A Travellerspoint blog

Still in Pai

sunny 34 °C

Written on May 27...

Well, what to say other than my body hurts in so many places, all thanks to 2 days of Thai kickboxing and an elephant ride this morning (Sunday is day off from kickboxing).

Let's begin with kickboxing! I must admit that I really enjoy it, not so much for the fighting aspect, but rather for the intense workout that I needed soooooooo much! I have bicep muscles again, can fell my abs again and..well that's about it for now, but feel good, well..the good that you feel when you hurt because of intense physical activity.
This style of boxing involves a lot of kicking with the shins (mine are badly bruised and very sensitive right now) and almost every kick or movement is done standing on the toes, thus working the calf muscle VERY MUCH! Furthermore, warm-up consists of 15 minutes of skipping rope, which also works the calves VERY MUCH! As a result, they hurt and are pretty tense.
The classes are so small (I'm hasn't been more than 4 people so far for 2 instructors), that I really get to work out for the entire 2 hours, broken by small breaks where I get ice cold water to drink and poured on me, along with a very VERY vigorous arms and back massage provided by the instructor. One instructor is ok, but the other one (the actual ex-champion)- and the one I always get to train with so far- is so freaking rough that I learned the word in Thai for "softer", don't know how it's spelled, but it sounds like "bow", so I go "bow bow bow" whenever he starts pouding and pulling the muscles off my arms!hehehe On the bright side, the massages must really work, as my arms (which work very hard punching for 4 hours/day) don't hurt at all! I really wish they extended the "massage" to my calf muscles!!!
Overall, very good experience, and I recommend it to everyone I speak to. I got to talk with the part-owner/ex-champion (Bee) and he told me how much he had to borrow (from the father of his Dutch girlfriend -who's 3 mths pregnant and living with him here in Pai - but she doesn't like it...long story!!) and I really feel for him (about 900,000B, approx 30K CAD).
Classes as I've seen them cannot possibly be financially viable, but one has to take into consideration that it's low season (he opened 3 mths ago, right at the beginning of low tourist season, which ends in approx 3 months). So I really hope for him that it works out, specially since the site is so freaking perfect (all outdoors, covered by a metal roof, I'll take a pic) and the surroundings are green space, mountains in the distance, a constant soft breeze SOOO nice!!!... anyway, it's proof that life isn't all fun and games even here! People have obligations and constraints and pressure and stress too, but then again, he seemed concerned but not in the same way we are, in a more...detached way...not the right word...just plain Thai "happy way"... kind of impossible to explain.

On a related note, Aliya arrived yesterday and is looking forward to starting her intense training tomorrow. hehehe! On my first morning, I actually had a little "attack" where I could hardly breath and only saw bright light and stars for a good 2 minutes...enlightment maybe! hehehe or just plain overdoing it! hehehe, the other guy who was there told me that he had that too on his first day, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened to her too...everyone's gotta learn their limit I guess! hehehe, ahhh the joy of physical activity! Man I like it!
So anyway, good times, but I might only do 4 instead of 6 days (or 7 or 10), as I still really want to see the town of Mae Han Son... Not sure yet, the plans is very fluid, it'll all depend on how I feel at "day 4" (I really needed the day off today, after 2 days of training).

So, with this day off, and a partner in crime, Aliya and I booked a 2 hour elephant ride, right on the elephant's back.
2: it's quite high!

So now, on top of my calves, abs and back, my butt hurts too(like sitting on a very uncomfortable bike seat, that moves and shifts, for 2 LONG hours!) hehehe, ouch! The ride actually only lasted 1h30 (because, champions that we are, we actually got lost getting there! - we really are pros at not getting where we want to go! (if you remember a tiny site called Angkor Wat) - and got there 30 mins late (it's a 10-15minutes ride-took us almost 1 hour! hehehe), but I was soo glad to get off that I wasn't going to ask for more time! So anyway, the ride consisted of a 1 hour walk "through the jungle", which actually ended-up being mostly farm land with a tiny patch of trees and 30 minutes in a river "frolicking around with the elephant" -which was actually a lot of fun, but my overthingking head couldn't stop thinking about the quality (surely very poor) of that water, so well, anyway! On the topic of my overthinking head, as we were walking around, I also thought of how I would try to hang on in the events of: the elephant deciding to go for a jog/run/whatever else he wants (the trainer was walking right behing us, but still!), the elephant turning suddeny and throwing us to one side, or the other, or decided to raise of it's back legs, or scratch on a tree (our legs were on it's side - barely 1/4way down it's side, but still), or walk somewhere where we would end up in branches, and many more thoughts of the kind. I had to remind myself to enjoy the moment from time to time. Freaking overthingking head! hehehe
So anyway, overall, happy to have done it, got some good pics that I will post at another time, but also happy if I never do it again!
The best part was climbing onto the elephant. It is done by it raising it's front leg a little (to make kind of a step with it's knee), and 1 person at a time grabbing onto it's ears, stepping on the leg and sort of magically raising oneself high enough to throw a leg around it's back, only to quickly discover the high level of incomfort associated with sitting on there! hehehe
Well, that's about it for now,

Posted by Mistrale 07:10 Archived in Thailand

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