Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that my Muay Thai days are pretty much over. After a year of letting my back heal up, and some hard thinking it is the best thing.
I have clearance from the doctors to do it again, but I just don't want to take the chance. But as the saying goes, I always look for the silver lining on the grey clouds.
Since my back blew up I have had all of my evenings back and have been spending more time with my family and that has been fantastic. I am a more involved dad, and it has all been good. Also, since I couldn't really do MT, my cycling has gotten much better. The workouts that I was using for MT are now dedicated to cycling. And I have lost a bit of muscle mass, making my power to weight ratio much better for cycling. I think next year I may get into a racing series. I have been in races before, in the US and France, and I really enjoy the strategy, pursuit and teamwork involved.
I do miss some of my friends from the gym. I have been back several times to see some tests. Things have changed there, and imho not all for the better. But it really isn't my deal anymore. There are more students than ever so it certainly appears to be a successful business. I am happy for the owner, who I keep in touch with. I may sponsor a fighter one day and/or get involved with promoting some MT fights if the chance arises. I still love the sport and feel that it is great exercise, and good for people to focus on a goal.
I am happy that my 5.5 years there was so enjoyable and that I earned my black sash. Nobody can ever take that away from me, and I am sure that the art will be there for me if I ever need it.
I have thought about getting into coaching again, but if I can't or don't want to hold the pads, what's the point? There is more to this, but I don't really feel the need to share everything. Lets just say that I have had to turn the page on the art of Muay Thai. It is time to take down the certificates from the wall and replace them with something new.
As a wise man once said, "you can't go home again". And I can't. But moving forward, I am a happier person and will never forget my times at the gym. Fin.