The room is small and dark, perfect for midday naps in-between long, grueling training sessions. Bunk beds are squeezed in with a fan and a bathroom. There’s no running hot water and no A.C. — who needs it when you’re living in the southern part of Thailand, surrounded by breezy, blue beaches? These are only a few of the sacrifices 23-year-old, Paul Banasiak, makes in securing his dream gig of being a Thai Boxer.
A Limitless Life, is a new vlogging series Banasiak is creating to show the world how living the life you dream of is possible through struggle and sacrifice.
“This is the most ideal way I can communicate my life and my mindset that have gotten me to where I am today. Most tips out there start with a successful person showing mostly positive, quick steps that are bullshit. They usually skip over the hard parts of struggle and sacrifice, providing people with a rose colored story, where everything leads to success. When you chase something unique without having a blueprint you’re bound to fail 100 times, yet no one wants to talk about it. In a society filled with instant gratification seekers, there’s no easy way to get rich without facing the obstacles.”
On top of six hour training days, filled with bag work, yelling trainers and lengthy runs, Banasiak scrounges up the funds to fill his habitually growling belly. Through branding himself on Muay Thai Athlete, and creating video series like, Boxing for Muay Thai, he’s able to be sponsored as fighter at Namsaknoi Muay Thai. He somewhere finds the energy to keep up with freelance writing and video work, all while recovering from three facial fractures he received during his last fight.
“Time is of the essence. I’ve learned to give up those short term pleasures of sleeping in and relying on work security,” Banasiak says.
After three years spent in the medical field Banasiak dropped his dream of being an anesthetist, a job that easily pays over six figures a year, when he was one year away from becoming a registered nurse. Banasiak purposely failed an important test, something he hopes his mother will never find out. Because his family placed a high emphasis on a college education, he completed his degree in Health and Exercise science with a Student Excellence Award for having the highest GPA in the program.
Throughout school, fight camp, blogging and working 25 hours a week, Banasiak saved his money and is currently on his third tour of Thailand.
“Through six years filled with break ups, medical school and life’s ups and downs, I never stopped training. I don’t know how to do things at 50 percent. I know how to do things with 100 percent addiction, or not do them at all.”
He remains confident about his choices, even when the odds have been against him. In the New York City mecca, Madison Square Garden, he fought an undefeated fighter from the Netherlands. In front of a sold-out roaring crowd, with doubtful commentators, Banasiak dropped his Dutch opponent in the second round with a head kick, continuing the onslaught until the end of the fight. The doubts of being able to handle the pressure and defeat an industrial-strength fighter ceased. Banasiak grew to never fear doubt, again.
All of these pivotal life moments brought Banasiak to where he is today. He realizes his dream job doesn’t have the most secure return of investment, and realizes people have many circumstances which don’t allow them to live the way he does. The compensation for living this frugal lifestyle and sharing it through social media is the one or two emails he receives from the people frozen by obligations. People with families and careers that have been motivated to take fights, travel and simply do things they never thought they could do. Banasaik, a passionate, struggling Muay Thai fighter believes you can always change your circumstances.
“You’re not stuck. The only way you are is if you believe that you are.”