hasn’t really hit me. Maybe it's because that so many times in the past I was supposed to go and it never worked out. Or maybe it's because that I didn’t even think twice about it when they asked me if I wanted to go. Or maybe I'm just NUTS! I guess it's really because I know that God will put me where he wants me in this life and if I wasn’t meant to go than I wouldn’t..........Well, I'm on the plane now, still on the runway though. I'm sitting next to these old Chinese couple, I guess I'll have plenty of time to myself, how long's this flight? I don't even want to know. Damn, the pilot just got on the intercom and said it was 14 hours, oh well. Good thing these seats are so roomy :)

3/21/07

Just arrived in Taipei, the flight over here actually wasn’t that bad and went rather quickly. I think that I slept a lot, plus every seat had it's own T.V. and you could watch movies and shows and stuff. It was nice. I have about a two-hour layover here and then another three-hour flight over to
Bangkok. I get there at about 1:30 in the morning. I just pray that all of my luggage makes it over there. I was walking around the airport and it just hits me, I'm in Taipei all by myself, traveling to a country that I've never been to, and have no idea what's going to happen once I get there. I guess that's what makes life interesting. My whole body is swollen from the flight; I guess I'm a little more banged up from the fight than I thought. I did get my phone working so that makes me feel a little more comfortable................So now I'm sitting on the plane waiting for it to take off. One last flight till I get to Thailand. This all seems like a dream!.....................................Well, I've arrived! O and P jean's sister picked me up from the airport. They are both very nice. It's nice a humid here, reminds me of the east coast. O took me over to a hotel, where I'm at now, and got me a room. He told me on the drive over here that one of the promoters wanted me to fight at Rajadamnoen. That would be a dream come true. He said that it might be too close to the fights in Phuket though. We'll see. He said we would go over to the camp tomorrow and get everything figured out. Still not sure where I'm gonna be training or staying or anything. I know that it will all work out though. For now I'm just going to get a good nights sleep.

3/22/07

Slept really great last night, for a change. Got up this morning and had breakfast at the hotel. It was nice because everyone here speaks English. I know that will not always be the case so I need to learn some Thai quickly. O is supposed to be picking me up around noon and take me around. He said he would find me a place to stay near the camp, that it would be better than me staying at the camp. I'm not sure if I'm gonna be training today or not. I'm not in any rush since I'm still pretty sore. My hand is killing me and it's still a bit swollen. At the same time I am here to train so we'll see. It's nice and hot here, just like Vegas but a lot more humid. I'm gonna get real skinny, maybe I'll even be able to fight at 135 again, YIKES!........................O picked me up this After noon and took me over to a place where I rented a room. It's just like a loft with a bathroom. I'd rather stay at the camp but the room is only about a mile away. It was only 200 dollars for a month. It's just a bed with a little closet and a mini fridge. I opted not to get a TV, although it was only like 20 bucks more. I might get it later on but I just really want to focus while I'm here. I can tell that it's gonna be real lonely here. I can always change my ticket to go back when everyone else does after the fights, we'll see. Either way I have 5 weeks here alone. O took me by the camp today so I could check it out. It's very old school. Concrete floors, bags look like they're 100 years old. They have this low kick bag that's just a bunch of tires bolted together, I love it. My feet are gonna get



chewed up real bad though. Oh well. I watched a few of the guys train, they are insane. They never get tired, barley sweat, just keep going forever. And all there legs are gigantic. One guy was training in what looked to be boxers. I love it; they're here to train, not for some TV or to be Hollywood. O told me that they have a lot of world champions that train there, Muay Thai as well as Western Boxing. One of the guys is fighting tomorrow for the IBF world title. All of the trainers seem really nice. I think that I'm the only foreigner that trains there, which I prefer. I didn’t want to go to one of these camps that are so diluted with foreigners that you might as well be training at home. It's going to be great to be surrounded by so many dedicated fighters. Not that there aren’t dedicated fighters back home. It's just that every single guy here is here to train and fight and that's it. I'm trying not to think about how crazy all of this is. Like if I got lost or lost my passport or something, I don't know what I'd do. I know that God has brought me here for a reason so I have confidence in that. I know that this trip will definitely change me in more ways than one. O is supposed to pick me up tomorrow afternoon to take me to go train It looks like I'm gonna be doing a lot of reading, writing and drawing in my down time here. I guess that's a good thing, I need to do more of it anyway. Although I'm alone a lot in Vegas I never really just sit around by myself and just think, other than when I'm going to sleep. I remember Mike Whitehead told me that one of the best things about being on 'The Ultimate Fights' was that he really got a chance to think about things that he hadn’t in a really long time, since they couldn’t do much else.

3/23/07

Well it's day two. I fell asleep really early last night, like 8 o'clock. I can't even remember the last time I fell asleep before midnight. I've just been lying around all morning. I woke up around 6 AM and ate some of those sweet banana things I got at the store. I guess I'll go walk around for a bit and see if I can find somewhere with an Internet. It's just weird because I'm all alone and I don't speak the language other than being able to say hello and thank you. I feel like an infant, not being able to communicate to people what I want. Part of me is thinking, what am I doing here, and the other part feels so blessed. I know that once I get settled in a bit I'll feel a lot better. I'm really looking forward to training this afternoon. O said he's going to pick me up around 2:30 and take me over there. This room has this AC thing in it but the air comes out so cold that I'd rather just sit here and sweat. Last thing I need is to get sick out here. At least it'll be easy to keep my weight down.........................I just went and walked around for a bit. I was going to stop and eat but then I realized that I had no idea how to order anything. I mean everything around here is street vendors so it's not like I can point to a menu. I really need a Thai/English dictionary. Bangkok reminds me of Beijing a little bit. I only pray that my experience here is better than that one. Of course Anthony was with me on that trip so at least I had someone to share it with. But I know that no matter how alone I feel God is always with me.
3/24/07
Well I trained yesterday for the first time. Damn it's hot! The humidity is ridiculous. Feels like you're training inside if a sauna. I felt like I was going to pass out the whole time. The last thing I want is for these guys to think I'm weak. So when we first get there O and me go and jog up and down the alley about 50 times, which was only about 20 minutes. Then I skipped rope for about half an hour and then did some shadow boxing. O took off after that cause he had some things to take care of. I started feeling very alone. Like the new kid at school (which I have been more times than I can count). One of the trainers, Samran, tells me to get in the ring with him for some pad work (well, not that he exactly said it because he doesn’t speak any English :). So I start hitting the pads, and wanting to make a good impression I was going as hard as I could. A lot of the fighters were watching me as I was doing this, which made me want to go even harder. The humidity was killing me, I couldn’t breath, and I thought I was going to die. I was thinking that I was going to pass out at any second. But as long as I was conscious then I was hitting as hard as I could. I don't think I've ever been so close to passing out before. That was the last thing I wanted to happen, how embarrassing would that be. But at the same time I didn’t want to slow down either. That had this little clock hanging off one of the posts. I glanced over at it and realized we'd been going for quite a while. That's when I started wondering how long this round was gonna be. I thought maybe he just wanted to see how far he could push me till I quit. Well there's no way in hell I would ever quit, I'd rather pass out first. After 10 minutes he told me to take a break. I was dying, couldn’t catch my breath, and then after less than a minute he said 'come on'. I started to realize that all the rounds were 10 minutes. These guys are freaking crazy. I remember when I first started Master Chan used to make me do 20-minute rounds sometimes. But this was different. So I just kept pushing, praying for the strength to make it through and to not pass out. Well, after four 10-minute rounds, Samran told me 'enough'. I thanked God and sat down to have some water. But, less than a minute later he told me to go do bag work. Same thing, ten minute rounds. I couldn’t stop thinking how crazy this was, but they must be doing something right with all the bad asses there. So I did about 5 more rounds on the bag then 3 rounds on the bottled together tires (which I love). And all this was on concrete or this carpet that you wouldn’t even want your dog to lie on. It was so hard, like sandpaper, and had bugs and fly's crawling all over it. After all that I did a little technique stuff with one of the fighters (Withayanoi). After I got done with that I sat and watched one of the other fighters do pad work. He was unbelievable. Never gets tired, kicks like a mule, gigantic legs. Definitely an inspiration. O came and picked me up around 6. He took me to eat and then to the store so I could get some stuff from the market. Got back to my room and passed out hard. Then I woke up at 6:30 this morning and went for a run. I ran past a place that looked like it had the Internet, I'm gonna go I feel like I've been smoking. I asked O if there were many foreigners around where I was staying. He said there were lots but so far I haven’t seen one. I'd really like to go watch some fights. O said he might be leaving to go set stuff up in Phuket for the fights. That's gonna suck not having him here. I definitely feel better when he's around. I feel so much better now that I've trained. I think all that sitting around by myself got me depressed. Looking forward to training again this afternoon. I guess a few of the fighters are fighting this weekend, that's why there weren’t hasn’t been many people at the camp. It's a good thing for me is I can get better accustomed to it easier. I thought I knew how to get to the camp from my room but there's a few more turns than I realized. I'm gonna need to draw me up a map for when O's not around. And I need to learn some Thai quickly! I've had a mild cold since I've been here, hopefully it will pass soon…. I have this feeling of thirst that feels like it will never go away. Like no matter how many liquids I drink, it's still there. It reminds me of waking up after a long night of drinking and being so thirsty yet I could never find anything to really satisfy it. I don't know what it is, maybe the humidity or something. It's driving me crazy. I made it through another training session. It was rough of course. Almost passed out a few times and my feet are starting to get torn to pieces. I thought my hand was getting better since my fight, WRONG! It's killing me. I don't know if I cracked it or what. Good think I brought my ibuprofen, which will take some of the sting away. Shouldn’t brought my Thai oil, but I'm sure I can find some here somewhere. I did a 20-minute pad round today. It wasn’t that bad till I started the next 10 minute round right afterwards. Then I did a few rounds on the bag then a few more pad rounds of just boxing with elbows. These 10 minute rounds are crazy, no wonder none of these guys ever get tired. At least I came here in semi decent shape. I'm still not sure how the fighters feel about me being here. I think that they are still a little hesitant. I probably would be too. It's nice being the only foreigner here (most of the time). I didn’t want to go to one of these camps that are so diluted with foreigners that you might as well be training at home. I'm sweating constantly. I'm glad it's not as hot here as I thought it was going to be, although it's pretty close. O trained today. He said it had been a long time since he had. I hope that he keeps it up; it's nice having him there. We went and got some food afterwards along with these coconut drinks (which I love). I've been trying to write down how to order things as much as I can. I'm so tired, for some reason I couldn’t get a nap in today. O's gonna pick me up at 8 to go out with him and his wife. I would love to relax and have a few drinks but I think I'm just gonna stick to soda. I drank a lot after the fights in Vegas. It reminded me of the person that I used to be (the alcoholic). Blacking out, doing things I normally never would. I don't like that person and I've noticed that I use fights (or after fights) to allow him back in my life. I need to get away from that. I finally found an Internet place today. I can't tell you how great that was. I felt connected back to the home; even just that little bit was so nice. It only costs like a dollar to be online for an hour, can't beat that. The mosquitoes and bugs out here have been eating me alive. I just noticed it today. My entire body is covered in bites. I started hosing the room down with bug spray, hopefully that will help. Every day gets better here. I know that I need to appreciate every moment. Because when I'm back home I don't want to look back and have any regrets. I remember when I was younger I went with my family to visit our relatives in Sicily. When I was there I was so homesick that I didn’t really appreciate being there. That's something that I've regretted. I don't want to make that same mistake again. I do miss everyone though, but I know that even though this is almost two months, it will go quick. I need to enjoy every moment, even the difficult ones, while it lasts.

3/25/07

Sunday, my day to relax and rest. I wanted to sleep in but for some reason I constantly wake up at 6 AM. I actually do the same thing back home, which is weird because I'm in a completely different time zone right now. O took me out last night. We went with him, his wife and his best friend. It was a lot of fun. They were all very nice. We went to this place that was like a restaurant/bar/club thing. They had live music all night as well as different variety acts. It was pretty crazy because every once in a while one of the groups would do a cover of some American music. They loved it; the whole place would go crazy. Everyone would sing along as loud as they could. You would've thought these songs just came out, but most of them were 80's/90's hits. One group did YMCA and the whole place erupted, it was insane. They would all sing along and do all the hand motions. I was in aw. Then they did a cover of the Cranberries 'Zombie' as well as a few others. It was so nice to be there. The Thai people just seemed to enjoy life so much, full of life and love. You could feel it. No one was getting drunk and starting fights, it was a nice change. There was just a real sense of joy in the room, it really warmed my heart. We had some fish and this spicy as hell seafood soup, it was so good. Not so good for my stomach J My throat has been killing me lately. I think that it's from all this damn pollution out here. It's so bad! I did have one beer though. O really wanted me to try it and I didn’t want to be rude. It was good but I just have no desire to drink, which is a nice change. So, I just sipped on Pepsi all night. I rarely drink soda so some times I crave it even more than alcohol, which is funny to me. It was funny cause O asked me if I wanted some French fries, I said sure thinking that he was joking. Moment’s later out comes some fries. They thought it was the funniest thing, as did I. It surprised me that they had them there, and that they were actually good. Finally got to see some other foreigners there. It would have been nice accept for the fact that they were the old perverts that come to Thailand for one thing. It made me sick to my stomach. They were with these girls that looked no older than 16. I just wanted to smash all there skulls in. I got up this morning and went to the Internet place and then over to the market. My calf is killing me, feels like I tore the damn thing. I really need to pick up some Thai oil. I couldn’t find any at the store. I'm sure they have it but I have no way to ask. Just gonna try and relax the rest of the day. Got to start training again tomorrow.

