Grit and Determination…. What Do You Mean “They Don’t Come For Free?!”


I’ve been training at my MMA gym for about 5 months now. If truth be told, at the beginning of December, I was looking to throw it off as I just couldn’t get my head around the grappling aspect of the game. Unlike my coach, I struggle immensely with personal drive and determination.

I’m going to start with my coach. He is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever had the pleasure to have met. Many times in life, you meet someone and say: “What a nice guy” but they’re just a regular person who isn’t horrid. Then you meet someone who goes the extra mile, who genuinely cares about people and isn’t out for number 1. This is my coach. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be negative about anything, even after one of our fighters was cheated out of victory in his first fight and the rules changed on the day of the event. Every time I speak to him or read his Facebook, I hear/see nothing but positive vibes oozing from him. Not to mention determined. He’s done things this year most people talk about but never bother. Setting up seminars with internationally renowned fighter and  without the backing of big named gyms/promotions to swing the deal.

So my point of this blog is not to say what an amazing guy he is. The point of this blog is to try and take from him that determination. I’m probably the opposite from him. The most committed thing I’ve done is get married and have a baby. Every day, I get into work thinking “I’ve got this to do/that to do and I will do it by the end of the day”…… Then I sit there and write a blog. At the end of the week, when my boss is screaming at me for late submission of accounts or something else, I get upset and wonder why!!

My problem is I have:

  1. A short attention span
  2. No self drive

Number 1 is difficult to deal with, or at least I think it is WITHOUT number 2. I deal with number 2, that will smash number 1 out of the park. But how do you go about motivating yourself? How can you change your perspective to gain a drive in your life? The perfect example is this: I sign up for a gym, do the induction, go a few times but never really break a sweat. Then I leave it and watch the money drain from my bank every month. However, I go to rugby or mma training, I bust a gut with someone yelling at me and I get so much more from it. Is it boredom? Could be partially it. Is it laziness in that I need someone to stand over me while I do things?

Not sure either way, but I have to change it soon. I’ve so many options available to me to make a better life but without this drive, I’ll let everyone single one of them slip me by. Guess I should stop blogging and get on with my mountain of work now

Funny or Bullying?


I first saw this video a few weeks back and I found it hilarious:

Of course, I found this funny for the same reason I’m sure all of you are now laughing away. Since then, I’ve found a few more videos online staring this guy:

And then an interview (of sorts from a bedroom) with the main man himself made by his buddy:

Up until this point, I thought this was still really funny. True, the guy does seem a little slow and at some point you have to wonder is it really fair to be laughing at him rather than with him, but I was happy enough wetting myself laughing at the enthusiasm he throws into his singing and the fact he really doesn’t care what people think. That was until I saw this vid:

Now I appreciate that some people do not want to hear a guy singing his little heart out on the bus first thing in the morning, especially if he can’t hold a note. But there is no need to throw things at him and be generally horrid. We live in the 21st century where we’re supposed to be accepting, kind, understanding people who look on ourselves and our community with this attributes. I can’t see that from this video. I have to be honest that I stopped watching about 1.17 as I suddenly felt so sorry for the guy and ashamed at myself for laughing at his videos. Does laughing at the videos make me just as bad as the clowns who were throwing things at him?

I’m sure we’ve all been in this sort of situation. A misfortunate person, such as Carmine, does something that we find funny. This may be singing or falling over or dancing or anything but we laugh. At the time, I’m sure 95% of don’t think anything malicious about it. It’s simply another human being doing something funny. But does that make it right? How does that person feel? Are they trying to make us laugh or just doing something they like to do and would feel upset at being laughed at?

I don’t know if I’m being too touchy, but I hate to think of someone being bullied, let alone being bullied on the scale of having a video of them posted on YouTube for millions to see and laugh at.

Then again, am I making things worse by posting the vids in this blog? Damn, having a conscience is tough!!!

What Have I Let Myself In For?!


I’ve been training mma for about 2 months now. Nothing serious, just 1 or 2 sessions a week. Before this, as my regulars will know, I trained san shou. So my background is mainly stand-up fighting. However I felt I needed to broaden my view on fighting and competing, so mma was the next logical step.

I’ve just agreed to take part in an interclub fight in December. Now, interclub fights are NOT big news. Shouldn’t be anything major, but I’m having serious doubts about my abilities. Am I really THAT good to step into the ring? I know I can handle a stand up fight, even if I lose, I’ll be able to walk out without too bad a beating. But my ground work is atrocious and I’m very worried about being on the bad end of the dreaded “ground and pound“.

I’m sure the organisers of this event will match each person with an opponent of similar weight and (more importantly I think) similar experience, so I shouldn’t be facing anyone who has 25 fights under their belt. But then there is no guarantee of that. It’s all too easy to say “this is my first fight” while trying to hide your UFC championship belt.

I’m sure some people will say not to fight if I have any doubts, and they’d probably be right. But I also REALLY REALLY REALLY want to compete. I’m not in it for the fighting or beating down on someone. I’m in it for the competition, to see if I’m good enough. And the only way I can do that, is to fight.

So I’m in a quandary. I guess I have 8-9 weeks in which to make my mind up (to give time to cancel I mean) and in the mean time, I guess I train as much as I can, cover the bare basics, get my cardio up and not let my doubts control me.

Wish me luck!

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

Money Worries


I’m really worried.

My wife started a new job two weeks ago after leaving her last job after over 9 years. This was due to the company being totally unreasonable in relation to her going back to work part-time after having our daughter (there were other issues relating to the decision to leave, but I won’t post about them just yet, you’ll find out why later). The new job is perfect as it’s working for a children’s soft play company (my wife loves children), it’s part-time hours and she can take my little girl with her to work one of the three days. Money isn’t fantastic, but it’s enough when put with mine to live on.

