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Time Management – Always Look on the Bright Side.

July 22, 2014

I’m usually quite good organizing and completing my ” to do” list.

Lately however, I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed with extra duties and that resulted in having to give up or postpone other “things”.

My bike is collecting dust outside. I swear I saw a spiders web on the handle of the kettle-bell.

Running has been cut waaay back.

And my little Blog has all but been forgotten. (Anyone out there remember me?)

My only indulgence is Muay Thai and that’s because I have students waiting for me each day.

However, I always look on the bright-side of life. My new busy lifestyle is taking me one step closer to retirement (organic farming?) and Thai and I are still helping people along the way.  So I really can’t complain.


The decisions of what I had to let go and what I had to keep doing, weren’t really decisions at all. I simply did what I thought most important…what would benefit everyone in the long run.  The rest would simply have to wait. I feel confident that I made the right moves.

Soon, things should be back to what Thai and I consider normal and my runners will be hitting the trail again. Until then I must push forward and apply all my coaching advice to myself!!

make time

Thank you Mr. Ngo – that’s the concept I’m trying to follow and hopefully my farming days will be here soon.

I’m still here. Still reading all my friends blogs and soon enough I’ll be back regularly with more of my antics as well.

Take care; stay well…and as always – Smile.


Slow Progress is Still Progress

June 15, 2014

…and in a martial Art like Muay Thai, I’m more than happy with any progress!

A few years ago I ran the Spartan Sprint.  It was 5 km of muddy fun. Somehow, that transpired into my regular regular gym workout becoming somewhat boring!

Then came the Warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder. That was followed by running hills in a local park and then  adding weights and a weighted vest to the runs.

My trips to the “gym”, became less and less frequent and I started looking for other options. However, I had no idea what I was looking for. Then, after watching a UFC  match and some training high-lights, I thought, “That’s it! I want to do some of that type of training!” So I joined an MMA gym.

…and almost got my leg broken.

My right knee is held together with 2 stainless steel screws and during BJJ training, an overly aggressive Russian kid kept trying to put a leg lock on my busted leg despite repeated warnings from the instructor. This lead to him being kicked out of the gym and me reconsidering my choices. I loved the Muay Thai training as well as the Krav Maga, but the BJJ was just too rough on my already broken body.

Time to move on again. Sticking with what I enjoyed, I joined a traditional Muay Thai gym. Holy intensity Batman! It was a little more than I expected but I stuck with it. The cardio classes alone were longer and tougher than the full class at the previous gym. But I loved it! It was exactly what I was looking for. Intense, non-stop, yet controlled action. I was hooked from the first class.

I was (and still am) the oldest student but I didn’t give up. I attended extra classes, watched what I could on the internet and watched the senior students sparring whenever possible. It was awesome.

Here’s an odd twist. The 10 km runs I used to struggle with became a warm-up before class!

I pushed hard for a full year and after lots of preparation, I was rewarded with the first level of recognition…my Blue Shorts. I felt like a kid again!

blue shorts


Me and Kru Ray with my Blue Shorts certificate.

Getting an upgrade in Martial Arts comes with an interesting spin on things. Now, I was expected to work harder and help out with the new students. Hmm. This wasn’t something I had thought about…or planned on.

During this new phase, I was in a few classes where the instructor didn’t show up and was asked if I could lead the class for the cardio warm up. Me! LEAD the class? My Kru felt confident I could do it. And so – I did. And it was FUN! I felt right at home. Then, as fate should have it, that particular instructor got a promotion at his job and the class was without a regular instructor. I was asked to fill in until they found someone else. That was almost a year ago…they have stopped looking. I am now it!

Several months later I was approached by the Kru (head Instructor) and asked if I wanted to attend the blessing ceremony for Poo Chuey Kru’s…assistant teachers. I was a little shocked.

Me? The old guy, become assistant trainer? I was doubtful, befuddled and humbled.

Kru told me to go think about it because it came with new responsibilities. Holding seminars, coaching, cleaning the gym, assisting with promotional events and cornering during demo fights.

