When I was 11 years old I did everything. I was a footballer, cricketer, kick boxer, snooker player, golf and tennis enthusiast. I loved most things active, especially when it involved a ball, required lots of dynamic movement and/or being creative. I was always extremely keen to be my best and I was a teachers pet. I got a huge buzz of self esteem every time I was paid a compliment or given the nod; the sign that the teacher respects your skills. For me it meant a lot because I never excelled in school. I was always taken away from friends because of my learning difficulties. My sports were the one area where I was treated as if I belonged.
It wasn't long before my skills in all my passions developed to a competitive standard. Opportunities were everywhere especially in my football and cricket. I was given an ultimatum by my father. You can't be great at all of them, you need to focus more on one of them. I had a choice football or kick-boxing. As I had been brought up with football and I dreamt of one day playing for Tottenham Hotspurs FC, on the left midfield, replacing Darren Anderton. So, it was a no brainer that football had to come first. It was tough because I was a brown belt with 3 black tags and just one grading session away from achieving my black belt. I had also not long came back from my first fight in London that I had lost, so I had a lot of unfinished business you could say.
My instructor Phil Newman was a big role model to me and was a hero to so many in my old home of Cadbury Heath. Phil was always doing crazy things for charity. The man had the patience of a saint. The amount of times I missed the wooden boards we were supposed to be chopping through whilst he was holding them. Good news is I think he still has all his fingers. Anyway, it's always burned in the back of my mind about giving up and I have always wanted to go back but so many excuses like it's too far away, I don't have the time, I can't afford it and maybe I'll go back when I have achieved my dreams. Well, 15 years on and still burning, I said to myself enough is enough. I can do this. I have Phil as a 'Facebook friend' and I have kept in touch, but nothing developed. Why? Because I still had lots of excuses as to why I couldn't go back.
I was browsing through Facebook and I noticed he was advertising his 1-2-1 slots. My time schedule is very busy but 1-2-1 could allow me to fit something in that works. It's funny because just the other week my friend Debbie challenged me to get back into it because I was telling her about how much I missed it and missed my old instructor Phil.
It's hard to find a great coach in life because there are so many good coaches but none as great as Phil. This man is what I like to a call a 'DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH'. Very rare! He always puts the student's well being first. Again I'm going off point, I contacted him and said I was interested in 1-2-1. I was nervous because I thought 1-2-1 would be out of my budget. Well, as the saying goes if you don't ask you don't get! You should never presume anything. Presumption is the mother of all fudge ups. Lesson to be learned; if you really want to do something stop letting it burn in the back of your mind, be brave and take an action towards it and make an opportunity happen.
I did and now I have my first Kick-boxing lesson with Phil in 2 weeks time on a Saturday morning after my exercise class.
Here's to Pheonix Freestyle Martial Arts, and your burning desires!