It’s an early morning, and the cool breeze is blowing in from the south. (Trade winds common in this part of the country) I walk the grounds of the camp, my eyes scanning above me looking for something to hang on.

It is quiet aside the shuffle of my sandals across the gravel and the crowing of the roosters. My morning run is behind me and I have just one thing on my mind, where oh where can I do some pull ups.

One of the things that I’ve noticed since being here is how some odd materials are utilized to do even odder things. Metal wire in place of locks, Hacksaws made of rebar, Fishnet hammocks, chain made out of soda can tabs, dust pans made of old gas cans.

Nothing goes to waste it would seem, and if you don’t have something make it from what you do have. It is not like it is in California; stores on every corner for our convenience, here you have to make due which often times means a little innovation.

Its not picture perfect; I think to myself as I toss my towel across the base of a solid but slanted tree branch, but it will do just fine.

Papaya trees all over the camp

I lift myself up using the towel as grip and move on to the next spot. Tree branch and a towel, and old cement structures at the water park.  You do not need state of the art equipment to train or to keep yourself strong. Often times one simply has to look around to what already exists.

Warriors from times long past did not have advanced training facilities. All they had was themselves, the land, and the will to forge them into something great.

I walk away from my calisthenics no less satisfied as if I had been at the OC Muay Thai ; in-fact it is more rewarding. There is something surreal about using the land to strengthen you. It gives you a closer connection with your surroundings and allows you to appreciate what you have.

Often times the convenience of our lives can render us dissatisfied; numb to the simple appreciation for the world and all it has to offer, but this in a place like this you can do nothing but appreciate. Great people, great food, beautiful country, and world class training.

-Neil Dam