So – I am now the proud Poo Chuey Kru of the day classes at Siam No. 1,  in Woodbridge, Ontario! Yeaaaa me!


Ajahn Suchart giving me a blessing before presenting me with the Monkol (head piece) and Prachaits ( armbands). It was quite an honor for this old guy.


Doug 2

 Ajahn Suchart, Kru Ray, me and the other new…Poo Chuey Krus!

It’s been quite the journey. But as I look back I can see the progress, slow as it may have been,  from the first time I ran the Spartan Sprint to my present position as P.C. Kru. From struggling to get through 5 km of obstacles, muddy hills and feeling doubtful about anything bigger, to now now helping others on their own journey.

As mentioned, it was slow…tiring…difficult…filled with setbacks…yet, rewarding…exciting…and…FUN!

AS I look back, I never really had a goal in mind. Things just seemed to fall into place. And that’s cool with me.

My real long term goal is to be an organic farmer in Thailand. Hopefully, that will come in it’s own time as well.

mmm- Passion Fruit!
mmm- Organic Passion Fruit right outside the  kitchen of our house in Thailand!

 So, the take away for today. Slow progress is still progress. Never give up! Keep pushing forward. Chase your dreams and goals and keep chasing them even if they change! Progress may seem slow and at times you may feel like you have almost stopped. But in reality you ARE making progress…always.

…and as always, don’t forget to smile…even through the pain.


We All Face Tough Times…

June 6, 2014

…how we deal with them is what builds character.

This week I’ve met a lot of people that seemed to be having a tough go of things. Troubles at work, business, in their personal lives and their athletic endeavors. I’ve become a sounding board for some of them; the shoulder they need to lean on and an ear for them to talk to.

Listening does wonders for people that need to get something off their chest…and over the years, I’ve become a good listener.

I guess I helped. Most of them went away with a smile and a pat on my shoulder and a deep sigh. They’ll survive…we all do.

So, as we enter into the weekend here are a few images and quotes to help you get through any tough times you may be having, the strength to push a little further, the courage to get up, brush yourself off and carry on.




outlook on life

 Try your best to always look for the positive side of every situation.


 Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even slow progress is progress.

make the best of everything

Many of us are always looking for bigger, better, faster. Truly happy people enjoy what they have and have what they enjoy.

great attempts

Aim high and do your best. Feel good knowing at least you tried. Failure is just a learning curve.


Take time out for yourself. Relax and try to find peace in a hectic world.

with a little help from your friends.

Remember, you’ll get by with a little help from your friends.

Kru Jen

…and when all else seems to fail, find a heavy bag and kick the crap out of it! That usually works for me!


Have a great weekend my friends. Eat well, train hard…and smile – even through the pain.


Envy; Jealousy; Pride – Perspective

May 29, 2014

When we were kids we sang a song, ” Envy, jealousy, Malice, Pride – they must never in my heart abide.”

Basically, I lived with that concept my whole life…until now!


I have no malice what-so-ever. I would never want to harm anyone in any possible way. However – when I’m in class and I see those younger kids doing 50 high kicks over their heads or stretching to limits I can only dream of, I have to admit, a little envy creeps into my soul.

Or if I’m running a hill and someone passes me, younger or older, it doesn’t matter – I become a little jealous. And I get down on myself.

And in the gym if I completely screw up a technical pattern while holding or hitting the pads, my pride takes a dive.

I guess it’s part of human nature but it’s hard to keep it under control.

It doesn’t consume me or upset me but there are little ‘pangs’ of hurt when I realize there are certain things I just can’t do well and other things I just can’t do at all.

EGO leave me alone!

Maybe it’s just an underlying fear of growing older, something I don’t think about regularly.

Then I have to step back and try to put things in perspective. I’m not a professional runner. I am not a professional Muay Thai fighter. I’m am not a professional athlete of any kind. I’m just a guy who loves to work out, stay in shape and help others do the same. I have a wife who loves me; family and friends that support me, I’m healthy and for the most part, happy.


I am me – with many faults and some good points – and that’s good enough.

