After 3 Days at the CSC in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

So, here I am at the end of day 3 of our trip to Cambodia.  We are here to visit the Children's Surgical Centre run by Dr Jim and his team.  I am here with Ian Mullane who runs Vanda, Andy Dyer who works for Ian and helps with our training, George – ex ESPN – who is filming us and Chris Snell who, like me is one of the White Collar guys being trained for our bouts in October in Singapore.

The CSC is the beneficiary of the funds raised by Vanda's events and Ian makes reagular visits here to get involved with whats going on and give White Collar boxers, like Chris and myself, a chance to really see where the money goes.

I've lived in Asia for a while and so, I suppose, what I have seen has not suprised me a lot.  However, it is the really intimate contact that we have had with the patients, the staff, the volunteers and, above all, our emotions that has made this trip absolutely incredible at so many levels. 

For the last 2 days we have been right in the thick of things at the hospital on rounds with Dr Jim and his team and helping out with both consulations and with operations in the Operaring Theater – being involved in ways that I think none of us first timers could have imagined.  And the impact of that involvement was not, at least for me, imagined before I cam here.

Three of us have been paired with a medical student from the UK each of whom is doing a six week stint out here as part of their studies.  We have shadowed them and this has given us a unique opportunity to get involved at a level that doesn't get any closer.  Only today, I actually assisted (allbeit it with a bit of swabbing and suture snipping) on 2 hernia operations on young children and in the cleaning of a wound on a lady's foot where it had become seriosuly infected following a snake bite.  This was particularly challenging for me.  This poor lady's foort was seriosuly infected with a large area of dead skin and loads of puss and general nastiness.  And there I was looking at and helping clean a wound that was like nothing I have ever seen and would have had me reaching for the remote had it come on TV (or at least had me squinting to blur my vision)!  The other guys and some of the students were genuinely asking me if I was OK as they looked on telling me afterwards that I was gently rocking at one point and they theought I was going to collapse!  It was a struggle but I knew that I wouldn't keel over – I just had to do it.  I just had to get on with it.

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It's struck me how some themes have been developing. Many of you know that I struggled briefly after sparring started at the gym.  But I just had to get on with it.  And, had I not 'just gone one with it' today then there's no way I would have done what I did.

I mentioned to Ian of Vanda today that I can see why he gets on so well with Dr Jim.  They both have a no nonsense approach and both, I think, foster and encourage an atmospehere of challenge and escaping the comfort zone.  No one ever asked any of us here if we wanted to assist with the operations (although we could easliy have said no without any embarrasement or reprecussions) – it's just the way the guys make you think – get in there, get on with it and get it done.

It's an amazing experience and one that will live me – on the one hand, forever – and on the other as I continue my training.  I now see what an incredible job these people do here with the money that is raised and I have been reminded what a liberating and empowering thing it is to not think too hard about something, to not shy away from a tough challenge and to push the boundaries of one's comfort zone.

This afternoon we visited the Killing Fields and S-21 but I'll blog about those in a day or two and get some of my own photos and video content posted up when I can sort all that out back in Singapore.

Tomorrow we will visit another 'part' of the great work done here.  It's a house where the acid burn victims have a place of relative peace to try and come to terms with their horrific wounds and get some support.

I pinced the photo above from Ian's post where you can read a bit more and see anocther couple of shots.

Extra Training at Fitness First

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The Pool at Fitness First (OUB Centre)

Today I have my second 'Personal Training' session with Salam at Fitness First at OUB Centre.  Salam won't help me with boxing specifically but just with trying to get a bit faster and fitter.  He doesn't know boxing but mentioned that he knows some other thing (as used by the Israeli Secret Service) meaning that he doesn't know how to box with me but rather he could kill me quite quickly…

On Tuesday he nearly killed me me getting me to run up and down the stairwell of the OUB Centre and all sorts of other stuff.  It's dying time again this afternoon.  I signed up for 20 sessions between now and my bout in October…. hmmm…..

You reading this Ian??? hahaha

Fitness First in Singapore

Sparring starts on Saturday

Vanda_ring 

I got the seat!


intr.v. sparred, spar·ring, spars

1.

a. To fight with an opponent in a short bout or practice session, as in boxing or the martial arts.
b. To make boxing or fighting motions without hitting one's opponent.
2. To bandy words about in argument; dispute.
3. To fight by striking with the feet and spurs. Used of gamecocks.
n.