3/26/07

Sundays are killer; all that sitting around with nothing to do gets me all depressed. It sucks! It's such a horrible feeling. Now that it's Monday I feel a lot better. Went for a run this morning, my lungs are killing me. Feels like I have cancer. They have some real nice graffiti on some of the walls out here. Not the crappy gang tags like back in the states, these are real pieces of art. I'm so tired, but I can't sleep. Guess I'll just go down to the Internet place and kill some time. I'm starting to think about getting a T.V. for my room. Not that I'll be able to understand anything but it will just be nice to have something to look at. Maybe it will help me pick up on some Thai. Who knows, maybe they'll even have some fights on…. I guess I have to look at this the same way that I look at training for fights (even though that’s exactly what I am doing). Training gets to be so boring, so repetitive, that it will drive you crazy. All that you want is for the training to be over with and for the fight to happen. And then, in an instant, it’s all over with. That moment that you waited so long to happen is over. It took me a while to realize it but I finally learned that we need to appreciate the good with the bad. The fun times as well as the boring times. Because when it is all over and done with all we will have left are our memories. Even the bad times we will look back on and realize how they helped us grow, how they helped us reach the point we are at today. Even during a fight I used to get so tired, so injured, just hoping the round was almost over. Then I would look back and realize that I was rushing threw the one thing that I truly loved. Now no matter how tired or hurt that I am, no matter what is going on in the fight, I have a big smile on my face (or at least on the inside). I am happy because in these moments I am truly living my dream. So no matter what, No matter how hard it gets, keep your head up, keep smiling, and enjoy the moment. You are doing what you love; appreciate every second of it, because tomorrow it could be all over. Not a lot of people out there are really doing what they love, what they are meant to. Appreciate it, even if you aren’t exactly where you want to be just yet. No matter how hard it is to be here all by myself I know that it will all be over before I know it. I need to appreciate every little thing, even the loneliness…. Well I survived another day of training, just barely. O picked me up and had his wife and little boy (who is adorable) with him. He said that he wasn’t going to be able to pick me up today or hang out while I was training. He said that he had a lit to do. I felt bad enough that he had to babysit me this long. He asked me if I minded and I said of course not (although in my head I knew I felt more conferrable when he was there). Oh well, can’t have someone hold your hand your entire life. Got to figure this stuff out eventually. I figured that after training I would try and find my way back to the hotel and if I got lost I could just show one of the motto-taxi guys the card of the hotel and they could get me back. So O dropped me off and I went for a 20-minute jog up and down the alley. Some of the other fighters were running as well, still not sure what they think about me. I’m sure they think of me as the typical American fighter who isn’t on their level and whom they don’t want around. I guess I will be just al that more lonely. After I finished my run I jumped rope for about 10 minutes and started shadow boxing. The one great thing about it being so hot here is that you don’t really need to warm up. I remember before I left Mark was telling me about when he was in Thailand and how he would warm up by throwing a one two and would be ready to go. I now see that he wasn’t joking. After my 5 second warm up one of the trainers asked if I wanted to spar and I said ‘sure’. I didn’t know if the guys were going to try and kill me or what. They put headgear on me, which I really hate to wear, which really made me think that they were going to tee off on me. I didn’t care though, not my first time someone has tried to bash my brains in. They said we were just doing boxing so I started the first round going pretty light. He was going light as well and the trainer told me to pick it up (in his own words). I started to put a little more power into everything but the guy I was sparring still seemed to be going light. I don’t know if it was because he didn’t want to hurt me or if he just couldn’t hit me. At first I thought they had put me in with one of the lesser skilled guys because they didn’t want me to get killed. But at the same time I know that you usually put in a better fighter because they have more control. So I just sparred like I normally would. I could see in his face that he was getting frustrated with me, I couldn’t figure out why at first. Then I realized by his grunting that he was actually trying to put some dents in me. I went with another guy and it was the same way. I thought they were going light but then I noticed that they were really trying to get me and just couldn’t. I finally went with one of the guys who I knew was badass. I had seen him hit pads and knew that he could bang. But the same thing happened and he was definitely trying to prove a point. After we were all finished I was left feeling a bit awkward. I was thinking that the guys definitely hated me now, probably thought that I was trying to show off or something, even though that was the last thing I wanted to do. After this the trainer called me up to do pad work. I only made it 2 rounds today after all those sparring rounds. Luckily the trainer had mercy on me because I wouldn’t have stopped until I passed out and I definitely felt close. Did a few rounds on the bag after that and a few more on the tire bag. I did a few rounds of boxing mitts with the other trainer; my hand was still killing me. The worst part about it is that the lighter I hit the more it hurts. But I know that the harder I hit the more damage I am doing to it. I did about half an hour of clinching after that, which I loved. They put me in with one of the teenage kids, probably weighed about 125 but he was strong as an ox. He only dumped me on the ground a few times, which I was grateful for, not that he wasn’t trying. I managed to dump him only once, which I think bothered him a bit. Finally the trainer told me that I was finished. I ended up having to drink some of the water out of their cooler because all of mine was gone and I was dying of thirst. I hope that I don’t get sick but at that point I didn’t care. I knew that I would end up drinking it eventually. I mean I’m going to be here at least another month, I don’t see how I can avoid it. I finished up with my sit-ups and stuff. The one fighter who I was always watching hit pads came over to me and asked my name (kind of). He said that it was very hot today (in his attempt at English, which is way better than my Thai). I asked his name and his said it was Dai. He asked if I wanted to go for a run, I definitely didn’t but I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to get to know one of the guys. We jogged slowly up and down the alley attempting to communicate with one another. I managed to figure out that he was 28, fights at 118(which was crazy because he was jacked) and that he’s fighting at Radja April 5th. I definitely want to make it to that. Two of the guys that I sparred with were also running and came up and shook my hand. It definitely made me feel a lot better and I hoped that I had at least earned their respect. I would love to gain their friends hip as well. After what seemed like forever one of the trainers told me that we had done enough and that I was done for the day. A part of me wishes that we could communicate a bit better; they made Lookchang (one of my trainers back home) look like an English professor. It just makes everything that much more interesting. I wouldn’t want it any other way. No one at the gym speaks English accept for a few words. I put my shoes on, thanked everyone for the training and got ready to walk home. One of the guys that I had sparred with had his scooter in the alley and told me to hop on. He drove me back to my hotel and I was extremely grateful, especially since my feet were killing me. I feel like I could definitely make some great friends here. Finally got to my room, sucked down a bunch of water (which didn’t quench my thirst), took a shower and started writing. Tonight will be my first attempt at ordering food for myself, hopefully it will go well. It is so crazy to think about something as small as ordering food can be so difficult. That’s what makes this so much fun, everything is an adventure. I feel like a baby in a new world. Every time I see a newborn I know exactly how they feel. They know exactly what they want but they have no way of communicating it. It’s actually pretty funny…. Well that was definitely an experience. I walked for what seemed like forever, which was the last thing that I wanted to be doing on my painful feet. I passed plenty of places to eat but had no idea what they served or how to order it. I only know how to order about three dishes in Thai. I was looking for some fried rice or just something that I could point to and say give me that. I ended up walking about a mile until there didn’t seem to be any more places to eat (or any people). I turned around and headed back the way that I came. I had to figure something out because the last thing that I wanted to eat was another ham on bread sandwich in my room. I needed something filling so I finally stopped at two different places and asked for Khoa Phad (fried rice). They told me that they only had noodles (I think some places serve noodle dishes and some serve rice, at least that’s what it seems like). I will have to ask O tomorrow what the deal is and how to order some dishes. All the venders pointed me further down the street. I just said ok, not knowing what they were pointing me toward, at that point I really didn’t care. Plus it’s not like there’s a lot of food that I don’t like. Finally I got to a place and tried to order the dish. They brought out what seemed to be Phad Ke Mao(fried flat noodles with beef). It was really good although I have no idea what kind of meat it actually was and for some reason had the after taste of a cigarette. Either way it was definitely what I needed and was worth the 25 baht (about 75 cents) that I spent on it. Hopefully my feet will heal up a bit tonight. My right one feels like the entire ball of my foot is a blister. The last thing I want to happen is for that to tear off.
3/27/07
Made it threw another day, just barely. I feel like I’m someone at war, everyday going out not knowing if you’re going to make it home. My feet on the other hand did not. I have chunks missing, looks like a doctor cut pieces of them off. The trainers keep telling me to pivot more but the more I do that the more damage it does to the bottom of my feet. I’ve developed this technique of almost jumping off the ground so I don’t have to pivot on the sand paper like floor. This however takes a tremendous amount of energy and I can only keep it up for a little bit. It is so painful that it makes me laugh. I also don’t think that I’m getting the right nutrition, I feel drained and dehydrated all the time. Maybe my body just hasn’t adjusted yet. After bag and pad work we did clinching as usual. Everyone was throwing me around today, even more than usual. I was trying my best to just stay conscious, I’m so tired! There clinch is so amazing, I’ve never felt anything like it. Even the little kids have the strength of grown men. I accidentally head butted two of the guys, I felt so bad. After somehow making it threw everything we went on our cool down jog. Dai and me tried to communicate again with not a lot of success. I really hope that I get to watch him fight. After we ran the guys asked if I wanted to play football (soccer) with them. I said sure even though I was about to collapse. We walked over to this park but there were too many cars in the way. Not that I minded, I was exhausted. We went to the gym and I got all my stuff together. One of the trainers gave me a ride home, which again I was extremely grateful for. I don’t think I could have walked back on my own. I actually had walked to the gym today, it only took me about 10-15 minutes. O called me around 2 and had said that he wasn’t going to be able to take me again. Tonight I will venture out again to try and get order some food. I’m not going to walk forever this time. There’s a place right across the street from my hotel that always seems to be busy. One of the hardest parts about these places, other than the fact that I don’t speak Thai, is that you never who you order from. The people that work there aren’t really dressed in a way that will let you know that they do. It is definitely an adventure. My hand is still killing me! I still can’t get over the soda in a bag. I don’t know why they don’t just use cups. I mean they obviously have them. People walk around with these big bags filled with ice and soda and a straw sticking out of them. It’s very interesting. I will have to get me one and take a picture. Today when Dai and me were running he gives me this candy. But after I put it in my mouth I realized that it wasn’t a candy at all, it was a cough drop (which I actually really needed). They were all eating them as if they were candies, unless all of them had sore throats all thought they really seemed to enjoy them so I don’t know. I mean they have the same candies that we have in the states, I couldn’t figure it out. I’m still not sure yet when I will be going home. I know that if I stay I can get a fight at Radja but it will be really hard to stay here especially after everyone comes for a week then leaves. Plus it’s not like it’s free for me to stay here, although it is very cheap. I told Gina to see if P jean can get me on the same flight home as them. It doesn’t matter either way; I will get it figured out…. Another adventure trying to find food. I didn’t walk as far as last time but it was further than I had wanted. I don’t know how you’re supposed to tell who has what. All the places look exactly the same but they serve different things. I waked past this indoor place that had menus and pictures of the food on it but they were closed, of course. I managed to find one place that had what I was looking for. It wasn’t as good as the spot I went to the other night but it was good enough for my needs and I can’t really complain when it costs less than a dollar. Hopefully O will be with me and can give me some advice on how to order food and where some good spots are.

3/28/07

My body is starting to shut down. I should have brought my protein with me. I woke up this morning, at 6 AM of course, and my whole body ached. I didn’t feel like running but of course I did anyway, not that I ever feel like running. Tried to take a nap afterwards but U wasn’t able to sleep. I’m not sure why because I’m so exhausted that it’s hard to keep my eyes open. So I got up and walked over to the Internet place, hung out for about an hour and came home. I still couldn’t get any rest and just lay in bed hoping that my body would heal up a bit before I had to go train. It is so strange being here; it almost feels like a dream, not quit reality. It’s weird when you go and stay in another country for a long time. At first that strange place feels foreign to you but then it becomes your home. I’m used to sparring a lot when I’m getting ready for fights. It lets me know how ready I am by how my timing, endurance and speed feel. It’s going to be a lot different being out here. We’ve only spared once since I’ve been here and you couldn’t even call that sparing because of how light we went. They are definitely doing something right though because they are all bad asses. Who knows, maybe I will do better; I’ll definitely be healthier. One thing is for sure, I’m gonna be in great shape. I know eventually I’m going to have to start training twice a day but I just don’t know how I’m going to handle it. I definitely need to get on a better diet or else my body is going to break down. I just have no way to cook in my room and I don’t know what to get at these vender places. I guess I will have to figure it out…. Another training session down. I felt a little bit better today although my feet are completely SCREWED! I tried to tape them up but that only lasted for about an hour and made it really difficult to move properly. When the tape finally fell off it exposed my open wounds, not exactly what I want touching these filthy floors, plus it hurts like hell. Not much I can do about it though, just got to suck it up. I’m going to try and tape them before I leave my room tomorrow and hopefully I can get them to hold up. The fighters seem to be accepting me; a few more of them came over and talked to me today. The one young kid, who destroys me in the clinch, tried talking with me for a bit. He said that his nickname was Get (at least that’s what I think he said). He said that he was 17 and had 29 fights. Another guy, who I only see doing boxing, is Rick (nickname). They have been really nice to me. We spared again today going just as light as last time. I wish they would go harder, I want to get in some hits (I get withdrawals when I don’t get hit). I was watching some of the other guys spar and they seemed to be going at it pretty hard. Maybe they think that I can’t handle it or something. O drove me to the gym today although he didn’t stay. He asked if I wanted to go out with him to see his family for Songkran (Thai new years). He said that it was going to be further down south and that we would have to take a 2 hour boat ride to get there. Even though I would be missing a few days of training I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this. I think that we are going to be there from April 12th to the 16th. If there’s nowhere to train I will just make sure that I run and stuff. I have to venture out again on my own tonight and try to get food. I just pray that I can find something that’s good, healthy and close…. I actually managed to find a place that was pretty good and for a whole dollar it had better be J They gave me soup along with a rice and pork dish. It was actually right next to the place that I went last night. One of the older ladies that worked there sat down and talked to me for a while even though I couldn’t understand a word of it. She didn’t seem to care. She was sweet and it just made me smile. She reminded me of when family and I went to Sicily to visit our relatives. My great uncle Bennie was a character straight out of the Godfather movies. He had been a bricklayer for his whole life and had these mammoth hands that looked like they could snap you in half. He would constantly talk to us in Italian even though none of us spoke it. He would go on for hours as if we could understand every word. We would just smile and nod. It was actually really nice just to hear him speak that nobody minded…. I was in my room and went to go to the bathroom but the door to the toilet wouldn’t open. The knob would turn but nothing would happen. Finally, after a long time of trying, I was able to break in using a credit card.

3/29/07

So you will never believe what I just did. I managed to lock my self inside the bathroom. Yes, the same one that I had to break into last night. Have you ever had that moment right before you do something really stupid where you realize what you’re about to do but it’s too late and it happens anyway? Yeah, I had one of those. So I get back from training, exhausted as usual, and I’ll I wanted to do was take a cold shower and pass out. I knew that I couldn’t shut the door because I wouldn’t be able to open it. So I figured that I could just fold up a piece of paper and wedge it in the slot to where the door won’t be able to latch. See the bathroom is actually the shower so if the door is open water will get all over the room. So I go in there, all ready to take a shower, and just as I’m shutting the door the thought pops in my head, “What happens if it latches anyway?”. But it was too late, the door shuts and latches. Immediately I started to laugh at myself, I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I tried as hard as I could to pull the door open but it would not budge. Turning the handle did absolutely nothing. I was in a really bad situation. I had no way to get out of there no way for me to call for help. There was a small window in the bathroom that you could open just enough to get some air in. But I was on the 8th floor and even if people heard me yelling they would think that I was just some crazy drunk foreigner. On top of all this I was butt ass naked ready to take a shower and there wasn’t a single thing in there to pry the door open with. So instead of panicking I just prayed. I asked God to help me out and to some how get me out of this situation. I tried to open the door again, nothing. I looked around again for something to open the door with, nothing. Then I closed my eyes, realizing that God is in control and that there is never anything to really worry about, things will turn out ok. Just then I opened my eyes and turned the handle. Wouldn’t you know it, it opened right up? I couldn’t believe it. God definitely has some angels putting in some serious overtime watching out for me. I don’t know what I would have done if it didn’t open. I just had faith. I will look back on that situation and laugh for the rest of my life. So another training session down. I taped my feet up before I went to train this time. The tape did hold, unfortunately the tape it self tore into the toe next to it. I just can’t seem to win. My throat has also been killing me. It is really swollen, especially in the mornings and at night when I’m trying to sleep. It almost feels completely shut. I didn’t even go running this morning because of it. Just one more thing that I have to deal with. We’ll see what kind of craziness tomorrow brings J

3/30/07

For the past two night I’ve had a really hard time falling asleep, which is nothing new to me but I’ve actually been sleep really well since I’ve been here. I didn’t get up and train this morning; my throat is still killing me. I need to run tomorrow regardless of how I’m feeling. Last night, for the first time, I was thinking how sad I’m going to be to leave everyone here when I go home. Its already setting in even though it’s still weeks away The days are starting to go by really fast now and this fight is going to be here before I know it and my journey will be over. And that’s the way life goes, one minute you are working and focusing everything you have on this one moment and then bam, it comes and goes in an instant. It’s crazy how life is. My feet have been holding up much better now. I was really worn out today, this little sickness I have along with the change in environment as well as not getting enough nutrition is really taking its toll. I just felt like I had nothing today. One of the trainers gave me a quick massage. It took all my tension out but made me even more exhausted than I was before. I hate being so weak here in front of all these guys. I know that they understand but it still sucks. We sparred again today, light as usual. It has been bothering me lately because I love going hard. Not hard like you’re trying to kill each other but enough to notice. This pity pat stuff has got to go. O couldn’t pick me up today so I just walked. One of the trainers dropped me off afterwards. The good thing is that now I know of a few places that have food I really like. Of course I don’t want to speak to soon. Anything can happen and it usually does. Every time I go for a run at the end of training there’s these little kids in the alley eating and drinking all kinds of goodies. It always looks so good. Whenever you’re exhausted from training your blood sugar is usually really low and your body craves sweets. I always crave soda for some reason. I have no idea what I weigh now but I would guess that I’m around 145. I know that Toddy wants me to fight at 135 but I don’t know about that. I haven’t fought that low in a long time. Of course I did a boxing fight about two months ago, which I took on two weeks notice, and it was at 138. I do know that I’m going to be pretty skinny from the training out here, and I still have four weeks to go, so maybe it won’t be a problem. I just need to find where I’m at right now. They have a scale at the gym but I don’t know how accurate it is and I have no idea how to use it. I guess I will try and check it tomorrow.

3/31/07

Well I managed to wake up and run this morning. It was a tough one though. I was just so worn out and it is so hard for me to breath. It feels as if I have a sock jammed in my throat. On top of that I had a hard time sleeping last night, again. Luckily after my run I was able to sleep for about three hours, so that was nice. Caitlin e mailed me and said that she would be able to get my flight changed so that I can fly home with everyone else. I’m hoping that O will want to go somewhere and hang out tonight; I need a change of pace for a minute. I had a really great time last Saturday and it’s just nice to take a break from the daily grind and being alone all the time. First I need to make it threw one more training session…. 24 fights and I’m about to have my 25th. Four years ago (January) is when I first stepped into the gym. Having my first lesson with Master Chan (who I trained with everyday for about 2 years) on the school on Sunset. Less than a week earlier I swore off alcohol and drugs cold turkey and promised myself that I would go after my dream of becoming a fighter. People couldn’t believe it when they found out. If you would’ve told me then that for my 25th fight I would be training in Bangkok and fighting in Phuket I never would have believed you. Now, four years later, looking back over everything, it’s unbelievable. I’m sitting here feeling extremely blessed. I know that if it weren’t for fighting that I would probably be dead or rotting in a prison somewhere because that is the direction that I was heading. Instead I’ve been all over the world, had a lifetime of amazing experiences and had the privilege to meet so many amazing people. It’s an amazing feeling waking up and realizing that you are living your dream. I mean how many people actually get to do that? No matter how tired or injured I get, no matter how many things that I miss out on because of this, I get to live my dream every single day. No matter what happens or how long I get to do this for I know that I went for it and no one can ever take that away from me. Everyday I look up to the heavens and thank God for allowing me to do this. For giving me a gift that not only gives me so much joy, it also inspires and helps others. I’ve been able to affect so many people’s lives in a positive way; I never would have dreamed that I would ever affect anyone in such ways. How many people get to live their dream? Then again how many people could if they were willing to sacrifice what it sometimes takes to go after it? I’ve given up so many things for this, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you God for giving me my life!.... So I realized tonight that I’m gong to be exhausted no matter how in shape that I get. I mean it is so hot and humid that it’s like working out in a sauna. I did light pad work tonight and I was still so hot and felt like dying. It doesn’t matter how hard or light I go, it’s still brutal, so I might as well go as hard as possible and get in the best shape I can. If I pass out and die then so be it. I am trying to build it up gradually though. I don’t want my body to completely shut down. So I made it threw a full week of training, granted it was only once a day. It feels pretty good, still doesn’t seem real to me. It just seems so normal that I have to sit back for a second and realize what it is that I’m doing. Like tonight we were clinching as usual and in my head I was thinking, “wait a minute, I’m doing clinch work in Thailand with a badass Thai boxer. This is crazy!” My life often gets that way to me. Things that most people would think are unbelievable don’t even faze me and I really have to take a step back in order to really see how crazy it all is and how blessed that I am. I remember the first Muay Thai fight I ever went to I watched as all the fighters came out, just in amazement. I told myself that one day I would be one of them, and here I am. It’s surreal. O couldn’t pick me up again today. I guess that means that we aren’t going out tonight. Oh well, I’m just going to ho and get some food, maybe relax with a soda and a dessert. It is the weekend after all! Time to relax and let my body heal as much as possible. I really need to do some laundry! To bad I can’t read the washing machines, which are outside of the hotel. It’s ok though; not being able to read something never stopped me before J…. Well now I’m in heaven! I went and got me some food, which was great, then stopped by the 7/11 on the way back for some goodies. Got me some grape soda (well it’s like grape, close enough for me) and some cookies. Ah, that was well deserved J UGH, now my stomach is killing me, the price you pay for eating the goods…. I feel like I’m living next to a go-kart track. All the motorcycles and tuk-tuk’s, there are tons of them going 24/7, it never stops! I’m surprised that I can ever fall asleep. Usually I can’t sleep unless it’s dead silent. A ticking watch will keep me up, even the hum of a TV when the sound is off.

