Honestly, I’m a huge fan of this piece of mine, and it’s absolutely up there as one of my personal favourites. This was taken while visiting one of my very best friends in Tamboerskloof, South Africa. He and I had decided to talk a short stroll up a nearby hill, and for whatever reason I decided to take my camera with me. The girl running between the trees was one of the happiest coincidences of my life, and me being quick enough to capture this moment was utterly serendipitous.
Being told to “relax”, is like trying to fall asleep – the more you try to do it, the further from it you become. My biggest mental hurdle in Muay Thai training at the moment, is relaxing into the moment: of surrendering myself to the here and now, second by second, strike by strike. The moment between things happening is where my brain seems to get stuck. I’m left analysing what just happened, only to totally fuck up what I’m supposed to react to next, and then the cycle repeats itself.
I think this is the first real mental hurdle I’ve had to encounter in my training. It’s important for me to admit that, so that my ego (and others) know, just how new I am to the sport (and combat sports in general), and to put my problems into perspective. I have nothing to prove here to anyone but myself. And what I want to prove, is that I can live, and fight, and die with a warrior spirit.
So, as an analytical person, how do I approach and begin to solve a largely non-analytical problem? Well, that’s exactly the dilemma I find myself in. I have absolutely no game plan or roadmap as to how to “fix” this, so instead I’ll take a different approach… I’ll allow myself some room to grow, and afford myself some time and patience to do so. I’ll accept that I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll never allow myself to grow complacent.
Now that I’ve been struck with this first test of mental fortitude, I find myself scared to train, because I don’t want to fail again and again, at something that I’m admittedly not good at. So, how are we going to conquer this fear? By facing it head on, of course. By training again as soon as humanly possible, and by approaching that training with renewed focus and passion.
Here’s one taken from The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany. Many people have taken photographs very similar to this one at this location. Truth be told, it’s an awfully easy place to take a meaningful picture, given the overwhelming emotion attached to the place.
My own experience was similar to most other visitors, but still uniquely my own. Its near-impossible to not be touched or moved in some way when walking through the structures, so while this photo may be like countless others, I’m still very honoured to have been there, and to have a memory of that moment captured in my collection.
I’m actively trying to put things out there that never saw the light of day for reasons I believe stemmed from a place of fear. Things such as these old photographs that I never believed to be particularly good, and was scared to show them to really anyone.
With the new approach I’m taking to my portfolio – one of extreme honesty, I’m more than happy to start sharing these things now.
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