The problem is my wife came down with this stomach bug Monday and had to call in sick today. This worries me very much! I have no problem with her being sick, but what worries me is she’s only been there a week and I don’t want her current company thinking she a bad employee. In her old job, she had less than a week off sick in nearly 10 years!

I’m terrified that she will lose this job and leave us with no way to pay our bills. I did get an e-mail from my previous boss last week asking if I wanted my old job back. I was tempted purely on the money basis as they’d pay a lot more, but I turned it down when I remembered how they treated me. Wondering if I made the right decision now.

I’m not blaming my wife at all. She is amazing and works so hard at being a mum, this new job and also trying to get her photography business off the ground, but as the man of the family, it’s my job to provide and I’m terrified I won’t be able to do this.

Now my little girls nursery has just called and said she’s got the same stomach bug (poor little angel). It never rains but it pours!

Muslim’s Protect Coptic Christian’s


I’m an avid Redditor. I discovered this site about 2 months ago AND LOVE IT! It has everything you can want on the web with jokes, pictures, videos, news and all posted by normal people.

I was having a flick through it Friday and came across a post from an Egyptian newspaper called Al-Ahram website entitled: Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas Mass, serving as “Human Shields“.

Have a read……… Now re-read………. Now re-read AGAIN!

Now lets digest.

How many times do you pick up a western paper, website or news channel and see how Muslims and Christians are disagreeing, fighting, arguing with each other about something? I’m sure your brain has started hurting now calculating the numbers. Ok, try to find an article where they work together for a greater good than their religions or singular belief? No, I can’t think of many either.

Well here is one!

This story made my heart leap with joy! After the bombings of the Coptic Christian Churches in Alexandria before the New Year, the population of Muslims in Egypt promised to stand by the Coptic’s against the terrorist threat. The promise was kept when, according to the story, thousands of Muslims turned up at churches for Coptic Christmas eve services and held candle light vigils outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife

This is a story that can and should unite the world. These people recognised that, regardless of religious beliefs, their fellow countrymen needed solidarity. They saw that by standing together against these terrorists, they would win. If not, their country would be divided and fall.

We need to learn from this. These terrorists DO NOT represent Islam and 99.9% of Muslims in the world. The sooner the majority of the Western world learns this and stops labelling everyone from Muslim religions and countries terrorists, the sooner we can start working with them to a safer, peaceful world. And no, I’m not a Muslim, I’m a Catholic. But so much more important than that, I’m a human.

I went to church Sunday (not my normal thing, but we’re getting our daughter baptised) and the priest read a passage from the Gospel of Matthew (22:37-39):

And He said to him “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost Commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself”

I don’t normally read and quote the bible, but this passage kind of says it all for me. Islam, Christianity and Judaism all worship the same God of Abraham, so all agree on the first commandment. The second is the important part for me. Basically, love each other. If we all worship the same God and he wants the same thing, why do we fight?

Ok, enough religion. I don’t know enough about it to write too much and my faith isn’t that strong in any case. But my faith in humanity is. Remember: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Lets not let these bully’s decide our relationships with each other.

Final thought of the day: Why wasn’t this shown in Western media?

The Wife’s New Job


My wife is coming to the end of her maternity period and work is looming. Unfortunately, she will be unable to return to her current job part-time. It was looked at and discussed (to an extent) but was deemed undoable by the powers that be.

So be it.

Anyway, after the way she was treated (another long story I’d rather not get into) we both decided she shouldn’t return there. If for no other reason than we want her to be at home with our daughter at least some of the time.

She applied for a few photography jobs as she is a very keen and talented photographer, but these came to no avail. Instead, she opened up her own business and has been doing portrait shoots in a studio we made in our house (her website is here, please have a look). This has been going well, but isn’t really bringing in the money we need to keep going just yet. Hopefully once word gets around and the wedding season kicks in, things will change.

She did apply for a job working in a kids gymnastics place. I say gymnastics, it’s a tumble tots kind of get up, called Rainbow Mini Gym. This is perfect as she LOVES kids and she can even take our daughter to one of the sessions she’ll be working. Brilliant news came through today that she got it. Hours are great and days work perfectly. The only draw back is the pay is a little on the smaller side than I was hoping for.

So I get told the good news and the accountant in me rears it’s head. I start running figures through my head and alarm bells start ringing. I’m in the car at this time, so no where near my trusty computer and excel spread sheets. I get back to the office and start crunching numbers. I’m looking at tax relief and voucher schemes left, right and centre. The final result was that we can afford it. We’ll be tightening our belts so much that we’ll be wearing girdles, but we can do it. The only draw back is my training.

I was hoping to leave san da shortly and take up mma. This would be a culmination of techniques and arts I’ve wanted to learn but alas, we will only be able to afford 1 of my hobbies and rugby will ALWAYS take precedent for me.

So I was a bit down on thinking of this when I suddenly had a flash back. A little under a year ago, I was deeply depressed with my work and job. I couldn’t see any way out or any light at the end of the tunnel. My loving and supportive wife told me to leave that job. I did and found the job I’m currently in. Doesn’t pay as well as my last, but I’m much, much happier for it. What I guess I’m getting at is the same for my wife. She COULD go back to her job full time, get the good money and we can have our life back, but my daughter would suffer and be away from her mother. I’m not prepared for that to happen. So if sacrificing mma for my family is the option, I’ll gladly pay it.