1. A motion of attack or defense in boxing.

2. A sparring match.

On Saturday morning we start our first sparring sessions.  Will be interesting and a little bit scary too.  I have heard that some people will probably drop out at this stage (based on previous events) as we move into real contact.  It hadn't occurred to me that that may happen.

If I am still alive at the weekend I'll let you know how it went…

After 9 days of training….

Vanda Boxing Club

So, it's been 9 (or 10) days since my first visit to the Gym.  After my first couple of visits it was a bit of a case of .."Jeeesh, what have I let myself in for?"  But I am so up for it now!!

Training is still hard but I'm not completely fucked the next day!!  I am even managing to start to get other gym sessions in on the in-between days.  The bag work is really good fun and it feels good to start learning how to punch and how to move.

Yesterday we were talking with each other and wondering who we might end up fighting! Funny to think we are developing friendships whilst preparing for our fights!

I'm going to ask if a friend can come along to the gym and take some pictures over the next couple of weeks and get some posted up here.

I am going to visit the Hospital in Cambodia in the middle of August that is the recipient of the money raised from the White Collar event. You can see my earlier post with a video of Ian's visit here

Boxing Back On!!!!!!

On Wednesday evening I got a phone call letting me know that, if I wanted to, I could be back on the team for the Singapore October 2nd White Collar Boxing Event.  It felt both great to have that opportunity again and also a little bit like something else I didn't need just then having just gone through my first day of leisure after finishing with Philips Design and the 'other stuff' going on with my family.  Anyway, it wasn't long before I decided to commit to the idea again and yesterday it was all confirmed.  I was back on!

SG Boxers Names  

Coincidentally I was already heading to the boxing gym that night (Thursday) as I was booked into the months 'free training' for those who hadn't been selected for the event.  Nick from Vanda Promotions who had confirmed my being back on the event said I should go along anyway and see what's what.

The first thing to say about getting to the gym is that it's a pig to find.  But I'd left plenty of time and wasn't late.  As you get within about 100 yards of the gym you can smell it pretty well anyway! 

The gym was full of activity with people doing circuit training and bag work.  There was a real mixture of fitness levels and, shall we say, 'types'!  Some big guys, some smaller guys, some damn fit looking guys and some women too – all were contributing to the frantic activity and to the smell too I suppose.

There were two other guys who had turned up for the months free training and it wasn't long before we were warming up and then getting into circuit type work.  I found this hard.  I've been going to the gym regularly now but 40 minutes on the bike and some weights whilst helping tone up, build muscle and shed some extra fat, doesn't really prepare you for circuit work.  I'd always planned to do this kind of circuit work for the last month myself with a personal trainer but, of course, I thought I wasn't going to be training for the event so hadn't done it.  When it came to getting in the ring and some basic lessons in throwing a punch, I felt pretty fucked basically.  The other two guys were doing better than me and I felt disappointed with that.  It's been a long time since I felt that specific kind of 'knackered' feeling and seeing the other two guys doing better than me and have the 'coach' asked me if I was 'OK' with a concerned look on his face wasn't good….

Anyway, I got through it.  It's not often that walking out into the Singapore night air feels a relief but after that gym it did!!  God, it was hot – no fans and no a/c and 20 people or so training in quite a small space!!  I'll get used to it I'm sure… Anyway I'm now on the training for the people who are in the event now so that means back there tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 8.30 am.  As I write this I feel a little achey so maybe a massage this afternoon would be money well spent. 

More updates to come.

If you want to come watch me you might want to check here

Free Boxing Lessons!!!!

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So, here I am, all kind of accepting of the fact of not getting into the Boxing event and thinking, ah well…I can go spend some time with my Dad and stuff in the UK in July after finishing work in June and then I get this!!!!  Decisions, decisions……

Hi Guys, 


Due to the overwhelming response to
enter the next White Collar Boxing event on October 2nd at Suntec City,
and the fact that some people were unfortunate in not being selected,
Vanda Boxing Club is offering all applicants free boxing classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening for the month of July

At
these classes you will learn about the basic boxing techniques,
nutrition and the fitness required to compete in a WWCBA boxing event. 

The first class will be on Thursday 2nd July

Classes will be every:

Tuesday 8:00pm

Thursday 8:00pm

All you will need is your normal gym equipment ie. shorts, t-shirt, and training shoes.

For direction to Vanda Boxing Club see - http://www.vandaboxing.com.sg/contact.php

Please email us back to let us know if you are keen to participate.