Featured Athlete: Colby “the Barbarian” McIntyre

“Have you ever tried to do anything extraordinary in your life?” 

The question is rhetorical and not at all directed towards me.  Instead it speaks to a common bond that brings us together and keeps us working towards the same goals: to create an existence that, while difficult at times, has meaning and hopefully inspires others to do what is great instead of what is easy or status quo.

The struggle of an artist involves more than just financial burden.  It is living up to expectations and fitting into a society that kills the dreamer and tries to get us to drink the Kool-Aid.

This coming from someone who, 95% of the time, lives in the Matrix so I can pay my bills and contribute to society by doing work that fulfills me.  In other words, I choose to be here.  There is an aspect that is entirely real.  But when I leave work, there is another reality I can’t ignore.

“Noony Trudges On” is dedicated to overcoming and in that spirit, I am sharing someone else’s journey.  The one thing you realize pretty quickly when you dare to be extraordinary is that the road is lonely.  The instant you start asking for a little help, the compliments fade until your own pleas are echoing back at you.  The trudger is used to this and learns to rely on himself.  The truth is, very few people even care to share a story not their own, let alone contribute a dime unless it is something mainstream or benefits them directly.


Colby McIntyre is an amateur Muay Thai fighter who won the gold medal in the 75kg weight class at the IFMA Unified World Championships in 2016.  He is a wounded veteran of the 1/75th Ranger Regiment and currently studies exercise science at Armstrong State University.  Colby trains at Iron Muay Thai (a Sit Quan Tong affiliate) under Kru Brian Robertson, and he is in this 100% for the fight.

Colby “the Barbarian” was selected to represent Team USA for the second year in a row, this time in Minsk, Belarus at the USMF IFMA World Championships.  This will be Colby’s biggest challenge yet and the world is watching, including the International Olympic Committee, which recently gave provisional status to the sport of Muay Thai.


Colby, my friend, there are people who will doubt you.  There are people who will laugh, who will pretend they didn’t see this post or the flood of promotional posts on social media.  It probably doesn’t bother you much because you’re too busy pushing full steam ahead.  But know that through the silence, there are people who stand behind you and there is greatness ahead of you.  We, who have tasted a healthy dose of struggle, believe in you and some may even live vicariously through you, wishing they could be extraordinary too.

The journey is never free.  As an amateur competitor, the cost of travel, food, and lodging fall to the responsibility of the athlete.  To show your support for Colby, share this post or contribute to either of the campaigns below.

2017 USMF IFMA World Championships

American Trigger Pullers

Colby “the Barbarian” shirts featured at americantriggerpullers.com

If you have a service or a product that you would like to advertise, contact me at billowvong@gmail.com and I can set you up with a sponsorship packet.

Many, many thanks to American Trigger Pullers, Rangers Supporting Rangers, Sua Sponte, and everyone else who understands sacrifice and the fighting spirit of Muay Thai.


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