It’s kind of ironic actually; As a coach and trainer, I’m try to instill that into my students and  clients on a daily basis. I hope I can get it into my own mainstream of thinking.

Has Envy or Jealousy ever crept into your thoughts while running or working out or training? How did you handle it?

Be you – the very best you  that you can be. Keep that smile going, reach for that next goal and if you don’t make it, well, at least you tried your best. And that’s what really counts – isn’t it?

Stay well my friends – enjoy the weekend…and every day after that!


Mr. Music Please

May 4, 2014

OK – this music thing is a little more challenging than I thought. I’ve begin leading the strength and conditioning portion of the Muay Thai class.

Sixty minutes of hard core body weight exercise and cardio.

keep calm - coach doug

Planks – crunches – full spring ups – half spring ups –  alternating lunges –  3 stage burpees – Thai Crucifix – box jumps – ring jumps and smash – skipping – every style of push-up imaginable – Chin ups and wide lat pull ups – squats and whatever else I can squeeze into the one hour.

The flow of exercise I have no trouble with. For me the tricky part is the MUSIC! I can’t listen to that Grunge or Gangsta Rap stuff a lot of people work out to. I don’t think I need  foul and abusive language to get everyone inspired.

So, I’m turning to you. I need help. I need some tunes to blast out and pump up the kids in class for one hour. I’ve scoured Youtube but those “Pump up ” Workout  lists are almost all the same and they hav waaay too much screaming and b.s. language for me to play.

Keep in mind I’m looking for music for workouts and even though it’s a fairly fast paced workout, running music doesn’t seem to fit the bill.

Here are a few songs I’m using now but I need a lot more to mix things up. As you will see – it’s a wide variety of artists.

1) American Authors – Best Day of my Life

2) MatchBox 20 – How far we’ve come

3) Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood

4) Mr. Big – Addicted to that Rush

5) Cell Dweller – Switch Back

6) Foo Fighters – The Pretender

7) Rush – Headlong

And now I turn to you. Runners, Gymrats, Muay Thai peoples. Give me something – I’m desperate!!

Here is a little video to give you some idea of the pace of the class. This is one of our affiliate gyms. The class goes like this for an hour before we start the technical training and padwork for another hour…or more. SO it’s pretty intense.


Rock on…

Thanks in advance. Cause I know someone out there will help liddle ol’ meee!


Who would have thought…?

April 25, 2014

THREE TIMES this week I have been told that since I’ve started Muay Thai, I’ve become a much calmer person. I seem more relaxed and nothing seems to get me upset.

One co-worker; one was a good friend of mine; and the third was my little weefy.

Who woulda thought?


keep calm - coach doug


So, considering how physical and violent it appears on the outside, it definitely must have some effect on the inside as well.

Well then, how about that?

– keep smiling!!


Some “Feel Good” News!

April 17, 2014

made my day - doug

I was about to do a post about my workouts at the Muay Thai gym when I received a very pleasant surprise.

A few years ago I wrote about some of the crazy and interesting ways I’ve celebrated Christmas. In one post I talked about two fellow English Teachers that weren’t doing so well during the Christmas season in Bangkok and how I put together a  little surprise celebration for them. It went well and a few tears were shed and shared, along with much wine and laughter. For me it was a great Christmas memory.

Time went on, we all went our separate ways and eventually, as  too often happens, we lost contact with each other.

Just a few days ago, Robert, one of the teachers,  hooked up with me on Facebook!  Tres cool! That in itself was a pleasant surprise. A few messages back and forth to catch up and then today, he really surprised me.

He just sent me a message, informing me that it wasn’t the years we spent together teaching that stood out in his memory but that one Christmas “Shocker“,  as he called it. He was only too happy to tell me that it was something very special for both him and Thomas as well. It’s a story they have both told over and over to family and friends!!

That all took place back in 1998! Wow! I’m so happy to hear that one little event, one funny little evening I put together, still remains as something special for them. I always wondered what they thought about the whole thing…now I know, and I’m glad.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. It’s always nice to hear some good news for a change!

Have a great weekend everyone!

…and keep smiling.