Sensei Anthony’s road to Barcelona
As you can all probably guess, the competition in Barcelona is the highlight in every Sensei’s kickboxing calendar. It is the place we get to test our talent and metal in the hope of returning to home, with trophy in hand as conquering heroes. But that five minutes of glory does not come easy. I missed last year’s competition through injury but this year, the “one bang” is back in business…
In the months leading up to the competition, life is no picnic let me tell you. My alarm goes off at 7am and I set off on my early-morning run (cue Rocky soundtrack and Philly skyline…). I then head off to the gym for a weights session before getting myself to the dojo. I have to make sure all my work obligations are done before then starting training. Basics, combinations, pairs, push -ups, sit ups, sparring and bag work – basically pushing myself to the point of puking, for 2 or 3 hours, 7 days a week. Usual service then resumes and I teach the Xen-Do students the true meaning of mind over matter; just a small taste of what I have had to endure earlier that day!
And that’s the easy bit done.
The hard bit is the bit people don’t see. It’s ordering a sparkling water when all your mates are ordering a Jack and Coke. It’s the front row seat I have to everyone else chomping through a cheeseburger whilst I graze on an iceberg lettuce. It’s saying no to a late night out because I know I have to be up running at the crack of dawn and training all day.
But this is what it’s all about. I know only too well that glory is only achieved through pain, hard work and sacrifice. I am very lucky as a kickboxer as I love what I do. The physical pain I push my body through is the fun bit for me. I love it. The restricted diet and disciplined lifestyle is the slog. I know it’ll be worth it though when the team is in Barcelona to bring home the gold for Xen-Do. It is that ultimate goal (along with a few experimental recipes, as you can see in the photos, to keep my taste buds from dying a long slow death at the hands of salad) that keeps me motivated and makes it all worthwhile.
It’s been a long and gruelling road to Barcelona, but with the competition just days away, I feel better than ever and ready to give everything I’ve got. See you on the other side…!