June 20, 2013 by Melissa Ray
Kevin was not previously too much of a follower of Muay Thai; however, we were able to make cyber contact after I left a comment on his interview with Eric Nelson—a talented photographer whose wanderings in the Punnawithi area have taken him past Eminent Air on several occasions (view an album of photographs taken by Eric at the gym here).
Kevin is a man of many talents: a paralegal and internet business owner, former basketball player, family man, literature buff and blogger. We had a stimulating conversation during the hour or so he spent at the gym, touching on subjects including Thai culture and language, sports injuries, Buddha’s brain, Chris Evert, the timeline of an athlete’s career, taking the road less travelled……
Kevin’s interview article “A Sense of Where You Are…..a Conversation with Muay Thai Champion Melissa Ray…” is probably my favourite piece of writing by another person about me. I appreciated that not all of his questions were those of your typical Muay Thai-related interview. I was also impressed by the manner in which he maintained the literature theme of his blog, including references to books by John McPhee and Harper Lee. But most of all I loved the standout lead in quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…..than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
The Western mentality tends to focus only on wins and success. International professional boxers often have near flawless records, with fighters almost forced into retirement after two or three consecutive losses. The Thais, however, are more open-minded about defeat and accept losing as a normal aspect of any boxer’s career. In the past I have often felt ashamed of the 13 losses on my record. However, as the quote emphasizes, life is richer for daring to challenge yourself—albeit occasionally encountering failure—than existing without such experiences.
When Kevin S. Cummings arrived at Eminent Air Boxing Gym last week he stated that his world had got a bit bigger. I am certainly very grateful that he stepped into unfamiliar territory and took the time to write about me and my Muay Thai life.
Read Kevin’s article and more of his posts using the link below.