4/1/07

Well I went and did some laundry for the first time today. They have these coin-operated machines down in the parking garage. When I finally got the thing working I realized that they don’t have dryers. I guess most people just hang their clothes outside in order to dry them. I don’t really have any way of hanging mine so I just ended up laying them across a chair that I lay on its side. Luckily I wasn’t washing much and it all fit. I stopped by the ice cream place on the corner while I was waiting for my clothes to finish. The lady spoke a tiny bit of English but not enough to get me what I really wanted. I was looking for a strawberry milkshake but ended up with a strawberry smoothie type thing with whip cream on it. It was pretty good. I’m really looking forward to training next week. I guess what I’m really looking forward to is the fight and I know that I have to get threw training to get there. I am also looking forward to Da’s fight on Thursday; I hope that I can go. There’s a great song lyric by Switchfoot that goes, “ This is your life, are you who you want to be?” If you’re not where you want to be in life it’s never to late to change it. Every moment is another opportunity to turn it all around…I went out and got some dinner at one of my spots. I had the Ba Mae Geow (spelling?), which is one of my favorites. Its pretty much noodles with some sort of meat and vegetables in a soup. I really like it plus it’s one of the few things that I know how to order. I stopped at the 7/11 on the way back and got a little cup of cookies and cream ice cream. I saw in one isle they had watermelon seeds in a bag, just like we would have sunflower seeds. I don’t know if they were salted or roasted or what. I just thought that it was funny that they would sell something to eat that most people spit out. There are a lot of these little geckos running around. I’ve seen them anywhere from the size of a quarter to about 6 inches. I haven’t had one sneak in my room yet but I don’t want to speak to soon I’m going to try and get to sleep early tonight so hopefully I can get in a good sleeping pattern.

4/2/07

Wow, I felt really great running this morning. Not sure why because I barley slept last night. On top of that my clock somehow got switched and it went off at 5 instead of 6. It was a little cooler out which was nice. The interesting thing is that normally when I run at 6 everyone is out cooking and cleaning and starting there days. But for some reason at 5 the streets were crawling with hookers, and I do mean crawling. They were everywhere; it was as if a convention just let out. It made me really sad, they all seemed so young. I was running and there was this lady in front of me walking. Apparently she didn’t hear me coming because as I ran by her she screamed out. I felt really bad. I’m just glad that she didn’t try to stab me or something, which would have made my day. Hopefully I will feel this good at training this afternoon. My throat is feeling a whole lot better. I can’t even tell you how happy that makes me. I’m going to try and take a nap… Got a little nap in and then went over to the Internet place. Popejoy e-mailed me saying that he was coming to Bangkok tomorrow to visit his in laws. It will be really great to see him. His wife has been out here for a few weeks now visiting her parents. He told me that Anuwat is fighting at Lumpinee on Friday. I think that we’re going to go check it out. It should be amazing… Being driven around here feels like you’re in a Mario Kart. With all these little go Karts and motorcycles with all kinds of characters driving them. Everyone’s racing to get somewhere as fast as they can. I think to myself, “ Is it really worth dying over?” It just makes me laugh, just like when Anthony and me were in China. I felt really worn out during training, not sure why seeing as how great I felt this morning. My body is just so tired. I feel like I’m missing some kind of nutrients or something, not sure what it is though. It’s going to be really nice seeing a familiar face once Bryan gets here. I hope he stops by the gym when he gets in town, he said that he might.

4/3/07

I felt really tired on my run this morning, although I was running it a lot faster than I have so far. I came back to the room and passed out for a few hours. Felt like I could’ve slept for a week. I don’t know why I’m so exhausted, sure I’ve been training my butt off but this feels different, it’s really bothering me. Three times now I’ve tried to order Khoa Mon Gai (steamed rice with chicken) and ended up with Khao Phad Gai (fried rice with chicken). I don’t know if I’m mispronouncing it or if they just assume that it’s what I really meant to order. I need to get some variety in my diet, I feel like I eat the exact same thing every day, even though that’s pretty much what I do back home. We’ll see how I feel training tonight…well, surprise, surprise, I actually felt really great tonight. The best that I’ve felt since I’ve been here. Of course I got tired but not anywhere near what I’ve been feeling like. I don’t know what it was because all day I felt more worn out than ever. Even when I was walking to the gym I felt tired. But, for whatever reason, I just felt really good training. That made my day. And, on top of that, my feet finally held together. I haven’t talked to O since Saturday; I’m actually starting to worry about him. He usually calls when he can’t come by and pick me up. I should give him a call although I think that I fried my phone charger by plugging it into their outlets, oops! It seemed ok at first, and then it started to get really hot and make this funny noise. I know that you’re supposed to get a converter but it was working ok. Hopefully I can get a charger that works for it out here. I shouldn’t be using my phone anyway because it costs a fortune. Bryan didn’t stop by the gym today. I was hoping that he would but he just got here and hasn’t seen his family in a few weeks. I guess that I’m going to eat the same thing tonight as I have for the past few nights. It is really good although I would prefer to have some variety. And it sure as hell isn’t helping me drop nay weight. But dropping weight is the least of my concerns right now; I’m just trying too have enough energy to train… So I went to my usual spot to eat tonight. The people that run it are really nice to me. They had better be, I’ve spent almost 5 dollars there since I’ve been in town J Sopped by the 7/11 on the way back, as usual, to grab a Vitamilk. I saw these little roll things in a case and decided to try one. Not sure what the hell it is, all’s I know is that it’s filled with something. I’m about to find out, ah, mystery food, it’s always an adventure… So it was interesting, that’s for sure. Not too bad though. I’ve actually had something similar to it in Vegas. But the ones I had back home were definitely better; of course they didn’t come from 7/11. They’re like these rolls filled with some kind of mystery meat. I think that there was corn in there too, who knows. I still haven’t had my bag of soda yet but I will soon, maybe this weekend. I also need to try some of those meats on a stick that I see at the venders. I know that it’s probably a bad idea and I will get food poisoning or something but who knows when I will ever be able to try it again. I’ll just make sure that I try them on a Saturday that way if I do get sick I will have at least a day to recover before I have to train again.

4/4/07

Had lunch at the deli that’s in the grocery store today, probably not the best idea. It was like the buffet food in Vegas, not horrible but definitely not the healthiest food. It didn’t make my stomach feel to good. This trip definitely has its ups and down. Some days I feel so grateful to be here doing what I love and then other days it’s can’t end quickly enough. Today I’m feeling a little more like the later. I just want everyone to be here, and then all of us fight and then go home. I think that part of the problem is I didn’t really get a chance to relax after my last fight. I fought on a Sunday in Vegas then by Tuesday morning I was on a plane heading here. I was so busy getting everything ready for my trip that I just didn’t have a chance to sit back and relax. Now I’m in full scale training again. I’m definitely going to take a break after this fight, I really need one. I’ve never taken more than 2 weeks off since I started. Of course knowing me I’ll be back in the gym after 3 days off, I can’t help it. I get depressed when I don’t train, it’s my passion, it’s what I love to do and when I’m away from it I feel empty inside. I feel really worn out today, I felt this way yesterday and ended up training great so we’ll see… So apparently the way for me to have a good night of training is to feel horrible during the day. Two days in a row now I’ve felt miserable during the day and trained great at night. There’s no training tomorrow because we’re all going to Radja to watch two of the guys fight. I can’t wait! I’ve always wanted to go to the stadiums and now being able to go and watch two guys that I train with is going to be incredible. I’m going to miss all of these guys when I leave. Sometimes I wish that I could communicate with them better so I could let them know how much I appreciate everything. But it also makes it more interesting that we can’t really speak to each other… I just got done reading over my journal from when Anthony and I fought in China. Wow, that trip was insane! Almost died more times than I can count, I can’t believe that we ever made it out alive. I’m so glad that this trip has been better than that one. I mean looking back on it, after having survived, it’s funny and a great story. But it was a different story when we were there. Actually when you think you’re going to die 24 hours a day you kind of get used to it and it’s not really a big deal. It’s a very liberating feeling.

4/5/07

There’s so many interesting characters that I pass by every day around here. There’s this little old lady that has a small shop around the corner. She has about 10 of these tiny little dogs running around inside of it. Then there’s this bum on the corner who is always talking to himself and wears a pair of shorts and nothing else. My favorite though has to be this kid who sits in the doorway of one of the stores near where I go running. Every time that I walk by he is sitting with his head pressed up against this huge speaker that is blasting music. It’s as if he can’t get close enough. I don’t know if he’s deaf or what. If he’s not already he will be soon. Then there are all these bums I run by in the mornings. They are all passed out on the corners or sleeping on the benches. All the vendors selling their mystery meats, the crazy motorcycle cab guys that hang out in a big group looking like a gang. I often feel like I’m in downtown Vegas or in New York with the all the different types of people that you see. I can’t wait for the fights tonight; it is going to be an amazing experience. I’m supposed to meet everyone at the gym at 4 and then we are all going to go over together. At least I think that’s what they said J

4/6/07

The fights were AMAZING! Ever last one of them was unbelievable. So yesterday they tell me to come to the gym around 4 and that there wouldn’t be enough time to train before we leave. So I walk over there around 3:45 and I see everyone outside jogging as usual. I figured that maybe they were just going to get a run in before we left. So I went and sat down and waited for us to leave. So everyone gets done running and I’m thinking that they would all go get changed and ready to leave…….WRONG! They start wrapping their hands and get ready to train. So then I figure that some of them might not be going to the fights with us. I’m sitting there, feeling really awkward since I’m the only one not training, and K comes over and says that we’re not leaving until 5. If I had known that then I would have been training, even though it’s nice to take a break. Butt it’s not that nice sitting here watching feeling like a lazy ass. 5 O’clock rolls around and passes, still waiting, and then I’m told that we’re not leaving until 6. I felt really stupid, even though it wasn’t my fault, just sitting there on my ass for over 2 hours. Finally, after everyone finishes training, the main trainer tells me to go with some of the other guys and get in a taxi that was waiting. Not one of them spoke a word of English. All 6 of us piled into this taxi, all-sitting on top of each other. We start driving and get on the freeway and I realize that I have no idea where the stadium is or how long we are going to be stuffed in this death trap. All the guys, who always seem to be trying to figure me out, were looking at all my tattoos and asking me questions about them, even though I had no idea what it is that they were asking. These guys crack me up. It ended up taking us over an hour to get there because of all the traffic, it was insane. My skinny ass hurt so bad being cramped in that car. Da was the main event, he lost but a decision but it was a really close fight. Rick fought as well and beat the hell out of his opponent. He split his face open with a vicious elbow at the end of the 2nd round; it was really close up to that point. All the guys clinches were unbelievable. They would slam their knees into each other’s ribs so hard and it didn’t even seem to faze them. The corners were crazy. Every 20 seconds there would be a different guy giving him advice and yelling. There is so much money involved in theses fights with all the betting and everything. The fighters have to fight a certain way. For example if they kept telling Rick not to knock the guy out in the last round and just take it easy on him so that it went to a decision. So he would just toy with the guy until the bell sounded. It’s very interesting. Once they know that they’ve won they will just dance around taking almost the entire round off. It’s weird though because they both have an understanding it’s like I won’t knock you out as long as you don’t make me. They fight so much that they have to stay as healthy as possible. There’s no point on hurting themselves if they don’t have to because they’re going to fight in a few weeks again. It was very surreal being there. It’s no wonder that most of the world things American’s are a joke and can’t fight. These little kids over here could beat the hell out of most adults in America. Well, no matter what happens in my fight I want to show them that there are Americans that can fight and earn their respect. Wining or loosing isn’t the important thing to me. Being someone that people have respect for and being known as a true fighter is what really matters to me. There are plenty of fighters with these great records yet people have no respect for them. It’s either because they only fight people they know they can beat or they only fight safely and never take chances. If you’re not going to push and challenge yourself then what’s the point? I would rather loose every single fight knowing that I gave it my all against a legitimate challenge than win every one against people that I know that I can beat. But I guess that’s just me. Bryan went to the fights with me. I was great finally hanging out with someone that I could actually talk to. It has been a while since I’ve seen a familiar face. For a minute there I thought that I got left at the fights. Da was the main event and then there were about 4 other fights after his, that’s how they do it over here. So I was sitting there figuring that they will come and get me as soon as everyone is ready to leave. As the fights start winding down and more and more people are leaving I start looking around and don’t see anyone. I couldn’t see anyone from the gym anywhere and the stadium isn’t that big. Bryan looked at me jokingly and says, “ Did they leave you?” I said, “I really think that they did. No way!” Bryan says, “Welcome to Thailand.” How could they leave me here? I have no idea how to get back or even where we are. It’s not like I’m easy to forget, I’m the only foreigner at the camp. So I was a bit freaked out, not too much though because I knew that Bryan could help me get back to the gym if I needed to. Then I started thinking what if he wasn’t here, what would I have done then. Maybe they figured that since I was with him I didn’t need a ride or something. But anytime that I’m here and get freaked out I just take a step back and breath. I know that God is always with me not matter what and everything will be ok. So what is there to be worried about? So we finally get up and try to see if they are still there. Luckily they were all in the back hallway of the stadium. Da was getting an earful from one of the owners or someone who obviously had lost a lot of money on his fight. I felt so bad for him. He fought his heart out and it was a close fight. It’s not like he’s making millions, he’s just trying to take care of his family and earn enough money to survive and this guy is yelling at him because he lost a be. So we finally all go out to leave and there’s this guy outside selling some kind of drink. Not sure what it was but it looked as if he was juicing some kind of plant. One of the trainers gets one for me and it was actually really delicious. At that point I would have taken just about anything because I was so hungry and thirsty. Finally we leave and go home, which only takes 15 minutes. The traffic on the way there was ridiculous yet at the same time wonderful, a once in a lifetime experience… I just walked to get something to eat on the corner it’s such a beautiful day. Not because it’s sunny but because it’s overcast, with a slight drizzle. The air is so cool and there’s a slight breeze. I’m so grateful to be able to experience all of this… Tonight after training Bryan and I are going to go to Lumpini to watch Anuwat fight, it should be amazing. I’m so sore and tired today. This is the sorest I’ve been since I’ve been over here. Not sure why since all I did yesterday was go for my morning run. On top of that I feel fat today, well, fat for me anyway. Maybe I’m just bloated or something. Tomorrow I’ll check my weight and see where I am. I definitely need to work on my clinching and conditioning because I only have 2 more weeks to train here until I fly to Phuket. It’s not even going to be 2 full weeks because next weekend I’m going with O, who I still haven’t talked to, to see his family for the Song Kran festival… I had a really great training session tonight. I was able to really push myself through every single round. Even when we were clinching, which his when I’m normally exhausted, I was still able to push it. I threw one of the guys to the ground today when we were clinching. Everyone was like, “Ooooooooooooooohhhh.” The guy I threw said, “Good job.” It was a small victory for me but nonetheless a victory. I feel like I am learning a lot and improving every single day. O finally picked me up today; he said that he had been in Phuket all week getting everything set up for the fights. He had lost the number to the hotel so he wasn’t able to call me. It was good to see him and I was glad that everything was ok. I weighed 151 before training, I knew that I felt fat but had no idea I was this heavy. I’m going to check again tomorrow after I train and hopefully it will drop lower. Bryan met me at the hotel and we took a cab to Lumpini. Are seats weren’t as good as when we were at Radja, where we were in the front row. Lumpini was a lot more expensive and we ended up sitting all the way in the back in the cheap seats. It was till amazing. Afterwards Bryan got me a cab and told me that it was metered so it probably wouldn’t cost that much. Right when I get in the cab the driver says to me, “100 hundred baht ok?” and I knew that he wasn’t going to turn the meter on. I knew that even if he had turned it on he could have just driven around until it reached 100 and I would have had no idea. On top of that it’s only like 3 bucks.

