10 Things I’ve Learnt While Kickboxing in Thailand

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10 Things I’ve Learnt While Kickboxing In Thailand - Joyce Ong Creative

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

“Urrggghhhhh!!” That’s one sit-up!

Meanwhile, the chick beside me has done 4 sit-ups, while also being punched in the stomach by the trainer after each one. She’s amazing! Oh yeah… she’s also been training for 5 years, and I’ve been training for 5 days.


Give your body what it needs.

I actually slept through Christmas. And for the entire first week, I was taking 5 hour naps in the middle of the day between classes. My day was literally – Train, eat, sleep, repeat. Healthy food, exercise and plenty of sleep is definitely a good step to recharging your body!


Be kind to yourself.

“Omg, you slept through Christmas?!”

“Everyone else can go for 5 minute rounds without stopping… why do you suck so much?”

Your thoughts will always say stuff, but you don’t need to listen to them. Choose to be kind to yourself. Is the way you talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend? This has been a huge lesson for me, as people were constantly telling me “you’re being too hard on yourself, Joyce!”


Slow progress is still progress.

“You’re hardly making any progress at all!” Another thought I chose not to listen to.
It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re going, as long as you’re moving forward. Routine is important and consistency is key. Just for the record, I can now skip for 5 minutes and do 20 push-ups on my toes without stopping… which is a huge achievement for someone who rarely exercised before coming here.


A hardworking attitude beats talent any day.

Kickboxing is hard work for me. It’s still fun, but it’s challenging. As a person who has always focused on building my businesses around my natural strengths and talents, I’ve always been able to get good at whatever I’m doing, really fast. But you know what I’m building now, doing something I’m not immediately great at? My skills of perseverance, my resilience, and persistence in continuing to show up instead of give up.


Enjoy the time you spend with people

Stay present and cherish the time you spend with people. Kickboxing peeps come and go – some just train for a few days. I’ve met some amazing people from all over the world – most who I’ll probably never see again, but we’ve shared some great experiences together.


Appreciate the little things

​I’ve found that practising appreciation and gratitude changes your entire perspective, and it doesn’t matter how big or small it is. I love feeling the wind as I’m on the back of the scooter, weaving through Thailand traffic. I appreciate the time I get to spend with people. I’m grateful for a full length mirror in my new accommodation!


Go with your gut

Initially, I only had a 3 week stay planned, but ended up changing my flight and staying an extra week. Why? No particular reason except I felt like it wasn’t time to go home yet, even though logically it didn’t make sense to stay. During this last week, I’ve spent some quality time with some incredible people and gained clarity on a few decisions I’d been mulling over. What will come of this extra week here? Only time will tell. But I’m glad I stayed.


The value of $1

OMG I can get a delicious meal for $3. And I can buy a whole bunch of tasty snacks for $1. Money goes so much further in Thailand compared to Australia. I love living like a princess! (Not because of the food, mainly because of the massages and being able to ask for – and do – whatever I want).


Discover the magic of who you are

If you take yourself away from your current life… who do you become? Who are you without work and the labels assigned to you by society? What do you enjoy doing, and would you do it for free?

Reconnect with you. Be curious. And… how much of YOU when you’re on holiday is part of your “real” life at home? For me, I’ve discovered how much I love writing, and how much I love teaching children and helping them learn. I’m looking forward to doing more teaching and writing when I’m home.