"After the training session, I went to a friend's party, because, you know, my life can't be all about fighting..."
"Yes it can," replied Corey, deadpan, serious, during a conversation in the lulls of UFC 157.
After a vigorous training session on Saturday morning that went into the afternoon, despite being supremely tired, I traipsed my way across town, well, I drove, but it felt like I traipsed, to my mates house who was having a party. Good word, that, "traipsed". Very descriptive. When I sat down in his backyard, the past couple of days rushed up to remind me that, "hey, you really should be at home right now, horizontal, with your eyes closed and that god awful snore taking effect."
I tried talking, socialising, listening to my friend talk about his final exams, making small talk with people I don't know, drinking water glass after glass, doing my best to think of interesting conversation pieces that were formerly in abundance. It was hard. My life is all about fighting.
I don't have much else to talk about. I train MMA and BJJ most days of the week. Any other days I am preparing for training, washing gis, cooking meals, resting. At the end of this week my position at the company I work for will be redundant, a position that in itself was not only very interesting, but due to its nature was like an aphrodisiac to women. I have zero ambition for a career in anything that I have pursued to this point in my life, I have had my fill of working my arse off for a company and then being let go. I do have a vision for my own company, but I am keeping a tight lid on it. I have a fight coming up in a few months and a BJJ tournament in a little over a week, therein lies my focus.
It was early in the evening, I'd been there about an hour and I was done with these meaningless conversations that in the past I would entertain as it was a means to an end. The "end" being picking up. All conversations have this "end" in mind, not just one with females. I'm not bi-sexual. The power of public perception is a huge thing when on the prowl, chatting up a chick is easier when there are a few people in the background alluding to the fact you're a catch.
Anyway, I wasn't in the mood for chasing tail, putting in all that work only to have a 9 in 10 chance of succeeding. Without my usual weapon of talking about my career where I was paid well to help charities, I reduced that potential to only about a 8 in 10 chance. Well, 8.5. And I just didn't have the energy to **** eight and a half women that night. That means I'd have almost 9 problems occurring in my future, problems I have realised I don't want, presently, at least.
I had a brief chat with my mate about music, a shared passion, one that, although taking a back seat at the moment, is of great assistance in my training. Then he changed the topic, excitedly.
"I've been training Kung Fu!"
My heart sank.
"He's the real deal, he only trains people in his driveway and only has 4 students and..." you know the rest. The guy is deadly. He doesn't do "what you do, for sport". The guy is super fast. The guy draws chi through the earth. The guy can **** around with your chi.
He showed me some footage of his master doing things with his arms very quickly. Useless things. Things that are not fight applicable. He's learning them thinking he is learning to fight. I didn't have the energy. I realised I'd become weary of arguing against bullshido in real life. I think because when I have come up against it in the past, I was overzealous and I may have spent all my zeal. If it is not fighting, I don't want to talk about it.
I said my goodbyes and was in bed by 8:30pm on a Saturday night.
As I prepared myself for sleep, I started thinking why I like fighting. I have come to the conclusion that it's the honesty. I've seen the theory floated previously, it rings true for me. It's not just the honesty of standing toe to toe with someone looking to do to you what you want to do to them before you do it to them, it's everything in preparation for the fight as well. You have to be honest with yourself, with your team mates, with your coaches. And they have to be honest with you. If any of you isn't, you'll find out on fight night in a bad way.
I consider myself an honest person. I've been described by a former employer as "too honest" as part of his reason for firing me. Literally, in his eyes, I was honest to a fault. I can't and, more importantly, won't turn it off. That's why I like fighting, I can be honest with myself and be honest with those around me and I know that, for the most part, they're going to be honest with me.
The next day, while among friends from the gym watching the UFC, the conversation would deviate from fighting here and there, but it was honest conversation. It was real conversation. Afterwards, I went home to rest, so that I could be prepared for this weeks training.
As I went to sleep, as has been happening for the past few weeks, my mind began going over all the things I need to work on in training, the possibilities, the emotions, all related to my upcoming first MMA fight. Fear, happiness, disappointment, joy. Injuries, KOs, submissions. Training, working on weaknesses, building my strengths. Wins and losses. I think about these things as I drift off to sleep. Not about the fact that I'm unemployed. Not about the fact that I haven't made a connection with a woman in several months. Not about the various other matters that used to fill my head with dread, with loathing. Those battles in a world filled with dishonesty fade away.
I agreed with Corey. Life is all about fighting.