Everyone always wants to know what it’s like training under a pair of legends like Matt Serra and Ray Longo. In a word: awesome. They’re the best, and they have an awesome dynamic with our entire team. When you spend years with the same people, they become your family, so there’s a lot of ball busting, to say the least.
For example, this past weekend, Longo gave us all a good laugh. He has this thing about taking off his shirt. He never takes it off in front of anybody, especially me and Matt, because he knows we’ll never let him live it down.
Somehow, he got a little bit too relaxed down in Las Vegas with his wife, and he thought nobody was really around, so some Brazilian fan ended up snapping a picture with him without his shirt. Normally, he would have said “no,” or he would have taken a moment to put his shirt back on before the flash ever went off.
He figured since this Brazilian guy didn’t speak English very well, there was no way anyone would ever see the picture. The guy ended up tagging me in the picture on Instagram, and it was like instant gold.
Right away that got sent to all the people on our team, and I sent it to Matt first. We were just loving it. We were busting on him big time and of course I sent it to Ray, and he was just ruined. He was ruined for the rest of the day. He couldn’t believe that it got out.
When we’re in the gym, there’s definitely a time and a place for goofing off, and that’s usually before or after a training session. During the workouts and drills is pretty intense and we just focus on what we have to do.
You really do have to keep those things separate so you don’t lose sight of what’s important. When you’ve got coaches like Matt and Longo, you don’t take them for granted. I go in with the intention of being a sponge and soaking up everything I can from them, and my teammates do the same thing.
We definitely dial it in when it’s time to get some work done. Gotta keep your eye on the prize and stay razor sharp.
Another question people like to ask is who would win a fight between Matt and Ray. That’s like asking who would win a fight between your dad and your uncle, or Captain America and Ironman (guess we’re a little late for that one). In other words, it’s a silly question that should never be asked because it would never happen.
I will say this, if they were to ever thumb-wrestle, Matt takes it, hands down. Longo has little fingers, so he’s at a big disadvantage and gets crushed.
Overall, our team is a close knit one, and we get together a good bit outside the gym, too. That kind of bond is hard to come by and takes a while to foster, but I like to think it goes a long way to ensuring the team’s success. When you trust and enjoy working with the people around you, it makes the work you put in that much more rewarding.
Some wise person once said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I’d like to think that I’ve not worked a single day since I first put on a pair of gloves.