Welcome the 1st interview of 2020 and what a glorious awe-inspiring show we have for you to get you pumped up for not only the week ahead, but to serve a sustenance for the entire decade ahead.
Stories of not being born with a silver spoon in the mouth come a dime and dozen – however subjective the story, few resonate and touch the soul. When I heard Leigh’s story, I was compelled to share it with you all in order to inspire, motivate and cultivate a fighter’s spirit that I believe we all have. Tapping into this source of strength can literally transport you out from a desperate situation, be that poverty, drug addiction, severe injuries, overcoming loss and even violence. Leigh has navigated these obstacles and bares all in this NO HOLDS BARRED interview.
Leigh is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete which is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting. Before we get into the details, here is his injury list to help set the scene regarding what you must potentially go through and overcome to reach the zenith in this sport. By the way Leigh recently won 3 gold and 1 bronze medal at the Brazilian jiu-jitsu event held on Poland.
Injury list (major)
Removed left deltoid/ part of bicep 15/6/19
3 (complete) broken ribs left side March ‘18
Popped right knee (meniscus tear)
2 broken ribs right side
Weaknesses – NONE.
Leigh is hard as nails so the rest is his own words, I was Admitted to hospital after the 4th visit to A&E on June 15th ‘19
I was meant to compete in the Spanish Nationals that weekend and then the British Nationals the weekend after. Obviously, that didn’t happen, I spent 5days in hospital. 1.5hrs in surgery the 1st time and 2hrs the 2nd. I had part of my triceps and deltoid removed due to a serious (arm/life threatening) infection. My white blood cell count for inflammation was 155, normal levels are between 0 – 5.
Things like this motivate me, it’s like throwing a bucket of petrol over my fire to compete. They told me two months for a full recovery, I was back in the gym on the Monday. That’s 5 days after I was discharged, and I aimed to be back competing by October.
I started my fight camp for that (the London fall) on the 26th Sep, that’s 5 weeks after my operation to save my arm and ultimately my life. go figure.
Halfway through the camp my body unfortunately shut down. The telling day was the morning that we did 2hrs of kickboxing, boxing and Jiu Jitsu (all sparring rounds) I popped my knee in the first half hour with a sweep kick and I knew that was my sign.
The following week I lost my appetite, I had inflammation throughout my whole body. I couldn’t extend either of my arms or the leg I had just injured. My neck hurt, my back hurt, my forearms and legs felt tight. It was time to stop.
When I reflect back on how much I actually did after my operation it is totally crazy, I mean I went from being practically dead to a super intense fight camp training twice a day 6days a week five weeks later. Heavy compound exercises, cardiac output, heart rate power intervals, combat training. No Quit. Obviously, I worked up to this, I was in the gym five days after I was discharged from hospital. Ffs.
Look it’s like this, call me crazy or call me stupid but, you know, you only find your limits by pushing them. I don’t like sitting still, time waits for no-one and I would rather die trying than to live on a what if. I have a vision and I am working my arse off to achieve that vision, the world, the universe, it knows what I want but it’s been slowing me down for a reason. I was pushing too hard in the wrong direction. It was time to take a (subtle) step back.
Since then I started my next fight camp at the beginning of Dec for the European championship which will be my next competition in 3 weeks.
Adversities are part of life how you handle them is living.
‘THE MIC DROP CLUB’ would like to Thank Leigh for taking the time out from his busy schedule to share loads of Mic Drop moments – We wish him Joy, Love and Success for 2020 & beyond.
Don’t just live life – make life BOOM!