I recently traveled to the countryside of Thailand to train Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) for two weeks at a gym by the name of Sitmonchai, located in the Kanchanaburi province West of Bangkok by about 2 hours driving.
Training at Sitmonchai is an otherworldly experience. Literally waking up by the crow of a rooster, our day starts at 6:00 AM with a 7 km jog on dirt roads, through a small rural village where sugarcane is the crop that supports the local families.
When the cane gets to be a certain height, the farmers set it on fire to burn the leaves off, then walk through the fields in straw hats with machetes, hacking down the stalks. Ash falls from the sky like soft snow. This, combined with the Thai jungle heat and humidity makes for a surreal morning run.
The running is just the warm up to the rest of the day of training. We would run, train, eat, sleep, then do it again in the evening, everyday, 6 days a week. By the end of two weeks I was truly sore and exhausted. Hats off to Thai fighters that live this life everyday, and the foreigners like my friend Nakano who have been living at the camp for two years plus.
When it was time to go, I was packing my bags and there was a knock on my door. The camp director and my good friend, Abigail, brought me something. It was a small bottle of juice, made fresh from organic kale, spinach, ginger, and some other plants native to Thailand. It was in a small glass bottle, with a hand written label that read “Charlie Special.” After two weeks of intense training and no juice, drinking it sent a rush through my body similar to what Popeye goes through when he eats a can of spinach.
When someone gives me juice, I experience a feeling like when my mother would cook me a a warm meal as a child. Juice is personal, in a way that is nourishing, wholesome, and rejuvenating. The giver of the juice knows this, which is what makes it such a special gift.
Receiving the “Charlie Special” reminded me of why we are in the business of juice. It’s not the brand, the money, or the Instagram followers. We are in this business because juice is good and it changes people’s lives. At Goodnature we end every meeting with a chant: “Spread the love, spread the goodness, spread the juice.”
When I finally return from traveling in a few days, I am going to gather up my wonderful employees to make a batch of juice on our X-1, and give it away to the people we care about. We won’t do it for marketing or PR, or to sell another juicer, it will simply be to give the gift of juice.
Great story ..
Nice read Charlie. Great story and fantastic storytelling. Your writing style put me right into the emotion of your trip. Really nice work and a great message!
Charlie, It is gratifying to see something that I started 40 plus years ago in our barn on Clinton street, spreading throughout the world, giving so many appreciative people the opportunity to experience what real juice tastes like. You guys are doing a great job! Heart-warming. Nice article. Dad
Great, inspiring post about the original reasons why we started selling juice, reasons we tend to forget when things start to go well, thank you. The shame is that muay thai is kind of uselss when the bjj ape takes you to the ground, but is a such beautiful martial art anyway 😉
Great post brother! Inspiring. See you in LA!
Thanks for this wonderful story Charles. Loving following your blog. Sounds like quite the amazing trip you had. Speak soon!
Thanks Andrew, nice to hear from you 😄 I'll make sure to stop in Clover next time I'm in your area.
with the name of wettlaufer you must be of german heritage - welcome to the club ! while i give a lot of juice away ( for worthy causes ) i have to sell to survive. one question i have is: how could one press sugar cane with your X-1 machine ? or is it not possible. by the way, did you learn how to kick box ? regards, eddie pfeiffer
Yes, German heritage indeed! That is a good question about juicing sugarcane. I have had the question before, and although I have never tried it myself, I believe the X1 could do it fine. If I can find some sugarcane I will test it out and let you know the results. In regards to the kickboxing question, I have been training Muay Thai since 2008, and it has been a big part of my life ever since.