Archive for the ‘Personal best’ Category

WCMAC fight

November 12, 2010

An extract from an article written for the Vancouver Observer.

Olivia Bevan at the WCMACWith twenty-four hours to go before the big competition, I’d become an obsessive slave to the scales. I was teetering so close to my target weight that after every sip, munch or crunch of drink or food I’d desperately hop back on the balance to check out the damage.

Standing statuesque, I closed my eyes hoping that the digits would appear on the right side of 120lbs to keep me in my chosen weight category. I’d even gone down the desperate route of weighing myself in different outfits to determine which clothes I could compete in and which ones I couldn’t. With my chosen gear in hand and bags all packed up there was nothing left to do but head to the venue.


Heart of a fighter = Jay

October 3, 2010

Look up “heart of a fighter” and you’ll see Jay’s name in the dictionary.

For the past four weeks we’ve watched him evolve from a guy we train with to a real fighter who we’re absolutely in awe of! Someone who actually said “I want to fight” and had the heart, courage and determination to see it through.

We couldn’t be more proud of him and a group of us from Universal screamed our hearts out last night supporting him at the Pinnacle Hotel’s IFC 9 in North Vancouver.

My dodgy camera work doesn’t do Jay justice but for three 2 minute rounds he fought his heart out and gave it his all.

Enjoy your well-deserved time off Jay and look after that nose!

Ps. You might want to watch this with the sound turned down to tune out my screaming!

Back on the wagon

May 2, 2010

You don’t realize how much something means to you until it’s taken away.

I’ve been out of training for a week because of an injury to my foot and it’s been driving me nuts. Sitting still doesn’t come easily, but if I want to get back in to training as soon as possible that’s exactly what I’ve been ordered to do—rest (and ice).

I’m definitely my father’s daughter though. I remember times when he’d have broken a leg or an arm and if you didn’t keep an eye on him, before you knew it, the sling would have been ditched and he’d be back up the very same ladder (or roof!) he fell off, carrying on as if nothing had happened. He doesn’t believe in taking time off to recover and it’s obviously passed down a generation: The crutches were just annoying and I’d ditched them after 24hrs. I’d rather hobble along at a reasonable pace than crawl along with a pair of those.

I’d had enough confinement by yesterday though and left the house saying I’d only be a short time at the gym doing a quick session on the treadmill. But as I finished my sprinting I just couldn’t resist doing some lifting. Just a few weights couldn’t hurt? A little lifting turned in a full workout (!) and I walked back through the front door 90 minutes later. Walked probably isn’t the right word though; more like skipped! It felt so good to sweat again. I think people in the gym must have thought I was nuts, walking round wearing a huge grin. I just couldn’t help it; I was so, so happy to be back again.

So the next time I’m feeling a bit sick of the gym I’m going to bring myself back to how it felt this week not being able to go to the gym at all. That should be enough to give me the kick up the ass I need!

(The foot isn’t 100% but I’m done with taking a back seat. There’s a competition at the end of May that needs preparing for).

Tales of Thailand Part 1

March 26, 2010

Wow, there’s so much to tell you! I’m so sorry for not updating my site while in Thailand.

Just to recap: The preparation for this trip started nine months ago over a glass of white wine in a small Vancouver bar. Fueled by inebriation, Emma Lynds (36-year-old mother of two, black belt and owner of Elements Academy of Martial Arts) and I (martial arts rookie) decided to set ourselves the ambitious challenge of taking part in our first Muay Thai fight in Thailand. Neither one of us had fought before, but somehow after a glass or two of Pinot Grigio, it sounded like an inspired idea and entirely rational.

We arrived in Phuket and plunged straight in to training 4-5hrs per day in 34 degree heat. Sweat didn’t just drip off us; it flowed like rivers out of every part of our body. We would run, skip, do push ups, shadow box and finally hit the pats in the ring or the heavy bags (or, more often than not, both)….twice a day.

Despite rounding off the training with a thorough stretching session, we were still left clutching what bits of our body still moved as we scooter’d our way back to the hotel, positioning our sporty short shorts over the scorching seat as best we could.

During those first two days, head trainer, Sing, watched both Emma and I to determine our fighting fate. Would we meet the standard he required of his fighters or would we need more time? On Wednesday, he announced that Emma would fight on Friday but I would need more time. Something I didn’t have on this short trip.

I faced this decision with mixed emotions but thanks to support and positive encouragement from friends and family, I relaxed in to enjoying the rest of my training.

How did Emma do? I’ll post a copy of her fight video shortly.

In the meantime we’re back and, rather than giving myself time to fall of the wagon as I’d promised myself, it’s straight back in to training ready for the Tiger Balm Internationals this Sunday (more on this shortly).