4/7/07

I just made some weird concoction for breakfast. After I went running I didn’t feel like having cereal, which I’ve been eating every single day. I had this little bowl of rice that I had gotten from the market. It looked steamed but it was a bit darker and had a coconut taste to it. I put some cut up bananas and grape jelly in it. I added a little bit of soymilk and stirred it all up. Believe you me I was a bit worried but it actually tasted really good. I guess that gives me one more option of what I can eat while I’m here. I’ve really been struggling trying to figure out if I’m going to go home early or not. I know that if I stay I can get a fight at Radja, which would be a dream come true. But that would also mean that I need to start training again right after I fight and I would be out here for another 3 weeks, all by my lonesome. Now I know that I can handle it and it would be an amazing experience, just not sure if I feel like dealing with all of that. I really think my body would just shut down. Plus who knows how I’m going to be feeling after this fight. I mean after some fights I want to fight right again immediately and then others I just want a break. At the same time I don’t want to pass up an opportunity that might never come along again. But I know that if it was meant to be then God will provide me with a way. Toddy said that we are supposed to come back again in August so maybe I can stick around after that fight, who knows. I’ve prayed about it and let God know my concerns; I know that He will put me where I need to be so I have nothing to worry about… Well I’ve made it threw another week of training, just barely though. My body has got nothing left. I had energy training tonight but my body just wouldn’t respond, my muscles are just shot. I was 149 before I trained so that’s a little bit better. I need to start doing 2 a days next week and really step it up. It’s going to be really hard but I know that I can do it. Plus if I’m going to make 138 I really need to bust my ass. O picked me up today and we went out to eat after I finished training. He ordered us some seafood soup with sticky rice, it was so delicious. I’m debating whether or not I should stop by the 7/11 and get some treats seeing as how my weight is up so high. Plus I feel like I’m about to pop. I’ll give it a little time and see how I feel. O wants me to go to this ceremony tomorrow morning for his friend who is becoming a monk. I know that it would be an interesting experience but it’s at 8 in the morning and I really need my rest. I told him to just call me before he goes and I will let him know. It was really overcast today, it’s so nice when it gets like that, and it really knocks the heat down… Another Saturday night and I got me some goodies, which are going to make me feel like crap but I couldn’t be happier. I would love to just kick back and watch a movie or something while I’m enjoying my junk but I guess I will have to settle for some music. Got me my grape soda, cookies and some chocolate bars. Oh yea, this is going to hurt J I have to do it now though because over the next few weeks I really need to be strict on my diet… I don’t know why I constantly do this to myself. I know that I’m going to feel like crap after I eat all that yet I do it anyway. I guess it’s because during the week I deprive myself so much that when the weekend comes I just go all out. Being a fighter can be very weird. Honestly at this point what I really want more than anything is to relax at Gina’s moms house and hang out with the people that I love and not think or worry about a thing.

4/8/07

I had a nice long enjoyable day. I’m definitely a few pounds fatter but that’s ok because the next three weeks are going to be hell. I got up this morning when Bryan called me. He said that he had to take his baby to swimming lessons and asked if I just wanted to come and hang out over at his house. I said why not and he had his wife explain to the lady at the hotel that I needed and cab and told her how to get to their house. Needless to say I was a bit hesitant. I had no idea where they lived or how to tell the driver, I just had to hope that the front desk lady would give him the right information. I had Bryan’s number if I needed to get a hold of him but my phone was just about to die so I hoped that I wouldn’t have to use it. So we were driving along in the taxi and I was just praying that the directions he received we clear and we would make it there ok. Then, as it seems we are getting closer, I realize that I have no idea what it is that I’m looking for. I don’t know if they live in a house or an apartment or what. Finally we pull up to this place that looks like an office building but it could be a house. The cab driver asks me if this is it and I tell him I have no clue. So he gets out and goes up to the front door and rings the bell. A little older Thai man answers and waves to me to come inside. I thought to myself, “I guess this is it but where’s Bryan.” Now, I’m the type of person that always seems to end up in the weirdest situations so often I let my imagination run because I know anything is possible. As I was walking up to the front door I thought, “What if this isn’t even Bryan’s place and this crazy guy just waved me in knowing I don’t know where I’m going and then he’s going to get me inside, lock me in his basement and torture me.” Then I realize that one, that’s crazy, and two, things are going to happen in your life that you can’t do anything about so what is the point in worrying. So I go inside and the guys tells me to wait in the living room, I guess that’s what it was. There were all these pictures completely covering the walls. I see Bryan’s wife in a few of them so I realize that I’m in the right house. Finally Bryan comes in and I tell him what I had been thinking, he laughs. We hang out for a while watching TV and eating some fruit. He asks if I want to go get a massage and I said why not, I sure could use one. We go over to the massage place where his wife was already at ahead of us. It was this huge open room with all of these small mattresses, like toufans, on the floors with all of these Thai women, mostly older, in scrubs. It was really relaxing in there with the breeze blowing threw the windows and only a bit of sunlight coming threw. So I lay down and the lady has no mercy on me. She was digging her knees and elbows into me putting over once over her weight into it. It hurt so badly but I knew that in the end it would be good for me. There were a few times that I just wanted to cry. About an hour into it I really needed to go to the bathroom, since I’m constantly drinking water, and I realize that I have no idea how long this massage is and I have no way to ask her. Even though she had been talking to me the entire time as if I spoke Thai. I figured that it had to be almost over; it ended up being two hours long. I feel like I got ran over by a truck. I’m so worn out, even more so now. I know that I needed it I just hope that it didn’t break me down too much. We went back to his house afterwards and he tells me that we’re going to go get something to eat, I was starving. As we are about to leave his baby started getting really sick so we end up having to take her to the doctor. After being at the doctor for about 30 minutes we head back to his house. Finally Bryan and I leave to go eat. We end up going to MBK, this enormous mall that’s like 8 stories high. It was out of line how big it was. Most of the floors sold the exact same things so I didn’t really understand it. It was as if they stacked 8 copies of the exact same mall on top of each other. So Bryan asks me where I want to go eat. This place has everything we have here in the U.S. KFC, Burger King, McDonalds, Dairy Queen, the works. It’s Sunday and the last thing I want is Thai food. I figure since I have to kill myself over the next 3 weeks that I had better enjoy while I can. I decide on McDonalds, which I rarely ever eat back home but I was craving it for some reason. I guess it reminded me of home or something. It was so good, as if it was my first time ever eating there. It left me wanting even more junk food but I didn’t want to over do it. So we walk around for a while checking out all of the shops. Then I spot a Dunkin’ Donuts and anyone who knows me knows how much I love doughnuts, especially Dunkin’ Donuts. I manage to resist, I knew that if I started in on them I wouldn’t be able to control myself. Even Bryan says, “Wow, that’s some will power.” We walk around some more and there’s a Dairy Queen on our right and a Basken Robins on our left. I was thinking, “Are you kidding me, how am I going to keep resisting in this place?” Then we come across another Dunkin’ Donuts another McDonalds and another Dairy Queen. They were on every single floor. Finally Bryan goes to on of the DQ’s and said that he had to just get one. There was no way I was going to be able to just sit back and watch him enjoy his ice cream so I got the smallest Blizzard that they had. It was the size of a Dixie cup and it was the best thing I have ever had. It was so good but again left me wanting more. We walked around some more outside of the mall. It was the same exact thing. McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, I couldn’t get away from them. I somehow managed to stay strong and not eat anymore junk. Finally Bryan points me to where I can get a cab and writes down the name of my hotel so I can show it to the driver. I go over to where the taxis pick up and there’s a huge line. I didn’t feel like waiting so I figured that I would just go grab one from the street. I did however finish all the junk food that I had left in my room. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how hard this was going to be. I was walking up and down the street trying to get one of them to pick me up. Everyone that I saw was either not in service or had fairs already. I started thinking about going back to line but I really didn’t want to. Finally I see a cab driver pulled over to the side of the road and he tells me that he can’t take me where I need to go. Then another one tells me the same thing, and another. I started to get frustrated but again just took a step back and breathed. This is all part of the experience and I need to enjoy it. Finally I find a cab that will take me for 100 baht. I realized that the reason that none of them wanted to take me is because it was so close and they wouldn’t have made that much money. I got back to my room and ate all of the junk food that I had left over from last night. Tomorrow I am going to take me to the immigration place to see if I can get an extension. Apparently it’s only good until the 20th and the fight is on the 27th. I guess they just recently changed some of the immigration laws to where you can’t stay as long. Tuesday I need to start two a days so tomorrow I’m going to skip my morning run and just let my body heal. After that it’s going to be full blast for the next 3 weeks. I’m sure glad that I’m going to get a bit of a break next week for the Song Kran festival.

4/9/07

So I slept in this morning, O was supposed to come by at 10 and didn’t end up coming until 11. It was nice though because I was able to just relax. We went down to the immigration place and it was packed. I was as bad as the DMV’s in the states. The had the same automatic number calling system. I filled out all the paperwork and we sat there for about an hour and a half. Finally they call us up only to find out that they can only extend my Visa for 7 days. That doesn’t really help me since my Visa expires on the 20th and the fight is on the 27th. So we end up leaving because there’s no point. O tells me the only thing that I can do is leave the country for a day and then come back which will give me another 30 days on my Visa. He tells me that a lot of people do this and that he will look into getting me a plane ticket. This is the last thing that I feel like dealing with right know but I know that everything will work itself out. I know that if it works out then great and if not then I will be going home right after the fights. I had no energy training today. Partly because I was so sore from the massage, the crappy food that I ate didn’t help either. That’ll teach me, yeah right J So tomorrow I need to start training in the morning’s as well as nights. It’s only for a few days so I think that I can handle it. There are these freaking kids that just started staying in the room next to me, sound like there’s about 6 of them. They are so loud all of the time. Of course they have to be right next door to me. Part of me wants to knock their door down and smash all their heads in.

4/10/07

Well I just got done with my first morning session. It was actually pretty easy. We started running around 6:30 and finished around 8. It was just a light jog but it was really far, I never thought it was going to end. When we got back I had no clue what we were going to do, if it was going to be the same as night training or what, I hoped not. So I started shadow boxing and getting loosened up. Then they had each of us do 10 kicks at a time rotating until we did about 100 on each leg. After that K and I did some technique drills and then they had me do about 50 curls on each arm with about a 25-pound weight, I think, and that was it. I was so relieved; a nice light morning workout was perfect. I just hope that it’s that way everyday. After we finished training they cooked breakfast and let me join them. I had a big breakfast already but I didn’t want to be rude. Plus I would hate to pass up any opportunity to eat. It was really great to just sit there and eat with all the guys. It is ridiculous how many bug bites I have all over me. It looks like I have the plague or something. I don’t know if they’re getting me in my sleep or what… My first day of full training is finished and I am worn out, not as bad as I thought I would be though. I can definitely handle this for a few more days. One of the guys at the camp, who’s the Lumpini champ, is fighting tonight I wanted to go but I’m so tired, plus I don’t want to spend the money. I knew I wouldn’t get home until really late like last time and 5 AM comes pretty early. I think that I found a solution to my Visa problem to where I won’t have to leave the country in order to stay, which I really don’t want to have to do. When we were at immigration I noticed that it said everyday that you over stay your Visa there is a 500 baht fine. Since I got a flight home a few days after the fight I figured that I can just get the 7 day extension and then pay the fine for however many days I stay past it, it will be a lot easier than having to fly out of the country and come back. It’s only like 30 dollars. I’m going to run it past O and see what he thinks. 2 more days and then we’re going out of town. It should be a lot of fun. I should be training but this is something that I can’t pass up, plus I will just make sure that I keep my conditioning up while I’m out there and eat healthy.

4/11/07

Another full day of training is down. My body felt pretty worn out today although my endurance is feeling really good. I was 143 after I finished training tonight which isn’t great but it’s pretty good considering all that garbage that I ate on Sunday. Plus I haven’t really started dieting yet. I mean I have been eating healthy but I haven’t been that strict. I really need to step it up especially since I’m going to be missing a few days of training. It started raining towards the end of training tonight. I love the rain, especially out here and in Vegas. I think it’s because it’s always so hot that it just makes the rain feel so good. I’ve had this freaking hole in my shin since I got here. It’s about the size of a B.B. but it’s driving me crazy. It keeps getting busted open every time I kick something. It doesn’t hurt I just worry about it getting infected. I’ve been doing my best to keep it clean and covered.

4/12/07

Aw man, my body is hurting so bad today. My right calf feels torn and my whole body is so tight and worn out. That workout this morning was rough, especially the run. I’m so tired. I don’t know why I can’t sleep at night. I’ve been cursed with sleeping problems my entire life. I remember when I was younger my mother used to let me stay up really late and watch TV. with her because she knew I didn’t require that much sleep. I still can function on very little sleep I just hate it. With all of the training that I do it’s a wonder that my body just doesn’t collapse. Usually about once a month my body will finally shut down and I will sleep for like 5 hours straight. After that I will usually get a few nights of good sleep. But for the most part I only get about 4 to 5 hours a night. I try to get naps in during the day of O can even though people tell me that’s the reason I can’t sleep at night. I’ve tried everything from not taking naps to sleeping pills to teas and other things that are supposed to help you but nothing ever works. I know that when I get back to Vegas I will sleep for a week. I remember after I returned from my fight in China it took me so long to get rid of my jetlag. It’s weird because I never getting it flying out this way, only when I return home, thank goodness!... It is pouring rain again. O told me that it usually doesn’t rain much this time of year but so far it has rained a ton since I have been here. If it’s still raining later I don’t know if I should go to the gym or not. I’m not sure if they still train in the rain or what. I could definitely use a break even though I’m already going to be missing a few days because of this trip. I guess I will just see what it looks like at 2:30… Well the rain did let up but I decided to take the night off anyway. I learned a long time ago to listen to my body, not that I always do listen. It usually ends up that if I take a break one day I will come back the next feeling much better and being able to train a lot harder. When I don’t listen I usually end up hurting my self or getting burnt out. It’s so crazy looking back over my life and thinking about every decision I have ever made, every fork in the road that has led me to where I am today. I mean every little decision set my life in the direction that it is in today. There have definitely been some major ones and they are a lot easier to see whether they were the right or wrong ones now. I look back and wonder where I would be today if I had made a different choice on a certain day. Who knows what I would be doing right now. I do know that I am where I am today only by the grace of God. He brought me out of the darkness and showed me the light Even though I didn’t even realize that I was in the dark. I’ve see what that path has done to some of my family and friends and I know that I could still be right there with them if it wasn’t for God putting His hand on my heart and giving me this passion to do something better with my life. I’m in Thailand right now getting ready for a fight out here; it’s so crazy to me when I think about it yet it feels so right. I know that this is what I am meant to do. I know that God has a plan and I know that I was given this gift for a reason. I just pray that I can live my life the way that God intended me to. I want to use all the talents and gifts that He has given me for the right reasons. I pray this everyday. O is picking me up around 8 in the morning. I have no idea where it is that we are going or where we will be staying. All I know is that we are going to see his family, who are in Southern Thailand, to celebrate Thai new years (Song Kran). He said that it is going to take us about 6 hours to drive there and then we will have to take a 2 hour boat ride. But I have no clue whether we will be staying in a village or his family’s house or what. It’s always an adventure out here. Gina apparently lost her passport; she is supposed to fly over with everyone else for the fights. They are coming out in less than a week and I pray that she makes it here.

