I was calm and relaxed when I stepped into the ring against Brazil. I felt ready to fight. I had been waiting for this…the building up of anticipation for the last 3 months and now here I was, in Dublin, at the World championships, about to fight. My first fight was perfect for me. I controlled the pace of the fight and it was clear early on that I could side kick her off me and move in and follow up with punches and kicks. There was no point during the fight that I lost my sense of composure or felt off guard. Even the few times she rushed me, I took a breath and covered until I could fire back. At the end of 3 rounds I left the ring moving into the quarter finals against Russia.
I got a tough draw that is for sure. Kicked Brazil’s butt and my second fight was against Russia who is favored to win and no doubt will. She is a tremendous fighter. I haven’t ever seen a girl this good before. I stepped into the ring and the game plan was to make her miss and hit. Funny, she had the same plan. She moved in and out really well. When I threw my side kick she would sweep it down. A few times I threw it up again a second time kicking her away. She was really challenging to hit, her distancing was precise and she was relaxed and comfortable. She came in and threw a few tough right hands and I handled it well. Thinking, “yes that hurt” for a moment and then getting back to it. I hit her with a few tough ones as well and going into the 3rd round I was down only 3 points. I got her against the ropes and threw a nice reverse sidekick and it was clear the kicks weren’t getting scored like the punches. I needed to move in with more punches. Terry and Justin were giving me this information going to the 3rd round. I needed to throw more techniques, more techniques. I got in there for the final round I let her control the pace of the fight. I didn’t take the fight to her, instead let her play her game which she is better at than me. She beat me by 5 points. This was a close bout, we both played with strategy, clean punches and kicks, and it was a great fight. She was the better fighter and she won.
Interestingly enough I still have this thing inside of me that wants a world championship. As long as I have the ability to go for it I think, I WILL DO THIS! Sometimes it takes a few tries, a little of going back to the drawing board and re-adjusting your strategy, perhaps allowing yourself to be tested, to see how long you can hang in there, how bad do you really want it? Never give in or abandon your dream!
If the dream changes, then so be it. I will move on. For now though, this is what I want. It fires me up, my passion lies here. I can’t describe well enough in words what it feels like to train hard for months and then step into the ring to fight. There is nothing that compares in my mind to this sport and what it gives me in the sense of accomplishment, appreciation, and adventure. Since stepping back in the ring last year I have improved SO MUCH! I keep getting better, why stop when I am expanding my abilities and growing at such a great rate?
Everyone on the team is out of the running, except Steve. Amika and I made it into the quarter finals and lost our second fights. Stevie is going into the semis today and is for sure in the medal round.
Steve by the way, is 41 years old. He has come to worlds 3 times and this will be his first time coming home with a medal, quite possibly gold.
My first meal after loss was a real nutrition winner. Guiness and Bofanni pie. This amazing short bread crust with bananas, cream, ice cream, and toffee sauce. I did enjoy it!