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I walked onto the plane to Mongolia with a sense of considerable relief. The build up to us leaving had been hectic: equipment hiccups, a boxing match, my birthday, then our tickets not being issued until the morning before our departure. All this punctuated by a chronic lack of funds that had caused a limb wobbling crisis, but, with the help of family, friends and our fabulous fans we managed to scrape enough dough together to make it onto the plane, ticket and all!
The flight to Beijing was a four movie flight! I could relax, veg out, eat, drink, sleep and rest my battered body, still smarting from the white collar boxing bout I had fought just three nights before. Boxing has been a fabulous revelation for me. I love it, and along with cycling it has gotten me into the best physical shape of my life. Add to that the fact that stepping into the ring has more in common with riding a belligerent Mongol pony than almost anything else I can think off, and my preparation for our second crack at the Mongol Derby was….well….perfect! The difference of course, is that you feel very much alone sitting on a manic hyper skittish equine in the middle of one of the least populated wildernesses in the world! No baying crowd a few meters away pounding the canvass, witnessing you taking another blow to a bit that wishes it hadn’t. Blood had been spilt in the ring that night and I was still fishing bloody boogers from my nose in the dehydrated air of the plane not realising that, a little over a week later, I would again be bleeding from the nose, having been driven face first into the steppe by my 23rd Mongol pony...
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