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The Travel Chronicles, Part 4: California Inspiration


(Photos courtesy of the author. If you missed the first three installments of The Travel Chronicles, click here to catch up.)

By Elias Cepeda

After any failure one natural inclination is to enter a depressive state. Another is to get on to the next thing you can take action on as quickly as possible, replacing success for failure, joy for disappointment, in order to stave off depression.

I’d just gotten my ass kicked in Canada. I very badly wanted to instantly transport to LA and Vegas where fun, work, and training awaited me. Instead, I had a long, sleepless night and ten hours of layover-ridden air travel ahead of me.

I could only be so active during that time. Mostly, I sat and thought. My cell phone was not working well up north and so I didn’t even have text messaging and phone calls to distract me. As I write this, it has been nearly four months since my fight in Canada and I have yet to watch tape of it even once.

I have, however, seen the fight, what I can remember of it, over and over in my head enough to satisfy me for some time. Most of that replay happened at the airports I arrived at, waited in, and departed from over and over that day after the fight.

I arrived in Las Vegas after 11 p.m. on Friday. The initial idea was to get a rental car and drive straight away to Los Angeles where I’d be staying with my friend Dave Doyle. Perhaps more than any other major media editor or writer over the past decade, Dave has been a major driving force in getting MMA covered in the mainstream. When he was at Fox Sports, Dave got his bosses to let him cover MMA, a true coup for the sport. He also got the Associated Press involved, doing great coverage for them and later, as an editor of the MMA and boxing sections at Yahoo! Sports, built the largest and most widely read combat sports pages in the English speaking world.

Dave now writes for MMA Fighting. Lucky for me, his smarts extend beyond the reporting and writing realm and he gave me some useful advice on my plan to drive from Vegas to LA through the night after a whole day of traveling. “You can come here any time you want, Elias, that’s fine. But if you try to make that drive as tired as you will be, you’ll probably die in the desert.”

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