I just want to say a huge thank you to friends and family who all supported this crazy idea and to those who pushed me physically and mentally way beyond what I thought I could possibly do (Cliff and Wilf: I’m talking about you!!). I have every intention of being the last one standing this weekend.

The science of pre- and post-workout nutrition

March 3, 2010

The science of a post- and pre-nutrition workoutIt seems that optimal nutrient gain is as much about timing as it is about composition.

According to a recent study, when you eat is just as important as what you eat.

To optimize gains in lean muscle mass and strength it’s vital to consume a combination of fast-acting carbs (those that cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly rather than slowly and steadily) and protein during your metabolic workout ‘window’.

Dr Paul Cribb from Victoria University recommends the following: mix 30-50g of high quality whey with 75-100g of high GI carbs (such as glucose, maltodextrin, etc.,) and 3-5g of creatine monohydrate. Drink half immediately before you hit the gym and the other half immediately following your workout.

Don’t think that a drink will produce results on it’s own though. You need good training and nutrition throughout the rest of the day to really make this work.

If you’re looking for an amazing nutritionist and strength coach in the Vancouver area I highly recommend you check out Cliff Harvey at Human Motion. Through his guidance I’m leaving for Thailand (on Saturday!) in the best shape I’ve ever been in.

Do you have any nutritional advice picked up during training?

Mental preparation

February 2, 2010

I originally thought I might write an update on last week’s ‘countdown’ but, in all honesty, it’s been very similar to the previous week (aside from a bruised nose from sparring – mental note: chin down, gloves up!)

So, instead, I thought I’d write about what I’ve mostly been experiencing this week: Fear.

It was only yesterday that, while stretched out on the gym mats, the enormity of Thailand finally sunk in. For nine months, life has been about eating well and training hard. Thailand has always been so far away but now only five weeks remain. Everything I’ve trained for is only a matter of weeks away; weeks that I can count on one hand.

I sunk my forehead on the mat and took a few, very deep, breaths, trying to get a handle on the mixed emotions jostling away inside: Fear, excitement, intimidation, motivation. But among all those, the one thing that stood out was how much I really, really, REALLY want this. When I step in to the ring, I’m aiming to win and if I can knock her out all the better (for someone who doesn’t normally fight it feels kind of odd to say that, but I think my mind is beginning to finally believe the words that are coming out).

It’s both physically and mentally tough, and so, so far out of my comfort zone that my body and mind are dragging one another to a place where neither one of them are entirely at ease yet. The whole thing has been a journey and a life-changing one at that. The pivotal point is only weeks away and the seriousness just kicked in.

So here’s what I’m concentrating on to help prepare for the fight:

  • Knowing myself and my strengths so that I can be confident in my combinations
  • Stop focusing on what my opponent might do and focus on what I’m going to do
  • Build my aggression to the point where pain doesn’t matter…but not so far that I burn out
  • Believe in the victory and visualize it. Say that it is going to happen. The more I say it, the more I will believe it
  • Not be put off by my opponent’s mental game; just focus on myself

If anyone has any other tips on preparing for a fight or for competition, I’d love to hear them.

Essential fight films

January 12, 2010

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a rookie when it comes to knowledge of fight films. It took me thirty years until I saw my first Rocky (and that was only last Friday)! But with our Thailand trip coming up in less than nine weeks, watching fights and fight films feels like it ought to be part of the training.

If I had to start compiling a list of my favourites from the few I’ve seen so far, somewhere among them would be Million Dollar Baby, Ong-Bak and, of course, Rocky.

But do you think they deserve to be there? What films would you recommend I watch? I’d love to hear which fight films belong in your own essentials list.

Thanks so much for commenting; I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll combine all your thoughts in the ultimate fight library to watch before Thailand.

My Thai trainer….at 19yrs old

November 23, 2009

Keep your eyes on the guy in the blue shorts. It’s Sinbi, my soon-to-be trainer in Thailand, when he was just 19 years old. I feel humbled and inspired.

Fewer than four months to go!

Personal greats continued

November 16, 2009

Emma LyndsEmma Lynds – Hapkido black belt and owner of Elements Academy of Martial Arts

Eminem – Lose yourself

Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up

Pearl Jam – Given To Fly

Nine Inch Nails – Discipline

Personal greats continued

November 13, 2009

Jordan LawrieJordan Lawrie – Chinese Kempo Brown belt and Head Instructor at Elements Academy of Martial Arts

Converge – Eagles Become Vultures

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth

These Arms are Snakes – The Sh*t Sisters

Himsa – Dominion

Doomriders – Darkness Comes Alive