Sally: I’ve been following Cubicle to the Cage since January when the women came to Titans MMA to try out for the show. Since then I’ve seen a lot of people come and go but you’re still training as hard as ever. I know it’s probably impossible for you to quit since the show was your idea, but what do you think has helped you the most over the past six months to stick with it?
We’ve all had our ups and downs thus far in the program, and I’m sure we have all considered quitting at one point or another. The first 2 or 3 months was an incredibly tough conditioning test. When you are talking to someone who has never trained MMA it is very difficult to explain what your body goes through in even an average training session. I’ve played one sport or another my entire life, I spent 4 years training Tae Kwon Do when I was a kid, and I’ve run marathons in the past. Nothing I’ve ever done physically could have prepared me for training MMA. To have even the slightest hope of meeting the trainers’ lowest standards we had to push past our endurance and pain thresholds every single day. Near the end of a second month, a co-worker who had seen me limping up the stairs asked how I was feeling. I told him if he really wanted to know he should find a long, steep set of concrete stairs and throw himself down them 3 or 4 times. That being said, the physical challenge quickly became a psychological challenge as we had to find some way to ignore the pain and exhaustion and train 4 – 6 times a week. Finding the intestinal fortitude just to show up for class became my greatest challenge. But those of us who remain in the program each found a way to do it. I’m not sure if it’s a character strength or a character flaw, but many of us seem quite simply incapable of quitting, even when all evidence indicates that is perhaps the smartest thing to do.
|Peter Martell and Boyd Sharpe|
|Titans MMA Team Members Mike Kent, Nathan Hamilton, Mike Malott, Peter Martell, Michael Murphy, Ricky Goodall, Gavin Tucker|
The other advantage for being part of a team and truly trusting your training partners is it allows do things you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable doing. A case in point was evident when we were drilling Judo throws the other night. The first couple of throws both my partner and I were quite stiff and anxious. Then he said, “Shit… you really gotta trust your partner on this one.” Once he said that, everything changed. I realized I did trust him. He wants to get better, but he also has a real, honest desire to see me get better as well. Immediately, we both relaxed and began more aggressively drilling the technique, each trusting we weren’t going to get hurt. Ironically we both nearly knocked each other out as we increased the intensity. But that was a good thing.
|Mike Malott and Gavin Tucker|
Sally: Gavin and Mike are beasts. I did guard passes with Mike last week and got tossed on my ass about 50 times in 7 minutes. And Gavin seems like such a calm, sweet soul when he’s not grinding your face into the mat. I find that BJJ and MMA have allowed me to express a part of my personality that I usually suppress. I still have a hard time with being aggressive because I’ve been so conditioned by society to believe girls don’t behave that way. It’s addictive though, and I’m missing it a lot now that I’m injured. What has your training taught you about yourself?
Sally: Well, Boyd, I think having that fire is a decision people make and self-talk has a lot to do with it. I have a quote by Henry Ford pinned to the wall of my cubicle that says, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” I’m looking forward to seeing how this journey turns out for you and the rest of the Cubes; seeing you guys come into Titans for training inspired me to try muay thai and MMA and I’m enjoying the challenge. Since the show was your idea, I guess I have you to thank.