I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been run over by a truck, the after effects of last night’s session. It all started as just another normal day at Takedown for me with sprints and burpees and pushups and shadow boxing. All was going well until Gary Barrett, the owner of Takedown MMA and Fitness centre, decided that I needed that extra push – he instructed the resident champ who just so happens to be an SA champ , Dale Alexander, to push my lazy ass to its limits. The instruction was simple, “Push him till he throws up and make sure that he looks like you after 9 weeks.” Now for those of you, who have never seen Dale, scroll down, that’s how a fighter should look. He’s fought and won locally and internationally and has trained with some of the best fighters and trainers around.

Dale decides it’s time to partner up and do some sparring – this is the advanced class so the kicks and punches are more explosive than they were 2 weeks ago and my opponent is able to anticipate every punch or kick that I have to throw at him. Dale watches as I fight, he tells Brandon to work my left leg – this means kick it till I decide that I still want it. Apparently I really don’t, the truth is my body is lazy and I’d much rather standstill than protect my leg, but my determination to humble Mark is what drives me to block the leg breaking kicks of Brandon Webb.

After what seems like a very long sparring session we do something that I haven’t done in ages, a wheelbarrow with our partners (no, not that kind of wheelbarrow – get your mind out of the gutter) – it seems easy but it’s not really, after more than an hour of training with these guys all I wanna do is hug a bucket. I tell Brandon that I’m ready to throw up and he tells me to hold my composure and just breathe – “just another 4 laps to go.” I somehow make it and think it’s over but it’s not and surprisingly I’m relieved.