4/13/07

Well we made it to our destination and I must say that the China trip definitely prepared me for this one. So O picks me up around 8 this morning, now mind you I have no idea where it is that we are going, how we’re getting there or what the arrangements are. He picks me up on his scooter and we go over to his house where a bunch of his family was waiting. Now I thought that we were going down south to see his family but I soon realized that the entire family is going down there together. So we are all just sitting around for a while waiting to leave. I was thinking that some of us will probably go in O’s car and some will go in one of the others, there are about 10 of us. Boy was I wrong. 7 of us pile into the back of this Toyota pickup truck. It has like this canopy thing over it like little tent almost. Now you could probably fit 2 people back there comfortably. We had 7, all sitting sideways and completely cramped. He had already told me that it was going to be a 6-hour drive, that is if we didn’t hit too much traffic. I was thinking, “ Damn, this is going to be interesting.” Now you have to picture this scene. Almost every single person in Bangkok is leaving town to visit their families and celebrate new years. Because of this the freeways are insane, filled with crazy ass drivers, even crazier than normal, driving at insane speeds considering the traffic. So I’m sitting in the back of this truck, just like China, and just had to laugh at how completely out of line dangerous this all was. We were probably going about 80 MPH on the freeway with a million other people who consider traffic laws to be more of a suggestion than a law. The truck sounds like it’s falling apart and I think some of it is held together with duct tape. Not to mention that O’s little baby boy is in the back with all of us. I’m thinking that these people are out of their minds. I do have to say that other than feeling like we were seconds away from our deaths it was kind of fun. Hanging out in the back with his family, they were all extremely nice to me. His sister or aunt or something hands me this big bag of fruit, they looked like red strawberries that were covered in these green prickly stems. I had seen them in the markets but never knew what they were or how you were supposed to eat them. I was starving and would have eaten anything at that point. She showed me that you twist them open to reveal a white fruit on the inside that has a seed in the middle. They were really good and I ate a ton of them. After that I just curled up into a ball, the only way I was able to lay down, and figured that the best thing I could do was try and sleep. It definitely didn’t do me any good just staring at the other cars as my life was flashing before my eyes. Another reason this is so dangerous is the fact that these aren’t the most well take care of roads on the planet and the truck didn’t exactly have good suspension. Every little bump or dip, which was about every 3 seconds, felt as if it was going to launch me out of the back. I just had to laugh about it all. Just like in China I knew that if it was my time to go than it wouldn’t matter if I was I the safest place in the world. But my heart would still skip a beat every now and then and I couldn’t help but to picture us smashing into something and dying in a horrible crash. Somehow I managed to sleep a bit. We would stop about every two hours to get gas. The stations were packed with people, it seemed as if Bangkok was being evacuated. Finally around 3 AM we pulled up to someone’s house in the middle of the jungle and stopped. I didn’t know what we were doing so I just stayed curled up in my ball and slept. I woke up around 7 and noticed that we were still at the same place. It turned out that we were picking up a few more people. So we end up leaving the house and getting back on the death highway, I still had no idea where we were going or how much longer we had to go. O had told me that we had a long boat ride to take but I had no idea whether that meant in the ocean or a lake or what. He had also told me that we were staying in some bungalows on the beach, which sounded nice. We finally pull up to a spot right by the ocean. It had a bunch of bungalows so I figured that it was where we were staying, even though we hadn’t yet taken a boat ride. They were nice enough to where it would have been a nice relaxing weekend. It had started to rain a bit which was really nice and I was extremely grateful that it didn’t start while we were driving, that would have made it so much more fun J So we unloaded both the trucks and brought all the stuff to the main building. O then tells me that his is where we will be taking the boat ride from and that we would be staying at on an island, which was about 2 hours away. Everything started making a lot more sense to me. He told me that the boat wasn’t going to be leaving for a while so we went and got something to eat. I had an omelet and a coffee, trying to eat as healthy as possible. I finally realized why Nop (one of the trainers at Toddy’s) is always making his coffee so strong that it’s like drinking tar. I had to put so much sugar in it just to be able to drink it. I even tried to pour some water in to dilute it. It really made my stomach hurt which I knew was the last thing I needed before a boat ride. Finally we all pile into this large speedboat. There were probably about 100 other people on it as well, all going to this island with their families and all of their luggage. It had a downstairs, which was had all these really comfortable chairs and TV’s like some airplanes have, that was completely full. We end up going on the deck, which didn’t seem safe and was also full. Looks like I was going to be standing for this whole trip. So we start going along across the ocean, by that time the rain had stopped and there was a nice breeze. O asks me if I get seasick. Now up to that point I never had, not even close, but as he asks me I start to get paranoid wondering if I will. Every time my stomach felt the slightest bit weird or if I had to burp or something I freaked out. I was thinking that the last thing I wanted to do was puke in front of all these people. An older lady and a young boy had already puked their brains out. I was surprised seeing them didn’t cause a horrible chain reaction of vomiting of which I wanted no part of. So we make it to the first island and half the passengers get off. O told me that our island was another ten minutes away. At this point the sun was blazing and I was pouring sweat, another reason I felt sick. We finally make it to our destination Koh Tao, which means Turtle Island, and I thankfully managed to keep the vomit down. Let me just tell you that this place is breath taking. Crystal clear waters, lush green forests, it was right out of a movie. I couldn’t believe that this was where we were going to be staying. So we get off of the boat and get all of our stuff loaded into a few trucks that were going to take us to where we were staying. As we are driving threw the streets people are everywhere spraying and throwing water on each other (which his one of the traditions they do to celebrate new years in Thailand). The were tossing water on us as we drove by, most of us were sitting in the back of the trucks so we were getting soaked. I thought how great of a tradition it was considering how hot it is over here. I was hover worried about my camera getting wet, which was in my backpack. Se we start driving up the island, which has a small mountain in the middle of it. We are on this dirt road that looks as if it’s about to slide right back into the ocean and had no business being used for travel, especially people traveling on the back of trucks hanging on for their lives. Finally we get all the way to the top, which has the most unbelievable view, and then head back down the other side which his even worse than the way up. I really thought we were just going to tumble down the mountain. We finally get to the resort, which his just a bunch of bungalows all in front of the beach. It is so beautiful here; I can’t even describe it (look at my pics on MySpace). The weather has been so crazy today. One minute it will be the most beautiful day and the next it will be pouring rain and blowing hurricane speed winds and then it’s gone. We had some lunch and then went for a swim. I decided that today would be me Sunday, my day off. The trip getting out here really wore me out, physically and mentally, so I’m just going to relax and then hit it hard tomorrow. There are only a few downsides to this place. There’s about a million crazy bugs running around here and they seem to love to torment me. I don’t know if any of them are dangerous but they love to bite me. What makes it worse are that these bungalows, which I’m staying in my own, aren’t exactly bug proof. I just pray that they leave me alone while I sleep. Another problem is that the only thing on this side of the island is our resort, which is a plus but means that if we ever go to do anything we will have to brave that crazy trip over and down the mountain. Hopefully we will just stay on this side. There are these crazy birds that make the loudest/strangest noises outside of my room, it almost sounds fake. I think that we are going snorkeling tomorrow, which will be a lot of fun. God sure does like to put me in some crazy situations. I don’t know if He just likes to show me that He will get me threw them of if he just likes to mess with me. It just makes me laugh; I know how funny it will all be when I look back on it. I do wish that I were here on vacation instead of having to focus on training and staying in shape. I know that I have to enjoy it but at the same time I am fighting soon and need to stay focused. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not just the fight but also the entire trip. I need to enjoy every moment. I had a few snacks today, which I feel bad about. I have to do my best to eat right the rest of the time leading up to the fight or else it is going to be miserable making weight.

4/14/07

So last night I hear O stumbling around outside calling my name, I had no idea what time it was or what he was doing out there. I open the door up for him and he said that his family was staying up late playing cards and that he wanted to sleep. I had two beds in my room so he just took the other one. So I start falling asleep and then he wakes up and turns the light on. Apparently there were a ton of these little tine red bugs all over his bed; they were so small you could barely see them. Then I notice that they are on my bed as well. We both did our best to get them off and go back to sleep. Just another thing you have to deal with out here. I woke up this morning round 8 and went for a run on the beach. There’s only a tiny section where I can run, about 100 yards, and every time you put your foot down it sinks in about 3 inches. This made it extremely difficult to run not to mention that the beach isn’t even sand, it’s just all these little rocks which fill my shoes and socks up. I ran for about half an hour and then jumped rope for another half an hour. I did some shadow boxing and went back to the room to do my exercises. My room was crawling with all of these ants. I killed as many as I could but every time I turned around there were more of them. So I took a shower, actually I just rinsed off because I forgot to bring some soap. After that I went over to O’s room and had some breakfast. They sure know how to cook over here. Every single meal has such variety and they always have so much to eat. Doing my best to have self-control but it’s all so good. O told me that we would be changing rooms, which was music to my ears. Although knowing me my room would probably end up worse than the one I was in now. We packed up and moved a few bungalows down. These were definitely nicer and they were right next to each other. They actually had flushable toilets, I still haven’t figured out how to use the other ones. The best part is that there are hardly any bugs, just a few flies and ants. I went with a few of the ladies and had lunch at the restaurant. IT was really good. They have these coconut drinks, which are amazing, probably full of sugar and will make me fat but I had to have at least one. Other than that I’ve been pretty good on my diet today, it sure hasn’t been easy. I need to be working out more but there isn’t alit I can really do here. I guess that I will just do the same routine tonight as I did this morning. It is so beautiful here!... I passed out for a few hours, which was so nice with the ocean breeze and sound of the waves crashing. O and I went snorkeling right near the beach, it was so beautiful. The water is so clear that you can see everything. It was a lot of fun other than the fact that I smashed my knee on some coral. There is an amazing world under the ocean. You don’t even realize or think about it when you look at the sea. It is a whole other alien planet. He says that we are going to take a boat tomorrow to find some better spots. I opted not to run tonight, the swim today was good enough, we were out there for a while. I just hope that I’m not sabotaging myself. I know that this will be the hardest fight that I have ever had yet I am in this place and want to experience all of these things, within reason. I know that I should be working out more but there’s only so much that I can do. I guess when this fight is over I will know. But you know what, regardless of the outcome I’m not going to regret coming here. I will have these memories forever.

4/15/07

So my dreams of staying in a nice, bug free room, have just been smashed. First off O tells me that I’m going to have to sleep on the floor, which was fine by me, but then after dinner he tells me that they found me a different room to stay in. At first I thought, “ Great, I don’t have to sleep on the floor.” Then I started realizing that this new room was just as bad as my last one. Well it did have plenty of bugs but thankfully didn’t have any of the crazy ants. There is this gecko in here, I named him Sammy, he cruises around my room all day and night. At first he kind of freaked me out but then I realized that he would probably eat all the bugs that I don’t want in here. He’s my homeboy now. I got up this morning around 9 and O tells me that we are leaving around 10, which meant that I was going to have to get in a really quick workout. I went running for a little while, I felt really horrible for some reason, then did my exercises. I’m just so tired and I have no motivation. It’s a pain in the ass running on this beach and I know that I need to be doing more. After I finished working out I took a shower and had a light breakfast with everyone. I was determined to eat healthy today but it didn’t last long. We went to the other side of the Island, rented a boat and went snorkeling. We went all over the outside of the Island, it was a lot of fun and so beautiful. For some reason I was still in a bad mod and I deffinitley wasn’t able to eat healthy, though I did get some nice sun. One of boys opened up this pack of cookies and I just couldn’t resist. I don’t know why I have this problem. I know that it is completely mental yet I see sweets and I can’t resist. I mean it’s not like I’m starving and need to eat this crap, I just can’t help it, I feel like I have to. We retuned late in the afternoon.

4/16/07

So I got up this morning and went for a run. I realized that I’ve slowly allowed myself to become mentally weak. I realized that all these things, no matter how small, even the junk food thing, are ways for Satan to creep into my life. I was thought about how the food is just like any other bad thing in life that Satan tries to pick at you with At first you say no, then you start to rationalize and then you give in. Afterwards you are left feeling depressed and you are kicking yourself. I mean you think junk foods not that big of a deal but at the end of the day it’s a weakness. And if you are weak in one area in your life you are going to be weak in others. God doesn’t want us to be depresses, he gave us these lives happy, no matter the circumstances. I realized that I need to be more mentally focused in all areas of my life. I know that Satan wants to everything that he can to turn me back into that person that I use to be. I refuse to let him. It’s usually just a bunch of little things that he gets you with and not always the obvious ones that you would think. Those little things lead to more and more until you realize that they have consumed you. I know that even with things like junk food, when I start to feel weak, I need to turn to God. He never said only turn to me when things are really hard or when it’s terribly urgent. He wants to know all of our cares and concerns no matter how small they are. I’m determined to get back on track. Everyday is a new one and the past is the past. We can’t change the things that we have done all we can do is learn from them and try to better our future.

4/17/07

Well I managed to make it back to Bangkok in one piece. I was doing good with my diet, after I went running all I ate was an egg and some ham. After that I rested the rest of the day until we left. Last night we all hung out, it was really nice. They had this pier type thing that went out over the water. It was so beautiful out, you could see every single start in the sky. I just sat there in amazement that God created this whole beautiful world and yet still created something as small as me. I feel so blessed. Today before we left I fell asleep on this hamick they had right outside the door or the hotel room. It was so nice just laying there in the breeze other than the 200 flies that were swarming around. I woke up from my nap so thirsty and O hands me a soda. I thought, “ damnit, oh well,” I had to drink something and it was really small. I know I know, excuses. We finally packed up and headed back over the mountain on the treacherous road. We got to the other side and had to wait for the boat, it was about 2:30 and I was starving. Gai (O’s wife) goes over to the 7/11 and comes back with a bunch of junk food. I try to tell myself not to eat any of it but I was starting to get dizzy from the hunger. They keep offering me food and I try to tell them I’m on a diet but eventually she just sticks and ice cream cone in my hand and tells me to eat it. After that she hands me some of this banana bread and a banana crepe, shich was so good. I felt bad about it but I had to eat. I was so ready to get back on my diet but these things don’t always happen overnight. Finally the boat comes and we get to sit on the inside this time. It was so much nicer in there, I passed out for the whole trip back. We get back to the mainland and we all load back into the trucks, it was so crouded, seemed worse on the way home. I knew that it was going to be a long drive back. We stopped at a place and ate before we got on the road, the food was so good there although my stomach has really been bothereing me for the past few days. It really worried me because the last thing I wanted on a 7 hour death ride was an upset stomach. This time there was no getting comfterable, I couldn’t even lay down. I had nothing to put my back up against other than my back pack which had my drawing book in it so it hurt to lay on. I had the worst headache and was really starting to lose my patients, which I felt horrible about because everyone had been so nice to me since we first met. Everyone had been getting on my nereves for some reason and the last place I wanted to be was stuck in the back of a truck with all 8 of them. I realized that my headache and the fact that I have a fight coming up are probably the reasons I feel this way. I took some ibuprofen and just tried to relax. My headache finally went away and I felt 10 times better. I managed to sort of position myself in a way to where I could lay down. But everytime we would hit a bump I would have to reposition myself, it was extremely uncomfortable. I also had no idea how long the drive was since slept for the most part of the way there. I knew that it was about a 6 or 7 hour drive but it felt like forever. Finally we make it back and O tells me that he would call me later and let me know if we would be going over to immigration. We didn’t get back until 2:30 AM and I passed out the second my head hit the pillow, never thought I would be so happy to see my room. I didn’t even bother trying to get up for training this morning even though the last thing I need to be doing right now is missing sessions. I really need to push it this week. Every single round and every single second I need to be going as hard as possible. And I need to do all of this on as minimum food as possible. MT and the girls are getting here tomorrow, I can’t wait to see them. I still don’t know if Gina is coming or not, it’s driving me crazy. I guess I will just have to wait and see. O told me that they were staying at a hotel near Lumpini, which is great beacuse it’s only like 10 minutes from here. I just hope that they don’t arrive while I’m training because as badly as I want to go with O to pick them up I can’t afford to miss any more training. I could however skip a morning session and just go running and do my excercises. It feels like it was forever until they got here and now it’s tomorrow. These days are going to start flying by now… Well I felt like absolute garbage training tonight. It started out well. When I was running and warming up I felt great but as time went by everything kind of caught up to me. It wasn’t so much that my cardio as it was my body just felt dead. That’s what I get for slacking off.I’ve been feeling really down about this fight. My confidence isn’t where it should be but I’m hoping that over the next week, especially since MT, Anthony and the girls will be here, I will start to feel better. O picked me up at 1 and took me over to immigration who ended up being closed. He said that everyone was coming in at 6 tomorrow morning. I’m just going to skip my morning training and go for a run around 4 before he picks me up and then I’ll train at night. I’m so excited to see everyone that I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight. I havn’t seen anyone for over a month, it’s going to be weird, not sure how I’m going to react. I’ve been good on my diet so far. Right now I’m just trying to balance eating enough to have enough henergy to train and yet keep my weight down, it’s a balancing act. I figure that this week I will just eat a decent lunch and a small dinner and I eill snack on bananas and apples in between. Hopefully that will get my weight down some. I don’t want to cut anymore than 5 pounds, especially since I don’t know if they will have a steam room over there or not. I hope that they do, it will make it a lot easier. It’s supposed to be some fancy hotel so you would think that they wil. Dieting for fights is crazy. You have to east as little as possible, or as smart as possible, and yet if you don’t eat enough or the right way you won’t be able to train properly. The best thing to do, if you have the time, is to bring your weight down slowly. Bt we all know how I like to binge on the weekends, which makes it difficult. Oh well, it’s all part of the game… So the biggest cockroach that I have ever seen decided to bump into me and say hello just as I was brushing my teeth. Now normally bugs don’t really freak me out that much, although they annoy the hell out of me. This guy was so big that I wondered if I would even be able to crush him. I smashed him with my shoe once and he scurried into the corner, he was down but not out. I couldn’t finish him off because of the way he was positioned in the corner. Apparently the first time I got him I mangled one of his legs because he came bolting out of the corner but he was all over the place. I had a really hared time pinning him down but I was finally able to pick him up and flush him down the toilet. I was just glad that he wasn’t in my bed. Popedaddy got me hooked on these freaking Mentos. I have never had the before and now I can’t stop. When we were getting amssages the other day he told me how he is always hooked on them but only in Thailand. When I was at the 7/11 I decided to give them a try and now I’m hooked, every time I see them I have this urge to get them.. I need to ration them though because even though they’re small they can still add up.

4/18/07

I finally made it to the day when everyone arrives. I feel like a little kid on Christmas. I’m going to be so overwhelmed with emotion that I don’t know if I’ll be able to control myself. I went for a run at 4 o’clock this morning, my legs felt terrible but I actually managed to run faster than I have this whole time. After that I enjoyed a nice breakfast of banana and an apple, mmmmmmmmmmmm. Wow, I’m full! So we went and picked up all the crazy girls from the airport. Dawn, Ardra, Felice, Miriam, Kerry but not Gina. When I was waiting there for them to all arrive I could barely breath. I saw them all come out and I was overwhelmed with happiness but then when I saw Gina wasn’t there it saddened me. It was still so great to see everyone. They said that Gina was getting an emergency passport and would be here on Friday. All of the people that were doing the TV show were extremely bossy and annoying. I wanted to smack some of them around. I hadn’t see anyone in almost 2 months and they’re giving me attitude, are you kidding me. We all went over to there hotel, or should I say palace, and hung out. They are staying in one of the nicest hotels that I have ever seen. I can’t believe that this thing has been this close to me the entire time that I’ve been here. Everyone that works there speaks perfect English. After they all got settled in we all went over to MBK so the girls could shop. Dawn bought me a pair of flip flops, which I desperately needed. We hung out for a while and then I had to take a taxi so I could go train. On the way back in the taxi the driver tried to take me to see prostitutes and then offered me some weed. We were just driving along and he pulls out this pamphlet with all these hookers on it. He say, “You like, you want boom boom?” I said, “ No thanks,” but he just kept asking. Then he asks if I smoke weed and tells me that he has some. I tried to say no and explain that I was a “Nak Muay”(thai boxer), not sure if he understood me. I was just grateful that he didn’t drop me off in front of one of those places or in an alley somewhere. It’s always an adventure. So I think that I’m going to go back and see the girls later. I told Ardra to ask MT if I could just stay with them once m room expires, which his in 2 days. I still haven’t gotten my passport extended or my plane ticket switched. I’m feeling really good about training tonight I just pray that my body will respond… Well I actually did really well tonight. I felt like garbage but I was able to push threw it and really push myself. I might have only one or two more days at this camp. It’s crazy, I’ve been here so long that this has started to feel like my home. It’s going to make me really sad to say goodbye to everyone. I’m going to bring my camera there tomorrow so that I can get some pictures with everyone.

