I do not lead a normal life. I suppose that is redundant, considering that anyone that knows anything about fighters assumes that we don’t lead normal lives, and I sure as hell don’t. I guess I am ruminating on this right now specifically because I go over things like “how many greens did I ingest today” or “did I take my glutamine in time” without really having to think about it. I constantly check in with my body, with my mind. I update everything regularly. I try as hard as I can to be honest with myself. On the days that I am not honest, or more often, am too hard on myself, those are the days I am glad I have Rob.
Rob Kaman is one of the main coaches sharpening me for this fight. Rob Kaman and Buddy McGirt have a gym where they work in unison. I will spend an hour or so with Buddy, where he gleefully gives me silly nicknames, and exercises my jab into more of a sniper focused shot. Typically after that, I go to Rob. Rob beats the shit out of me. But he does it “with love”. His words. The training I have been so blessed to receive, from my strength and conditioning with Steve Melero, to my work with Rob is beyond anything I could really explain. Everything has a purpose. Every single thing is structured to build me up. But the thing that sticks with me is the mental and emotional support Rob has given me. For a man known to have the most devastating leg kicks in all of kickboxing, he has an unbelievably warm and loving spirit. Rob is honest, gritty, focused. Where Buddy plays with me, laughs with me, keeps me in the light, Rob centers me. After each training session Rob walks me through a visualization, tells me how to see what is to come. He tells me what is going to happen, and I believe every word.
Last Tuesday afternoon, I experienced a Dutch trainer going on a mission to find just how much I could take. After an hour and a half of working with Buddy, Rob pushed me through 2 and a half hours solid of revolving between mitt work, to bag work, all of which is active for he is always there, waiting, hand poised to slap you and shout “DON’T DROP YOUR HANDS”!
I wanted to throw up. But I didn’t. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. My arms stopped working, stopped listening to me, I fucking hated my muscles for abandoning me. I went from hate to despair, to vengeance. I waged war on my myself that day. At the end, I picked up my gear bag, I thanked Rob, and I saw in him, when he hugged me, pride. Rob was one of my idols when I was a child, as was Buddy. I could not break in front of him, I would have died first, and I am not kidding. To have his acceptance, his faith, is worth almost as much as having my father’s acceptance ever was.
I couldn’t move my arms for the rest of the night. I couldn’t even hold a water bottle, and it was all worth it. This is not normal, this need to test oneself. This is elevated. And Rob is going to take me to the very ends of what I am capable. I cannot wait to show you all…..
Editor Note → (Mark Miller will be blogging here from time to time leading up to his on May 28th, if you don’t know his story check out his interview here. Make sure to follow Miller on twitter at http://twitter.com/fightshark_com)