Teyonni and I are two people that both take risks. We even commit to these crazy challenging things under prepared-which I don’t know if that’s a strength or weakness. But it’s the coach/athlete dynamic that led us to take this risk and it was a risk considering our groups background (previous post). Fight day confirmed we were the underdog. The opponent came from a quality gym in their home town. It was like jumping off a cliff and hoping the parachute was working-but we had no way to test it out prior and we just had to jump. We were a small team diving into this new game far from home.
Once Teyonni got in the ring with her opponent it was a high volume of punches, kicks, and knees. It was an active and intense 6 minutes of striking. Teyonni got dropped by a knee to the body in the first round but like many times in her life she just got back up and fought on. She landed a leg kick that knocked her opponent down in the 2nd round and had a few flurries of punches that cleanly found the target. Overall, our opponent got the better of us, was a good striker, and won the decision. We had trouble with her length, her knees to the body, and her skill set in general. Definitely some positive take aways but also just realizing we have to keep training and continuing to get better. That means working hard, continuing our education, and learning from good coaches whenever we get opportunities for that.
Teyonni become the first one on her team to ever compete. That’s pretty rare in combat sports to have a training group-where they have never competed. We can say we are new, under prepared, etc..but truth is that a lot of people are scared to compete-and I strongly value competition. She also went the distance battling through moments in the fight where it didn’t seem like she would be able to keep going. Most importantly she made a small path into the jungle that athletes in our group will eventually follow and build upon. She is the only person most of them know that has ever competed in any type of combat sport.
It was a significant moment for our team for those reasons, but not glamorous. We always try to win and there are the emotions of disappointment or discouragement after a loss. Sometimes those emotions are devastating when your super invested in something. She wanted to win and do better and I wanted to help prepare her to be successful. We will regroup and come back wiser and more dangerous the second time around. I’ve been around sports for a long time and competed for years in track and field. Any sport endeavor is filled with extreme highs and lows and a lot of success is simply who lasts the longest and doesn’t give up. Hopefully that will be our story in the end!