4/19/07

This morning’s training was really rough. I still haven’t been sleeping that great. My body and mind are so worn out. Gina called me at 2 AM, it was so good to hear from her. We talked for a bit and then got disconnected, I waited for a while for her to call back but she never did. I fell back asleep for a few hours and then didn’t hear my alarm go off yet somehow woke up with enough time to make it to the gym. The run was really rough, my legs are shot. After we got back Samran had me do a fe hundred kicks and knees on the bag, which didn’t help the pain, I just wanted to die. I managed to make it threw and then K and I did some technique. Finally we got to eat, it was so good. It’st the best part of training in the morinings. After we got done eating I took some pictures with everyone. I just wanted to make sure I got them incase I don’t come back later. I really need to get some sleep… Will a fell aslepp for a ltitle while, thank goodness. I was so exhausted and worn out when I woke up. O called me and said that his brother was going to pick me up at 1 and take me to immigration. Now I assumed that he meant MT because I know that he needed to go down there as well. But you know what they say about assumptions. Turns out he has quit a few brothers. I was a bit bummed because I was looking forward to seeing MT and talking to him. I really would like to know what the hell is going on with everything. It’s as if I’ve been waiting for them this entire time to get here and now that there are here I still feel like I’m alone and in the dark. Ardra said that she would get everything figured out for me. I just don’t want to be alone anymore, I’ve been here by myself long enough. So O’s other brother, the one that was with us in Koh Tao, picked me up to go to immigration. It was pretty slow in there today and it only took about 20 minutes. So that’s one less thing I have to worry about. Still don’t know when Gina gets in tomorrow or even how I can get there. All’s I know is that she wil kill me if I don’t meet her at the airport. I will be extremely disappointed if I cant make it as well. Well no matter what happens I only have a few more days here and then we will all be in Phuket, I can’t believe it, time has flown by. It’s always those last few days that drive you crazy. I know it will all work out. I’m not really looking forward to training tonight. I know that I need to push myself really hard but my body is just shot. Oh well, that’s nothing new to me… I can’t believe how good I felt during training, at least compared to how I felt earlier. Earlier I felt as if I had one foot in the grave. I actually asked the training to keep going after he had told me that we were all done. My hand is still killing me. I know that I won’t feel it in the fight but it’s really hampering my training, especially when we are doing straight boxing. I am starting to feel really leaned out. Hopefully that means I have lost a lot of weight. I’m not even going to check it until we get to Phuket because I know that all I will do is stress about it and that’s the last thing I need to be doing right now. I stopped at 7/11 tonight after I went to the Internet spot. It was tough but I managed to make it out of there without buying any sweets. I’m deffinitley proud of myself. This freaking hole in my shin is driving me crazy. It doesn’t hurt too badly, I just want it to heal. It’s crazy because earlier today I really didn’t want to go and train but then when I was there I didn’t want to leave. I know that tomorrow is going to be my last day of full training here and I’m not even sure of that. Saturday night Ardra and Felice are fighting so I know that I won’t be training then. It sucks because I really want to thank everyone at the camp and let then know how much I appreciate everything that they have done but I just can’t communicate it. I just pray that they all know, I think that they do. When I get back to Vegas I am going to see if MT will help me write a letter to them and maybe I will send them the photographs I took as well. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow than I did today. I am still in the dark as far as everything with MT and the girls goes. It’s pretty frustrating when I thin k about it. But I know that everything will work itself out. I can’t believe that Gina is going to be here tomorrow. I pray that I will be able to meet her at the airport when she arrives. It always makes me bervous to see her after we have been apart for a long time, not sure why but it has always been that way since we first met. It’s like I get butterflies or something, kind of funny when you think about it. She gets the same way. If I’m not at the Airport she’s going to be really upset, she told me that the only reason that she is coming all of the way out here is because of me. I promised her that I would be there when she gets off of the plane.

4/20/07

Just got finished with my last morning session at the camp. It went pretty good although I was pretty worn out. I just kept telling myself that I needed to enjoy every second because this is my last day. I just tried to soak it all in. I’m still trying to figure out when it is that Gina is getting here. It’s pretty difficult since I have no real contact with anyone. Oh well, if it works out than gret but if not than I will just have to see her later… Well I sat around all day trying to figure out a way to find out when she arrives. I finally got a hold of Ardra who told me that she was already here. It hurt my heart to think of Gina getting off of the plane expecting to see me and then I wasn’t there. There’s nothing that I could do about it though. O is supposed to pick me up in a little while and we are going over to Lumpini to meet the girls. I’m pretty sure that Gina will be with them there, I hope!

4/21/07

So we went to the stadium last night to meet everyone. As soon as we arrive MT tells me that the producers don’t want me to have any interaction with any of the girls. Now I can understand if they want me out of the way while they are filming but when thee cameras are off what is the big deal. I went over to Ardra and Felice and gave them a quick hug. That’s when I realized that Gina (and the rest of the girls) weren’t there. My heart just sank. I felt as if I was never going to see her. We went inside and watched the fights, which were amazing as usual. I had to sit apart from everyone else because they were filming. It was ok though because I got to sit ringside. I ran into on of the guys from the camp, it was really great to see him. I’m going to miss all of those guys. Apparently Felice fainted, at least that’s what I was told. I know that she has been having to lose a lot of weight and that on top of the heat is probably what did it. Somrak was at the fights and we all got to meet him, he’s a big star over here. He was a world champion Thai boxer as well as Western boxer. After he retired he became a famous movie star and a singer. They have to weigh in later today, the same day as the fight, which is the stupidest thing I ever heard of. There’s no way that I would be able to do that, not fighting at this low of a weight anyway. So after a few of the fights were threw MT and the girls took off. O told me that Sohin, the trainer that has been helping them all out, had nowhere to stay and asked if he could stay with me. I said of course. At that point I started to get really annoyed at all the Hollywood BS. I mean here this guy is, he comes all the way over here from Phuket just to help them out and they don’t even have a room for him. So, they stick him with me, the outcast who isn’t even supposed to talk with anyone. Then I come to find out that they haven’t even paid him and that they are giving him a hard time about that. It is really hard for me to not just go off but I know if I start I want be able to stop until everyone is knocked out bleeding on the floor. It seems that the only time they treat people decent is when they are getting something out of them and even then it’s not that great. So O, Soahin and I head over to the hotel. I had the worst headache, I was tired,hungry and I was in a really bad mood. On top of all of that my stomach was killing me. O was taking Soahin to get something to eat so I asked him if he could just drop me off at the room. When I finally got back to my room I tried to get a hold of Gina at her hotel, who I still hadn’t heard from since she had arrived. To my surprise she answered the phone. She sounded extremely tired. She was really upset at the fact that I wasn’t there to meet her at the airport. I tried to tell her how sorry I was and how hard I tried to be there. She says, “Well, I’m here now.” I know that I had to go see her, no matter how bad I was feeling. So I gave O a call and told him that I was going to be leaving and that I would just leave the door unlocked for Soahin. I hoped in a cab and headed over to their hotel. The traffic was so bad that I thought I would never get there. It ended up taking us about 20 minutes even though it’s normally only a 5 minute drive. I went in the hotel, called her room from the lobby and told her to come down and get me. I felt like we had to sneak around since the producers were being such pricks but at that point I really didn’t care, no one was going to stop us from seeing each other. So I was sitting there waiting for her to come down, my heart felt like it was going to explode, and then there she was. My heart just dropped. I ran over to her and we just sat there in each others arms for what seemed like forever. Finally we get on the elevator and hold each other some more. She was the only person on this planet that I wanted to see and I never wanted to let her go. I knew that I didn’t even have to say a word in order to let her know what I had been going threw or how I felt. There’s no one that knows me better than she does. We got up to her room and after what seemed like an eternity of just holding each other in silence we finally start talking. I tell her about all the things that have been going on and everything that I have experienced out here. We just talked and talked, I don’t think I have ever talked that much in my entire life. It was as if I couldn’t get the words out fast enough. My stomach was still killing me so I finally had to go to the bathroom. I hadn’t been able to go in almost a week and I knew that was not a good sign. I end up spending about half an hour in there getting a weeks worth of food out (sorry for the visual). It was the worst possible moment for this but I felt so much better. Finally my stomach problems were over. We talked into the morning and finally fell asleep. I woke up as the sun was just peaking up over the horizon. It was the most beautiful site watching the sun rise over Bangkok. I can’t even describe all of the emotions that I felt. I was in Bangkok training, which had been my dream forever, with my soul mate, getting ready to fight in Phuket, it was surreal. I thanked God for where he had brought me in my life. Gina gave me a hard time the entire night about not being at the airport. Even though there was nothing that I could have done about it and it was partly her fault seeing as how she didn’t let me know when she was arriving. She had to leave at 7 and go the the weigh ins, neither one of us wanted to part. We had been apart for so long already, in more ways than one, that we never wanted to leave each others side again. We said goodbye and I hung out in her room for about an hour. She had a scale in her bathroom and it said that I weighed 63 kilos (138 pounds). I thought that there was no way that I could be that light. I kept trying to zero out the scale but it always said the same thing, right around 63/64 (143 pounds). Just two weeks ago I weighed 65 and that was after a full day of training. Who knows, maybe it was right, especially after getting all of that crap out of my stomach, literally. If it’s right I will be in shock and extremely happy. I’m going to try and find another scale and see if it’s the same. I took a cab back to my room and now I’m just hanging out by myself, again. The fights start around 2 and I have no idea how I’m getting there. I can hardly believe how much God has blessed my life, He constantly amazes me. I don’t know why he has given me so much. I just pray that I can take all of these blessings and use them the way the He intended me to… So I just went for a little jog and of course, something crazy happens to me. I was decided to run at the park that O had told me to check out which was right down the street. So I head over there and it sure as hell didn’t look like a park to me. It was completely surrounded by this huge wall and had a guard gate. I decided to run on the streets instead however, I had never been the way that I was heading. I figured that it would just be like a normal block that I could just run around, WRONG! So I’m running and I take a left at the end of the street. To my surprise it dead ends but there’s a little alley way that looks as if it goes to the other side. So I take it and continue to run. Then I hit another alley and I start to realize that I could very easily get lost. I didn’t think that I would be able to find my way even if I headed back in the same direction. There were so many different streets and alley ways that there was no way to tell. So I decide to just keep running in the same direction that I was headed. I had a pretty good idea of where I was, kind of. At first I started to get really worried but then I thought of a scripture. It was Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcend all understanding, will guard your minds in Christ Jesus.” Things will happen in our lives that we have no control over. There is no point in worrying about something you can’t control. You just need to realize that the only thing you can do is face them as they come. The only thing that stress ever created is more stress. So I just kept on running having no clue as to where I was. I thought, “ Well at least I’m getting to see new things.” Finally I saw the roof of my hotel over the buildings and realized which direction that I needed to head in. I got back to my room and finished up with my excercises. I’m going to go get something to eat and then maybe a small treat afterward, something small though because I don’t want to hamper my progress too much. Maybe some Mentos J… So I refrained myself from getting anything that was too bad for me. It gets easier and easier the more I do it. I got some Mentos, a popsicle and a small pack of cookies.

4/22/07

So right after I finished my treats O calls me and tells me to meet him at the girls hotel, The Conrad. So I hop in a cab and head over there. He says that we are meeting up with everyone and then heading over to the stadium. As I was waiting for them in the lobby I see Ardra. She comes over and tells me to head up to her and Dawn’s. So we hang out for a little while, they had this amazing food sitting in there room of which I couldn’t even taste because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop. After that I went over to Gina’s room and surprised her. We still had to sneak around, or at least attempt to. We hung out for a bit and then headed downstairs separately. On my way down in the elevator I ran into the producers, who I wanted to smack around. I went and sat down in the lobby and ran into MT, O and Soahin. We sat there talking, waiting for everyone else. Gina comes down and tries to act as if it’s our first time seeing each other. It was so funny because MT could see right threw us. He was cracking up and saying, “ You crazy monkeys, I know, I know.” After everyone showed up we head over to the stadium. I went in the car with O, MT and Soahin. IT was great because I really had not had a chance to talk to MT in over a month since I had left the states. Finally we arrive at the stadium where John Baker was waiting out front. We all went in and I was surprised at how small it was, although none of the stadiums are huge. It was Bangkok stadium, which Songchai owned, one of the few stadiums that allow girls to fight. There are very old school and superstitious over here. Some of the stadium will not even allow a woman to touch the ring because they think that it is bad luck. Eventually the fights start and they are all amazing. There was one fight between these two young guys, probably around 12, that was unreal. There composure and technique made them look as if they were seasoned veterans, which they probably were as much as they fight over here. I had to sit up in the stands with John and Kaitlin because we weren’t aloud to be around the girls. I was pissed off because I wanted to be in the back helping them get ready. Finally Felice was up and she was fighting what looked to be an extremely young girl. She couldn’t have been 15 and she was probably way younger than that. I had never sen Felice fight before and I was really impressed even though her opponent had no business being in the ring with her. Felice came out really aggressive like Rocky and I thought that she would end up gassing out. She didn’t and kept that pace up the entire fight, it was really one sided and she almost knocked her out a few times. I will give it to the Thai girl though because she was extremely tough and most people would have quit. After that Ardra was up and her opponent looked like a baby, she had to be 12. I was thinking, “Who the hell set these fights up?” It was a brutal beating. Ardra pummeled her from the opening bell dropping her 3 times and eventually stopping her. It was really hard to watch and it really pissed me off. Ardra looked great and it wasn’t her fault that her opponent was so young. She was really upset about the whole situation but I told her that she did what she was supposed to, you can’t always help who it is that they put you up against. You just have to go out there and take care of business, which she did. I felt sick to my stomach, I was so disgusted with the whole scene. Gina came up and sat by me and shared my feelings of disgust. She was really pissed off. We both just wanted to leave and have nothing to do with any of it. It was interesting because before the girls fought they had about 10 guy fights and then almost the entire crowd left . They turned a lot of the lights off and I had no idea what was going on. All of a sudden two girl fighters came out and got in the ring, where they had to crawl underneath the ropes. It’s tradition in Muay Thai that you jump over the top of the ropes but apparently the women aren’t allowed to. Finally we all left and headed back to the hotel. Traffic was horrendous as usual, I felt like we would never get there. All I wanted do was hang out with Gina and be away from all of this BS. O pulled into this parking garage and I thought he was just taking a short cut. He ends up parking and I thought, “ Oh great,” it ended up being the garage of this enormous mall. I was really pissed off and deffinitley did not want to be at a mall. We were there to meet this promter, Surasak, guy who puts on the bare knuckle. It was nice meeting him and hopefully he will put me on one of his shows. We all sat down at this restaurant to have dinner. It was really good but I was not in the mood to be social. MT noticed the mood I was in and told me that I could take a cab back if I wanted to. I thought about it for a minute and then said goodbye and headed out. I flagged down a taxi and headed back to the hotel. As we were driving the driver tells me that he doesn’t know where the hotel is located. I knew that he did because this was one of the biggest hotels in the entire city. A lot of the cabbies won’t drive you if it’s not far enough away for them to make any money. I end up having to get out and try to find another taxi but none of them would stop for me. Finally I got one that was parked and he told me that he would take me for 200 baht, even though it was a 50 baht drive I decided to go anyway. I mean it was only like 8 dollars and I just wanted to be at the hotel. I kept thinking of the time that Mark and I were with Primo in New York. We had taken this cab to get to the fights and the cabbie way over charged us. So Primo hands him the money and says, “ Here’s your blood money,” I thought that was the funniest thing. Finally I get to Gina’s room where Lisa and her were finishing up their dinners. It looked so good. For some reason I wasn’t that hungry but I felt the need to eat something tasty. Lisa finally left and I ordered up a pizza and some apple pie with ice cream. It was delicious although it did not make me feel too good, I probably shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing by myself! Gina was really tired so we just ended up going to sleep. I woke up to another amazing sunrise, the hotel has the most beautiful view of the city. They all had to get to the airport today for their flights to Phuket . I said goodbye and got a cab back to my hotel, where I have to wait until about 1AM and then I’m going to the airport to meet Anthony. It’s going to be so great to see him. Our flight doesn’t leave until 7AM so we’re going to be stuck there for a while. Luckily I’m stuck there with him because you can never get bored around Anthony… This morning Gina and I were laying in bed watching a movie and I started to think about everything that I had been threw, that we had been threw. I just couldn’t believe how blessed we are. We both have been able to do so much threw our fighting. We’ve both been around the world, met so many beautiful people and have been able to touch so many different people’s lives. I am so grateful!

