Hello adoring fan (singular most likely), friends and curious clickers of links from the internet (lucky for you, this isn't a virus) -
I am Cam F. Awesome and it has been about two years since my last blog for USA Boxing. In my blogs I give insight on life when you're on the USA Boxing national team traveling internationally for tournaments.
I have been on the USA Boxing national team and self-appointed captain for quite some time now. I have not been overthrown because I run a democracy and a dictatorship. I have traveled to many countries through boxing and I know many boxers are at home training hard for the opportunity to do what it is that thousands of us do, take the spot of the guy you look up to.
I was recently with the USA team in Kielce, Poland for the second annual Leszek Drogosz tournament.
The people on this trip are reigning national champions Malik Jackson (Washington DC), Ja’Rico O’Quinn (Detroit, Mich.), Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.), Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.), Jose Alday, Jr. (Odessa, Texas), Le’Shawn Rodriquez (Shirley, N.Y.), Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) and Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas); USA Boxing National Championships silver medalists Joshua Franco (San Antonio, Texas) and Jasper McCargo (Oakland, Calif.) and coaches Edward Murphy (Shirley, N.Y.), Luis Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) and Jose Alday, Sr. (Odessa, Texas). Matt Johnson was also here holding it down and if you don't know Matt Johnson, you just need to know that noone is thirsty when he is in the gym. "If the thirst is real MJ keeps it realer!"
We arrived in Warsaw and took a three-hour drive to Kielce. Kielce is a quiet, small town in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature, water and not reported but most likely killer bears!
We touched down Sunday evening, unpacked, had dinner, checked our weights and struggled to sleep with the drastic eight-hour time difference. The time difference is tough to acclimate to within a few days but don't worry, you will eventually acclimate to the time. Most likely it will be the day before you head back to America and start the acclimation process all over again.
Fun fact about Kielce, the translator told us not to walk on the streets by ourselves, always walk in a group. The hotel is a nice one, sometimes we aren't in the nicest of places but here we have wifi and water, the essentials. The food in the hotel is actually really good. I did ask the server for "a huge plate of steamed veggies" (being the only vegan on the team) and she came back with a small plate of potatoes. We will chalk this one up to being lost in translation but these people love sausages and potatoes.
On Monday morning, we ran in the morning then hit the boxing gym in the evening to shake off any extra weight we have. As Super Awesome weight or super heavyweight, as some call it, I can weigh anything over 201 pounds but I still show up to support the team. We are more than team; we eventually become family. Bickering, complaining, taking food from each other's room without asking *cough cough*.
Some people on the team have traveled so much they know what to pack. I make sure I pack a serge protector so I can plug multiple things in to charge at once with using only on international power adapter. Others will just knock on your door at 3 a.m. to charge their phone. *cough Jasper cough*.
Some may get to another country and learn that Netflix doesn't work outside of America so they show up with an iPad and no headphones and play fruit ninja 12 hours a day *cough Leshawn cough*.
Some may show up to workout to fight in another country and not bring hand wraps or gloves *cough Leshawn cough*
Sometimes you room with a guy with no headphones, no movies, a fruit ninja addiction, no gloves and no hand wraps and his dad/coach, who appears to be Korean but calls himself German, knocks on your door 40 times a day *cough Leshawn cough*
Anytime something funny or annoying happens, you can be sure it will be brought up on our group chat on Facebook that every member on the trip converses with each other on. If you were to read this thread it will give you stomach cramps from laughing so hard but you can rest assured that a grown man will post daily selfies of himself in a chat room filled with nine other grown men *cough Abraham Nova*.
There are small periods of enjoyment like these that keep a smile on your face during the week of the fight. There is a lot of tension, testosterone and pressure during fight time but having funny people around you make it easier and takes the pressure off.
I do miss having Rau'shee Warren and Marcus Browne on the team because no matter what, you could count on those two to be dancing whether there was music or not. But there is a new generation of boxers and another generation working hard to fill our slots when we leave. Many people probably don't think it will ever happen, but I'll be gone one day.
Speaking of dancing, check out my first ring walk in Poland - http://youtu.be/hxIJjfYOHAY
Good luck to the Elite female squad fighting in Mexico soon!
Stay tuned from the second blog about our trip to Poland.
For daily updates on team pranks, activities, results and workouts follow me @Plantbasedboxer.
Cam F. Awesome
11-time National Champion
Captain of U.S. National Team