The sun is still in deep somber in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A chill fills the air without the warmth of the sun and the noisy crickets are still engaged in constant chatter. I pull up on my popcorn machine sounding, 110 cc moped and cut the engine so to not to wake the kids from their net covered beds in the ring. As I glide in silently, I hear the nuclear-like alarm sound at five am, which could wake the whole town. I sit and watch them wake from their cocoon of dreams and just observe.
One by one the children drag their exhausted bodies off the vinyl ring floor full of yawns and stretches to ease their stiffness from the hard plywood. Not one complaint is heard from any one of the dozen children as they begin washing up. Not one, “do we have to run?” no moans or groans are even attempted. They know that is not tolerated here and in the end does them no justice because the reality of the matter is, they must run. If they want to become Champions, feed their families or in some cases, even eat a meal today, they must complete this fourteen-kilometer run, and that is just the beginning. The whining and groaning you would expect is replaced with light-hearted banter as they playfully tease and kick each other. Read More