4/23/07

So I left for the airport around 12:30, Anthony’s flight got in at 1 so I figured I would get there a little before that. Well for some reason this cabbie, who I think was on speed or something, decides to drive about 100 MPH the whole way there. I’m not sure why he was in such a rush because I deffinitley wasn’t. I wanted to yell at him to slow down but at the same time I didn’t want to distract him. We end up getting to the airport in about 10 minutes so I had to just sit around and wait. I sat there and made this little sign for Anthony that said ‘Hitman’ on it, I knew he would laugh. He finally came in around 1:30 and it was really great to see him. We talked for a while and headed to the check in. Although our plane didn’t leave until 7 we wanted to get ride of our bags. Unfortunatley the counters were closed and said that they wouldn’t be open until 5:30. So we went and sat down and waited. Around 2:30 we decide to go find something to eat, luckily there were a few places still open. Actually as we walk up to one of them they start to close down. They put the chairs up and turned all of the lights off. We sat on a bench near them for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden all the lights come back on and the employees come out and get everything ready to open back up. It was the weirdest thing. I was starving but I knew that I had to get something healthy. So I end up getting my favorite dish, chicken and rice mmmmmmmmm. It actually was really good, after all of the times that I’ve had it you would think that I would never eat it again. After that we just hung out, talked for a bit then I tired to lay down on these incredibly hard steel benches and get some sleep. They reminded me of the ones that they have in jail. I would fall asleep for a minute but wake up every time that someone would walk by, which was every 5 seconds. Finally 5:30 rolls around and we check out bags and head over to our gate. For some reason they had the air conditioning so low that it felt like it was about to snow. I was freezing to death waiting for our plane to arrive. We actually met a guy from Vegas who was also waiting and was going to Phuket for vacation. Finally around 7 we get on the pane. I was starving again but at least the plane was warm. After we took off Anthony and I ordered some noodles, cashews and a coffee, it really hit the spot. After a quick flight we land and get our bags. Of course, there was no one there to meet us. There was this scale in the that I assumed they would use to weigh bags. Anthony and I decide to try and weigh ourselves on it. It said that I weighed 149, which I prayed was wrong. But I knew that I still had a bunch of food and liquids in me plus I hadn’t worked out since saturday morning. I’m probably really closer to 145, which still isn’t good. We end up getting a cab and head to our hotel, which we luckily new the name of, The Meridian. Anthony said that it was where they all stayed the last time he fought out here and that it was an amazing hotel. He was right. We get there and I am blown away. It was this huge paradise right on the beach. Huge swimming pools that over look this gorgeous bay. It had these mountains that kind of enclosed it and made it its own little world. When we were checking in we ran into O. The receptionist hands us this purple fruit and then some of the other employees put lays on our necks. I don’t know what that drink was but it sure was tasty. I wish that I were here on vacation. For some reason they only had Anthony’s room ready so we both just headed over to it. I can’t believe how beautiful it is here. I have been on such a rollercoaster ride since I arrived in Thailand, in more ways than one. I have been to the nastiest ghettos all the way to the most beautiful 5 star resort. From feeling like I was in hell to being on a cloud in heaven surrounded by angels. I tried getting a hold of Gina to let her know that we had arrived but she wasn’t in her room so Anthony and I then decided to go for run around the hotel. It was really nice although Anthony’s back started killing him. I told him that we should swim instead. I told him to just go back to the room to get some towels and that I would finish up my run. After I finished running I headed over to the lobby where I was supposed to meet him. I couldn’t find him anywhere. Then I realized that I had no idea what his room number was. I knew that it was on the 6th floor so I decided to just go and try to find it. I end up running into Lisa who was on her way to go film. She pointed me to where the room was and we said goodbye. So I went down the hall and knocked on the door that I thought she had said, thankfully Anthony answered. A few minutes later I hear someone knock on the door. I opened it up and to my amazement it was Gina. I was so happy to see her. It sucked though because she had to go film as well. I told her that I had my own room which made her really happy because she had been having to share a room with Lisa. I told her to come and meet me as soon as they were finished. My room was finally ready so I grabbed all of my bags and headed over there. I end up getting all of my excercised done, took a shower and layed in bed, I really need to get this weight off quickly.

4/24/07

Anothony and I are hooked up now. There was a little confusion when we first got here about who had paid for our rooms and what was going on with all of that. The producers were being pricks, as usual, and giving us a hard time. I knew that Tiny had taken care of everything for Anthony and I but I needed to find him so I could sort everything out. Finally tracked him down and he told me that he had taken care of everything and that if we needed anything that we could just charge it to the rooms. He also told us that he set us up to get massages everyday. They have this long tent right on the sand that overlooks the ocean, it has about 5 different massuses and is unreal. I’m deffinitley starting to feel better about this trip. We went for a run on the beach, it’s so beautiful here, and it started to rain a little which felt amazing. After that we headed over to the gym. They have this little gym set up on the beach where they film the girls training. They have a ring and a few bags hanging up. So we had been told that we could hit the bags and work out even while they were filming but when we get over there they tell us that we aren’t allowed to train until they are finished. I figured ok, we would just shadow box and warm up until they are finished. I was feeling great and then one of the producers comes over and tells us that we needed to go somewhere else. Now I could understand if we were in their shot or if we were distracting them or something but we were so far away from where they were that there’s no way we could have been in the way. I was so fed up at that point that I just told Anthony, “ Let’s go.” We went and showered up and then went with Caitlyn to get some diner. I was in a terrible mood. I tried to get a hold of Gina to let her know that we were leaving but wasn’t able to. We were actually supposed to go out to eat together tonight. I had been here for two days and deffinitley wasn’t getting proper training because of all of the Hollywood BS. We went to this little outdoor restauraunt that was in the town. It was so good I had the seafood soup, which I didn’t realize how enormous it was going to be when ordered it. I could have spread it out over three meals but instead I ate it all. I mean I had no real way to save it and anyone who knows me knows that I can’t stand to waist food. After dinner we head back to the hotel and gave Gina a call. She said that she had been looking all over for me. I went and met Lisa and her where they were having dinner by the pool. I really didn’t want to be there, I was still in a really bad mood and didn’t want to be a downer. Anthony shows up out of nowhere and joins us. It was a really weird situation because Lisa and him use to date and hadn’t really been getting along since they broke up. So this made me want to leave even more. Finally I left but Gina stayed behind to talk with one of the TV people, which hpissed me off. I got back to the room and was in an even worse mood. After the day that I had the last thing I wanted to do was sit here alone. I wanted to talk to Gina and vent. The fact that she didn’t notice this upset me even more. Eventually I called her up and told her that I really needed her to come to the room. Half an hour passes and she still wasn’t there. I tried to call a few more times but it wouldn’t go threw. Finally I said, “ Screw it,” and went and got her. We got back to the room and I tried to explain everything to her but we ended up just arguing. Both of us had a rough couple of days and we had all of this built up frustration we were taking it out on each other. Finally we realized what we were doing and talked it out, thankfully, and went to bed. This morning Anthony and I went for a run and I felt terrible, my body was shot. I don’t know why because all I did yesterday was run. After we finished our run we headed over to the gym, where they were still filming, to see if we could get some training in. So just like yesterday we shadow boxed, skipped some rope and streched out. Eventually Tony shows up and he holds pads for both of us. It was exactly what I needed although my body was not feeling very good. I got through a few rounds and was exhausted, this deffinitley wasn’t helping my confidence. It made me feel even worse since I had been over here training for over a month and now everyone is here and I felt as if I should be at peak performance. Oh well. I just found out that the weigh ins are on Friday at five. I can’t tell you what a relief that is. If they had been the day of the fight I don’t think I would have been able to make it. After training Anthony and I went and got some lunch. We ran into Ardra and Dawn so we all ate together. I had some chicken and these enormous prawns. It was so good, cost like 50 bucks but luckily Tony was paying for everything. I need to try and get a nap in, hopefully my body will start feeling better… I got a little bit of sleep even though most of the time I was just laying there face down in my pillow. Gina came over for a little bit and told me that she had just went and gotten a massage on the beach. She said that she had about three girls rubbing her down at the same time. I met up with Anthony around 6 and went to go and train. First we tried to go for a run on the beach but the tide was coming in and there was no room to run so we went back to the street. The producers let us know that we would be able to train around 7 because they would be gone. We ran for about twenty minutes and then I skipped rope and shadow boxed. O told me that the airline called and said that everything was booked up for a month and that they put me on a waiting list. So if I can’t get a flight home in time I’m going to have to get a whole new ticket, which will cost about a grand. We found out that Anthony had the same problem because they messed up the date of his flight as well. I just want to get all of this figured out so that I don’t have to think about it anymore. I know that it will all work out but at the same time it’s hard not to think about. I felt pretty good working out tonight although we did not get to do much. I need to check my weight in the morning. Hopefully I won’t be any higher than 145. Either way I’m going to have to suffer, plus all of the girls will be right there with me. I can’t wait to fight!

4/25/07

So I weighed 145 this morning, which means that I’m about 143 without food or water in me. Five pounds is fine, I’m just going to try and get it a bit lower over the next two days. I’m really sore today for some reason and I’m feeling really weird about this fight. Just like my last few I have no nerves whatsoever. It’s as if I’m not even fighting. Not sure what I think about that but we’ll just have to see… Anthony and I did some padwork this morninig with Tony and Soahin. I felt pretty good but my body felt worn out. We went and got massages on the beach afterwards which were wonderful. It was so peaceful laying there looking out over the ocean. I talked to Tony about the ticket problems we were having and he said that he would take care of it for us and not to worry about it anymore. He told me that if we needed to stay here a few extra days than he would take care of it. He has been so helpful to me over the years. Anthony and I need to find a way to show him how much we appreciate it. I know that us winning these fights will deffinitley make him happy. MT told me about my opponent today and said that he was really good. He had better be because if I get put in there with a can I will never forgive them. Soahin said that he had seen the guy fight before and told me that he had a really good clinch. I’m just glad that the camp I was at specialized at clinching because that use to be one of my weaker techniques but now it feels great. I just need to keep my distance and make him pay on the inside with my elbows. I know that it will be an amazing fight. AS I said before, I just want to put on a great fight and earn the Thais respect. I feel pretty worn out after that massage. Brandon Vera is here, he’s Kerry’s, one of the girls, husband. He’s super nice and calls everyone Sir. I had met him about 2 years back very briefly at MT’s. I was really surprised that he remembered me. I thought that it was great that he came all of the way out here for her fight, her parents came as well who are super nice… I’m so tired, for some reason I haven’t been able to get any naps in during the day. My body is hurting. I just want to skip training tonight and sleep but I know that I have to do it because this fight is coming up quick… So I lucked out tonight. We walked over to the gym and MT and Tony were sitting on the ring talking. We chatted with them for a bit about the fight and our plane ticket issues. They said that we should train with them before the girls arrived. We wrapped our hands and started getting warmed up. It started getting really dark and we realized that we had no way to get the lights on. They normally hook all of the lights up to this generator that was in the back of this truck, but it was gone. All of a sudden it starts to pour like a typhoon was coming. MT said that we needed to get out of there because the ring was like a lightning rod. We ran across the walkway to where the entrance of the girls room was. We tried to knock on there door but they were gond. We were looking for a way back into the hotle so that we wouldn’t have to get soaked in the rain. We end up finding this back hallway that we hoped would lead us back to the hotel. It was like this maintinance hallway where they had all of the electrical stuff. It really reminded me of theat scene in Spinal Tap where they are trying to get to the stage and keep getting lost. I was laughing so hard to myself. Finally we make our way out and over to the gym inside of the hotel. I weighed myself and somehow I was still 145, which hwas great, and Anthony was about 180 which was also good. We ran for about half an hour on the treadmills. I tried to do the UFC run, which I normally do every other day. It’s the run that they made all of the guys do on the show. You start out at 5 MPH and go up 1 MPH every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. I realized after a little while that the units of speed were in Kilometers not MPH. I tired to adjust as best as I could and had a pretty descent run. I skipped rope for about 10 minutes after that and shadow boxed with some weights. After I finished I weighed 142. Tony said that if it comes down to it he would buy us new tickets, he’s amazing. They told us that for some reason the girls don’t have any opponents. Apparently the ones that they were supposed to fight backed out because they said that the girls had too much experience. I thought that was pretty funny because most of the girls only have two or three fights. I guess that whole discusting scene in Bangkok made them realize that they needed to step up the class and age of the opponents. This whole situation is such ha mess, these people have no clue as to what they are doing. It was the same thing when they did the “Ring Girls” movie. They didn’t have a script and just made it up as they went along. I thought this was the stupedist thing that I had ever heard of. For one thing they didn’t need a script. These girls were really going to Thailand to fight so why don’t you just film what they are already doing, why do you have to make it fake. And if you are going to script it have that figured out before you start filming, it was crazy. And they wonder why it bombed. It’s going to be really interesting to see how this all works out. All I had for dinner tonight was a protein shake, I really don’t want to have to cut that much weight. Tomorrow I’m just going to have a good breakfast and then a shake for dinner. I also need to get a haircut, got to look pretty when you’re getting your face punched in!

4/26/07

I got up this morning and it was pouring rain, typhoon style. Anthony called me at 6:30 and we went to go and check our weights. I was 142 and he was about 178. We went and had a huge breakfast and then went back to our rooms to lay down for a bit. I felt as if I could have slept forever. We had to get up at 9 and go and train. We went to the gym and had a really good workout although my body is still shot. I was 141 afterwards and that was with all of that food still in me. I then went and got my haircut and a massage. One of my good friends Endo, who I hadn’t seen since in about 10 years, is in Phuket to see me fight. Apparently he had been living in Japan for the last few years and when he heard that I was going to be fighting here he flew over. He wants to get together and catch up but hanging out with me before I’m about to fight is probably the worst time. Plus I really need to get as much rest as possible. I just have to go for a run tonight and I will be finished. I still have no feelings about this fight, it’s really weird, but I do feel as though I’m in really good shape. I’m sure it will all hit me at the weigh ins. I’m just looking forward to getting in there and doing my thing. I know that God has a plan and that whatever will be will be… Anthony and I grabbed some lunch, I just had a chicken salad, but then when I got back to my room I cheated. I had a chocolate bar and a protein bar, they were so good. I have to got to the gym tonight and run with Anthony. I’m hoping to be around 140 when we are done. I really don’t want to have to cut anything tomorrow if I don’t have to. Either way it will probably be a few pounds. I’m going to do that water loading trick, where you down about a gallon of water before you go to sleep at night and it flushes you out. Last time that I did it I lost three pounds overnight. Endo just shows up at the hotel at 4 instead of calling first. It was crazy to see him. I really wanted to just sleep but it’s not as if I could just send him away without seeing him, he did fly all the way over here to see me. He asked if I wanted to go to the bar and get a drink. It’s so funny because most people have no clue as to what fighters have to go threw in order to fight. I know that a lot of girls get mad at their boyfriends who fight and are at the gym all day everyday. They just don’t realize the time and energy it takes to get in the ring. I guess most people think that we just get in there and beat each other up, they don’t realize that it’s a full time job training for it. We talked for a little bit and then I told him I would just see him at the fight and went back to bed.

4/27/08

Anthony and I worked out last night for about half an hour. We ran, skipped rope and shadow boxed. I wore my sauna suit the whole time looking like an astronaut. Everyone that walked by the gym just starred at me as if I was an alien. I was 140 afterwards which is good but I had been hoping that I would be right on so I could eat something. I still can’t believe that I’m this light without even having to sit in the sauna. When I finished up I went back to my room, had a protein shake and passed out. I woke up this morning around nine. I feel prett weak, my body is just completely worn out. I know that I will feel 100 times better after I get some food and liquids in me but waiting until then is going to be torture. Gina brought me a poster for the fights so I finally got to see what my guy looks like. He reminds me of Marom May, a guy I fought for my first full thai rules fight, a little bit. I have a feeling that this fight is going to be unreal. Dawns fighting a girl that Gina fought over here like 3 years ago. Who knows whether she’s gotten better or worse, should be interesting. They didn’t have a pic of Anthony’s opponent. I can’t wait, I think that this whole card is going to be amazing. I finally started having some feelings towards it and I feel really great. So now I just have to sit here until the weigh ins, I still have no idea hwere they are going to be. If they are going to be away from the hotel than I need to find a way to bring food. I’m probably going to go in the sauna for a little bit to get the last of this weight off, shouldn’t be too hard. I’m just praying that the sacle for the weigh ins will be the same as the one that they have here. I’m sure that it will be lighter especially since all of the girls have so much to loose, we’ll see… Well I weighed in at 138 on the nose, my opponent actually came in heavy and so did Anthony’s. They said that they would make them go drop the rest and come back but I really doubt that ever happened. These fights are going to be so good. All the girls made weight, that really surprised me. I know that Dawn and Miriam were killing themselves to make it and I really didn’t know if they would be able to. They both looked like skeletons. The scale that they used had wheels on it and I thought that there was no way this thing could be accurate. I thought we were going to fall off of it because the floor wasn’t exactly level. The weigh ins were outside at this restaurant right near the beach. There was a lot of people there watching and taking pictures, it was a lot of fun. So after I weighed in I scarfed down all of the food that I had brought from the hotel which killed my stomach. Dawn’s mom had brought some food as well and I had some of hers. Even though my stomach hurt I just couldn’t stop myself from eating. So after everyone was done weighing in I figured that we would head back to the hotel. Boy was I wrong. We end up all having to pile into the back of this goat truck and they drove us around the city to promote the fight. Needless to say this was extremely dangerous. I mean there was nothing for us to hold onto and we were basically just balancing ourselves ontop of this thing. But I guess that it wouldn’t be Thailand without some danger. The driver had this loud speaker and was repeating something over and over, which hwe could barely understand. It was so feaking loud that I thought my head was about to pop. He kept saying,” Muay Thai, number one, Patong stadium,” then he would repeat it in Thai. I’m going to have nightmares about this for a long time. I was about to loose it but just like when I was in Bangkok I told myself to just enjoy it and soak it all in. Finally we finished our death ride around the city and we got to go back to the hotel and had some more dinner. I ate way too much, as usual, I’m hurting so badly right now. The crazy thing is that I still want to stuff more in there, I deffinitley don’t want to be dragging as tomorrow though. So after dinner we all went over to the beach where the girls had to do a little bit of filming. They had this firewroks display, which was really beautiful, over the water. I went and walked on the beach by myself for a little while, it was so peaceful. I just reflected over my life, especially the past month. I thanked God for brining me to this place. No matter what happens I am greatful and tomrrow is the day where I find out what God has in store, I can’t wait. I’m feeling really positive about everything, it seems so surreal that I have to stop and tell myself what’s going on all the time, it’s crazy. I can’t belive that after so long I’m finally here and about to fight. I really need to get some rest now.

