Coach Mark: Ang mas magagaling na fighters yung mga nakakaramdam ng pinakamatinding hirap at pagod pero lumalaban pa rin.
Jerz: Nakakaramdam ka pa rin ba ng kaba o takot coach?
Coach Mark: Oo naman. Normal yun. Manok nga na sinasabong kinakabahan din, tao pa kaya? Mas dapat akong mag-alala kung hindi ako nakakaramdam ng kaba.
(L-R: Mark, Jerz, Eduard, Coach Mark)
It's nice to touch base. It's nice to see people again and learn that so many things have changed yet remained the same. I think this just shows that the essential things are there. Life is fluid and we all flow with it but we flow bringing that essence with us. We evolve, we grow, we conquer, we might fail, we stand up, but at the end of the day, we have changed. But we are still the same.
This week is officially the beginning of my "touch-base-with-Team Lakay" mode. The Sanshou national team that trained in China for five months is back, which means Mark is back. That's one core member back.
Mark won the gold in the 65Kg weight category of the Asian Wushu Championships in Macau held last May 13-16. Coach Mark said it took a lot of will for Mark to get that gold because he was competing with an injured left knee. I could just imagine how hard that was. But he did it anyway.
Just recently also, Eduard shared to me the happy news that he graduated already. For all of us in the core group, that's an achievement that we are all proud of. Everyone who knows Eduard is aware of the tough choices he had to make to pursue this dream. In the end, he had to leave the national team so that he can finally finish his studies.
Then, there's Coach Mark who's steering the entire team. It's funny that someone who goes by a ring name such as "The Machine" can be all heart. There's been too many instances already that we've seen this but it doesn't fail to inspire us to continue what we do despite the individual and collective challenges that we face.
Coach Mark and I talked yesterday about the team's plans. We talked about the lessons they learned from the Asian Wushu Championships and how these takeaways can be optimized to improve the team. But more importantly, we talked about fighting on the ring, the heart of the fighter, the fear that a fighter feels, and the will to fight anyway.