Today early morning, I run through the village my regular route to the Nile. People cry, “Very good, sport!” with a thumb’s up. A boy on a donkey runs beside me for a bit. Past the awakening shops to a place in the shade where sweet Turkish coffee awaits me, along with a breakfast of eggs and mashed peanuts with butter, made fresh in the village, bread, cilantro and flafel. The boiled eggs come from one man and are taken to the man who sells peanuts from a small cart, where he mixes the eggs with the crushed peanuts. This man has been selling peanuts from the cart since forever. This is life.
Above left are two of my students. Photo on the right, I am teaching my class at Tarzana Boxing.
I love to train on my own. Right now, I’m at Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, writing for one month and I have trained every day. Thirty years ago when I was in the depths of despair I started to run in Kensington Gardens, in London where I lived at that time. I was skin and bones and I could hardly run at all. In fact, I didn’t really enjoy it but I loved how I felt when I was done and I knew it was good for me and it would save me. It didn’t cost any money and all I needed was a pair of shoes. That started me on the road to overcoming darkness. Each day I set myself a goal and I pushed myself farther with each goal. I learned to stop focusing on hopelessness and start thinking about great possibilities. I always wanted to train in martial arts but my parents wouldn’t let me. So I had to wait until my daughter was born and I was thirty years old. From then on, I never stopped.
Women’s Fight Club that I started at Tarzana Boxing
Find what gets you through, what inspires you to be your best, what teaches you discipline and self-respect. And practice it day by day. Even on the days you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. You will.attain a spirit of strength through adversity, a focus in your eyes, a way of walking, a way of interacting with people that expresses your inner values. Really, there is nothing quite as satisfying as making a choice to achieve your best and following that discipline every day.