4/28/07

After years of waiting the day for me to fight in Thailand is finally here. I thought that I would be feeling at least a little bit nervous but I’m less nervous than I have ever been. I mean for some reason I have never been one to get nervous before a fight, not sure why, but I thought that for sure this one would make me. For some reason I feel nothing other than a complete peace. I know that this is going to be the fight of my life but I also know that God is in control so what is there to be nervous about. There’s nothing that I am afraid of. I have done everything in my power to prepare myself for this fight, physically/mentally/spiritually, and now it’s time to put my cards on the table and see what happens. I always think of Psalms 56:11 in times like this. It says, “ In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” I know that there’s nothing to fear from anyone on this earth, he’s just another human being. I’m so blessed to be here.

4/29/07

Well it’s not going to be easy to write all of these because I think that I broke my hand. The fight was unbelievable! First I was told that my opponent had about 22 fights but as he was walking to the rind I heard the announcer say that he had over 100. Before I get into any of this let me start from the beginning of the night. Before we left for the fights I took a nap in my room bymyself. I was laying there, praying, just relaxing and focusing my mind on what I needed to do. I had my eyes closed, it was pitch black and all of a sudden it was as if the sun had risen in my room. It was so warm and I fetl this incredible peace. It was so bright that I couldn’t even open my eyes. I felt the presence of God and I had this incredible loving, peaceful feeling all over my body. It was as if I was being filled with energy. Then all of a sudden it felt as if I was floating off of the bed, I can’t even describe what I was really feeling. At that moment I knew that everything was going to be fine and that there was absolutely nothing to fear. Just as soon as it started everything went back to normal and I opened my eyes. I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry. It was the closest that I had ever felt God’s presence and I couldn’t hold back my emotions. I couldn’t wait to fight. So the girls take off and tell us that they will see us at the stadium. Anthony and I waited around for someone to take us. After a while we wonder if they forgot us, no way. We walk around looking for anyone who we know and we can’t find a soul. I can’t believe it, I think they really forgot about us. I mean I know that we’re not part of your stupid TV show but how could you leave us behind. Finally we see this one lady who we know is with them and ask her where everyone is. She tells us that they all left and that they must have forgotten about us. Luckily she was heading to the stadium and we went with her, I couldn’t believe it, I just had to laugh. So we get there and I tell Gina about how we were left, she couldn’t believe it either. No big deal, we made it in time to fight. The stadium was really cool, kind of small but that made it better, more intimate. There was a few hundred of these little kids in the stands. I was told that they were orphans, they all looked so happy to be there. So we went in the back and find out that there’s not really anywhere to warm up. Everyone was running around like crazy and no one had any real information for us. Luckily Soahin had brought a few guys from his gym over to help us out. So we got our hands wrapped, Thai style with layers of tape over our knuckles, and got oiled down and then stretched out. Luckily they dumped so much thai oil on me I didn’t even need to warm up seeing as how much I was sweating. My hand was still really bothering me and I was unsure of how it would hold up in the fight. So we’re stuffed into this little corner and of course, the girls have there own air conditioned room all to theselves. All of the little kids kept coming in the back and taking pictures with all of us, it was great to see their faces light up. The whole thing was so surreal that I kept having to tell myself, “ I’m about to fight in Thailand,” I couldn’t belive it. Miriam fought first and looked like an absolute monster next to her opponent, she had to be at least a foot taller. She ended up knocking her out with a knee in the 3rd round, the poor girl didn’t even have a chance. Dawn fought after her and had an absolute war. She didn’t end up fighting the girl that Gina had fought previously. She ended up fighting a girl who obviously had a lot of experience. Dawn had only fought about 3 times before this and I was blown away. They were going at it, I can’t believe some of the shots that she took, it really inspired me. She ended up loosing on points and was really upset afterwards. I told her how amazing it was and how it made fight even better because I couldn’t be upstaged, she laughed. Kerry was next and she ended up fighting the girl that Gina had fought. I had never seen her fight before and I was really impressed. She ended up knocking her out in the 1st round with a head kick. So finally it was Anthony’s turn and he came out looking really confident. His opponent was extermly deceptive and made Anthony miss a lot. The biggest promblem, just like when we fought in China, was that he was waiting to much. I was sitting next to Lisa, Gina and Brandon during the fight and they were all screaming at him to just let go. I did my best not to get to emotional because I was trying to conserve my energy, it was not easy. Finally after the 3nd Lisa went up in his corner and gave him an earful. I don’t know what she said to him but he came out and put the guy to sleep. He dropped the guy twice with a right hook and then the third time he rocked him and kneed him in the face, it was beautiful, the guy was out. After that I went in the back and did my best to stay loose. Finally they put my gloves on me, they were so small, had to be only 6 oz’s. This made me even more worried about my hand. MT handed me his phone and said that someone wanted to talk to me. It was his brotha Master A, who had trained me in the past, and he told me good luck. I thought that was really nice of him. Finally it was time for me to go out, MT walked in front of me and I had Anthony and a few others behind me. I couldn’t stop smiling, it was an unbelievable feeling knowing that I was really living my dream. I tried to soak in every single second of it and thanked God with every breath. Everyone in the stadium was going crazy cheering, it was so loud, like thunder. Everything was so clear to me. I got in the ring a moved around a little just to stay loose. Finally they announce my opponent. The annoncer was speaking in Thai and English but he was really hard to understand. One thing that I did hear clearly was that my opponent had over 100 fights. At the time I didn’t even think twice about it, I had such a peace about me that he could have had 300 and it wouldn’t have made me blink. So he gets in the ring and we both had these big smiles on our faces, I knew that this was going to be amazing. I don’t think the knew what to think of me. We both do our Mai Khru’s and I slipped in the middle of mine. I think I played it off pretty good because it wasn’t that noticeable. It just made me feel really stupid. Of all the places to mess up I have to do it in Thailand. We both finish and they bring us together in the middle of the ring, I still couldn’t stop smiling. I was a little worried because everything was so clear to me and I didn’t have any nerves which usually gets your adrenaline going. I thought to myself, “ This is going to hurt.” I’ve had fights where I couldn’t get myself nervous enough to get my adrenaline going and I felt every little thing. Oh well. The bell rings and we come together in the middle both taking our time. His kicks were extremely hard, I had never felt anything like them before. Even his front kicks felt like normal people’s roundhouses. They didn’t really bother me but they were so fast that I didn’t even have time to block them. I knew that eventually they would add up and I wouldn’t be able to take them anymore. So I just walked threw them and countered with punches and kicks of my own. He had a look on his face like he was surprised that I wasn’t intimidated and was just walking threw everything. I felt my hand shatter on the first hard punch that I landed. It was the worst pain that I have ever felt in a fight. I knew that it broke the second that it landed and I thought, “ Oh shit, now what.” So I started using my left a lot more and tried to throw a lot more kicks. Every once in a while I would let my right go hoping that I wouldn’t feel it but every time it landed I felt the pain shoot through my entire body. The 2nd round we really started picking it up. I felt really great other than my hand. My cardio was unreal and I was landing some good shots although he was extremly slick and hard to hit. He could just see everything coming before I threw it, I could deffinitley tell that he had over 100 fghts. He slammed an elbow off of my forehead that I thought split me in two and then one off of my nose that I thought broke it. When he landed on my nose I heard this really loud buzzing noise as if someone was holding a tuning fork against my head, it was really weird. We starting having an elbow war, just going back and forth neither one of us giving an inch, the crowd was going crazy. It was funny because even during the middle of this I knew in my head that Gina would be freaking out. I almost wanted to turn to her and tell her that I was fine. I felt bad because I knew what she was going threw but this is the way that I fight, head to head. In the corner MT was giving me really good advice but I didn’t let him know that my hand was broken. I was relly surprised that I wasn’t tired at all, felt like I could fight forever. I guess those ten minute rounds were paying off. As I was sitting there in the corner, cut to pieces and with a broken hadn, I had a huge smile one my face. I probably looked like a lunatic, I couldn’t help it, I was just so happy to be there doing what I love. MT kept telling me that my opponent was tired. Now normally your corner will tell you this to get you motivated but as I looked over at him I saw that he was breathing really hard. I couldn’t believe it, I thought how could he be tired and I feel great, he’s supposed to be the guy with all the fights. In the 4th he landed a few really hard knees to my liver that picked me up off of the ground. My body just gave out but I grabbed onto the ropes in order to hold myself up, I refused to go down. After seeing this my opponents will just drained from his body. I think he realized that there was nothing that he was going to be able to do to me to get me to stop coming after him. He tried to go to work on my body with punches and knees but I somehow just kept walking threw them. I was going to keep going forward no matter what. It wasn’t even about winning or loosing at this point, not that it ever was. Going into the 5th my face was bleeding and swollen, luckily I have blood like toothpaste or they probably would have had to stop it. MT kept telling me to fight like a lion. I didn’t care what happened to me, there was no way I was going to quit or back down. I really pushed the pace and at one point he spit his mouth piece out in order to get a break, I couldn’t believe it. I smashed his nose with and elbow and had him relly backing up the whole round. I could never get anything really solid going but I just kept pushing myself as hard as possible. I land a spinning elbow at the final bell, we both fall to our knees and the entire crowd erupts. I had so much emotion that I almost started to cry, I was one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. I thanked God for getting me threw it. I didn’t even care if I had won or lost. I knew that I had earned my opponents and everyone elses. I knew that this fight would take me to a whole new leverl. I ended up loosing a split decision, which the split part surprised. He was really nice and we gave each other a hug and took some photos together.Everyone was so happy for me, especially MT and Tony. I felt bad because I couldn’t give them the win but I knew that they didn’t care.

4/30/07

After the fight I could see the look on everyones faces. They looked as if they had seen the most amazing thing. A lot of the girls looked traumatized, Gina was a wreck. I didn’t even know how to let her know that I was ok. I tried to consol her but nothing seemed to help. I had so many people pulling me in all different directions. The ring doctor was trying to get me to get stitches but I told her I didn’t need any. All’s I wanted to do was sit down for a minute. Gina was in the back crying telling me that I really needed to get stitches. I went in the bathroom and took a look in the mirror. It was deffiniltey bad, you could see my nose bone and the side of my head was cut badly, but I didn’t really care and told them I didn’t need stitches. Finally the doctor basically grabs me and forces me onto the table, it was a woman doctor. As I was laying there MT and everyone else was by my side telling me what an amazing fight it was. MT was grabbing my hand, the broken one, which was killing me. I didn’t want to move though because I was in the middle of getting stitched up. The doctor sprayed me with this stuff that was supposed to be numbing spray but it did not work and I felt every single one go in. After she finished I went and finished changing and getting all of my stuff together. People kept coming up to me and telling me how impressed that they were. I knew that I had accomplished my goal. I think my opponent thought that he was going to walk right threw me. He came in the back and shook my hand, again the broken one. Eventually we packed up all of our stuff and headed back to the hotel. Anthony and I had to ride in this Tuk Tuk that could barely get over the mountain. Ireally htought we were going to have to get out and walk. It was like 2 AM when we finally got back to the hotel and I really wanted a drink. My head had swollen up so badly and my hand was killing me. I was also in desperate need of a shower. So I went to my room, showered up and dropped my stuff off. I talked to Gina and she told me to head over to the girls room where everyone was hanging out. We had some food and some drinks, it was a lot of fun to just hang out and relax, we had all been threw so much. I couldn’t believe that it was finally over. I went to sleep around 4:30 and then got up at 7 and had breakfast with Anthony. We stuffed ourselves till we were about to pop even though I was still full from the night before. It was really hard to eat because my hand and my head hurt so badly. After breakfast everyone met up in the lobby waiting to leave for the airport. We hung out for a while talking and taking pictures and then all of the girls had to leave. Anthony and I got out things and tired to get a cab. We didn’t get one until 11:45 and our flight was at 12:50. The cab driver told us that there was no way that we would ever make it. Anthony said, “ Come on man, I know you can do it, I believe in you.” So we take off and this guy is driving like a maniac, I can’t believe we didn’t die. We could have esily died so many times and killed so many different people. Finally we arrive and we notice that we got there at the same time the girls do. They had left about half an hour before we did.

5/1/07

Anthony and I are in Seoul, Korea right now with a 10 hour layover. Yesterday we hung out with Caitlin and her friend. We walked around the city, went to McDonalds(twice) and just passed the time as best we could. We went to the airport around 11 and our flight left at 1AM. It was a pretty nice flight on the way over here. It was a 5 hour flight but I must have slept threw most of it because it went by super fast. My entire body is killing me, especially my hand. Ut feels as if it was smashed with a sledge hammer. I don’t know what we’re going to do here for 10 hours. And to top it all off I feel like I’m getting a cold. Luckily they have a food court and a lounge area that has computers so we won’t go completely crazy bored out of our minds. This has been quit an adventure and it isn’t over yet. Anthony cracks me up constantly! Every time I laugh I get a shotting pain threw my ribs, might have cracked a few, but I can’t help it and he never stops… We’re five hours into our ten hour layover, I can’t wait to get home. I keep forgetting how long that I’ve been gone for, it’s crazy when I think about it. It’s going to be really interesting to see where God leads me next. I know that this fights has taken me to an entirely new level. I think I learned more in this one fight then all of my previous 24 put together. I knew that the day I finally got in the ring with someone who was as determined as me it would be amazing, and it was. I just feel so blessed… Well we made it threw the 10 hours and I think that both of us are about 10 pounds heavier. We ate so much junk while we were sitting around, it was wonderful. We’re just waiting to get on the plane right now. I’m just praying that I will be able to sleep most of the way home. I’m going to take some sleeping pills so that even if I don’t actually sleep at least I will be out of it because the pressure from the altitude is killing my body. Feels like everything is going to pop. This journey is almost over, onto the next one. This cold is driving me crazy, I thin kthat I’ve just put my body threw too much mentally, physically and spiritually that my body just finally gave out. I can’t complain though, I stayed pretty healthy the while time that I was over there.

6/10/07

Well it’s a month later and I made it home(no it didn’t take a month to get home). For some reason, on our flight home, instead of having one of those big transatlantic planes they had one of those ones that you would take from Vegas to LA. It deffinitley made me nervous. I mean you feel so safe in those huge planes and you barely feel any bumps but in this little tin can it felt like we were in a car going over a dirt road the entire time. On top of the fact that every hour that passed by I felt worse and worse. I could barely breath and the pain was almost unbareable. We finally made it home and I was so happy to be back in the US. I went and got my hand x rayed and the doctor told me that they didn’t see anything and that I probably just sprained it. Now I’m no doctor but I knew that it wasn’t just sprayned. After a few days of excruciating paing I went and saw a hand specialist. He knew right away, without even x raying it, that it was broken. I ended up getting a cast on it, which sucks. I’ve never had to have a cast before and I never want to again. They had to put it from half way down my forearm to half way up my fingertips. I couldn’t grab anything so I had to do everything with my left hand, that’s why it took me so long to write in here again. I finally got it off and it still hurts. Of course as soon as I got the cast on I was offered about 6 different fights, that’s always how it goes. I actually only took a few days off and went back to the gym. I just put my glove over my cast. When we sparred I pretty much had to drop my hand on that side because if someone would hit me in my hand it would kill ontop of the fact that my cast would smash into my head. Another thing that sucked was that it would get soaked in sweat and was really hard to dry out. I got pretty sepressed during this time. I mean I really couldn’t do anything. Makes you appreciate when you’re healthy though. So after I got my cast off the doctor gave me a brace that he wants me to wear for 3 more weeks, it’s much more conveinient. My hand still hurts, who knows when it will be back to 100% again, maybe never. Looking back over this adventure in my life I am extermly greatful. Greatful to have made it back alive, greatful to be living my dream, greatful for every little thing in my life. I’m so greatful to all of the people that kept in touch with me while I was over there. If it wasn’t for there encouragement and prayers I don’t think I would have made it.
The end