K-1 and MMA fighter Mark “The Fight Shark” Miller is doing a weekly blog leading up to his miraculous comeback this May. He will step back into the ring for the first time in six years, and become the first fighter ever to do so after having open heart surgery.
I took an extra day to get this blog in, as I had a lot to process this week.
Training is chugging along, two sessions a day minimum, six days a week. Rob, Steve, and Buddy have me exactly where I should be. Also, my weight is steadily increasing, as is my strength. I am, for the first time in five years, over 190 pounds.
In fact, I'm well over 200 pounds. It feels good to be this big, strong, solid. I missed being a heavyweight. It's a strange feeling, a class you can feel yourself enter into when you've been away from it.
When you start to grow out of XL’s, and then out of XXL’s, when you see other guys size you up when you walk into a room, when you know that you will be standing amongst athletic giants in terms of the stand up elite, and not look like a puny, underfed little boy anymore, it's pretty cool. Because I had been looking that way. I feel this is one more step into my becoming truly mind and body healthy.
On Saturday I sat down to watch the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight. I am a fan of both fighters; I have been for a long time. I started in boxing, and have always loved the difference between it and other combat sports. After the fight ended I thought, “Wow, Pacquiao really delivered. I wonder if Shane injured his right hand, really didn't throw it a lot.”
But overall, I was fine with it. You see, I understand that fights are what they are, a clashing of two incredibly talented athletes who bring with them into the cage or ring, not only collective experience and skill, but also a mixed bag of physical ailments, and mental states.
Fighters are people. Human beings. We have good days, we have bad days, we get hurt in tiny little ways and then are required to perform at peak physical levels. There are a lot of factors and facets to us. So when a fighter doesn't win, or fails to perform at a level that I find to be common, or, more arrogantly speaking, “fun to watch” (as the public would dub it) I tend to think that there is probably some other (expletive) going on.
The combination of disrespect that is issued to the “loser” by not only laymen fans, but even those who consider themselves to be journalists or commentators really gives me a case of the red ass. Sugar Shane Mosley doesn't SUCK. He has never sucked. The man is an incredible athlete. He was bested in a fight by another incredible athlete.
To hear all of the belligerent banter going back and forth amongst so many employed within the fight world “he should just retire, look at how bad he has been in his last fights” or “wow, he is so boring,” was just horrific, and 90 percent came from people who not only have never fought, but don't even train.
I would ask that members of the media look for the positives within athletes, the skill exhibited, the hard work it takes just to get to this level, and err on the side of understanding when you don't see what you wanted or hoped for in a fight. We are just people, and you don't know what we are going through.
That brings me to Sunday. Sunday was very hard for me. I went to lunch with Shelby, her mother, and brother. I sat there, trying to be cheerful and involved in the conversations as I picked at my salmon, but it was really hard.
Four years ago, on Mother's Day, was the last time I hung out with my mother. Three days after that day she entered the hospital and never came out. But Mother's Day was a good day.
I took her to dinner, and I bought her a copy of one of her favorite films, “The Notebook.” It was the last really good day we had. My mother was never a huge fan of fighting, but she always said one thing to me, “You were born with such a talent, a talent for something that you love, it would be wrong to not pursue it.”
I think that is what all people who are considered in the upper echelons of their field must feel. That at some level, they were born to do this. Respect that.
Thank you Mom. I love you. R.I.P. Helen Rose Miller
You can follow Helen Rose Miller’s son, Mark, on Twitter: @fightshark_com