My story might seem unique simply because I’m a woman and a professional MMA fighter, two things people don’t necessarily associate together, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg here. You might recognize parts of your own story in mine and hopefully understand why Bad Athletics is empowering you to be Bad too.
My childhood was perfectly average for a little girl. I was competitive in dance, gymnastics, and cheer and spent hours training at practices and different competitions. Even then, I don’t know that I necessarily saw myself as an athlete or considered trying anything outside of the things that most girls were a part of at that age.
My parents were avid gym goers, they set a good example for prioritizing health and fitness which is definitely what sparked my own interest. I knew I wanted to make health and fitness a priority in my own life, but I didn’t really understand or fully actualize the WHY behind that desire until much later. I stayed plenty busy with my different activities, my love and interest in health and fitness grew, but it wasn’t until high school ended and I headed to college that things changed.
Pretty normal, right? Things have a way of getting really real when you’re on your own.
Through a series of unfortunate events (and a lot of pizza), I gained 30 lbs my freshman year of college while working for my Personal Trainer certification and taking a full course load for my degree in Community Health. I wasn’t happy about it. I felt like a fraud and a hypocrite. I didn’t feel like I had any credibility in telling other people what they should be eating or how they should be exercising when I was having a hard time doing those basic things myself.
My confidence and feelings of self-worth hit rock bottom because they were rooted in the idea that I had nothing else to offer if I couldn’t walk the walk, and at that point I couldn’t. I hadn’t. I was stuck in this cycle of self-loathing and excuses and for what?
By chance, I got invited to some local MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fights and there happened to be one female fight on the card. Watching that particular fight, I found myself completely captivated by the strength, toughness and confidence of these fighters.
There was a rawness to it I can’t quite explain. I’d never seen anything like it before and it called to me. It was almost like a switch being flipped.
I wanted to know what that felt like. I wanted to fight. I wanted to stare down all of those feelings of fear that I wasn’t good enough, the self-doubt, second-guessing and crippling insecurities, and I wanted to kick them in the teeth.
I wanted to be Bad.
So I signed up for a few 1:1 lessons. When those ended, I searched for the right combat gym until I found it and luckily, also found the coach I’ve been with ever since. Some things have changed, but that feeling I get when I walk in the door? It’s still there. It’s kept me at it year after year, training and working, learning and growing. Getting better, and stronger every day.
When I made the shift toward combat training and away from just working out and checking off a list of things I needed to do in order to fit into my jeans, it literally changed everything.
It started so young for me and for most girls and women I know, this lack of real understanding that our bodies are designed to be more than just decoration, that we’re worthy and capable of doing hard things and pushing limits, that there’s joy, pride, and purpose found in the grind. That strong is just strong, and to KNOW and FEEL your own strength… life changing.
I’ve been combat training for 7 years, 2 of which have been spent fighting professionally. I’ve accomplished things for myself that I never imagined would be possible. The process of becoming Bad has stripped away everything I thought I knew about who I was, leaving me raw and ready to rebuild into something better, someone stronger.
I am Bad because I take charge of my own fate, dig deep every single day, and fight for my goals and who I want to be, and ultimately, that’s what Bad Athletics is all about.
So what is it to be truly Bad?
Being Bad is breaking free from insecurities and fear. It’s bucking outside expectations and understanding that if you want something, you have to work for it. It’s about finding your inner warrior and fighting for your goals. It’s understanding that the best things in life are the things you have to work the hardest and sacrifice the most for and that they’re entirely worth it. YOU are worth it. Every drop of sweat, every meal you prep, every minute and hour you spend building yourself into someone stronger and better is WORTH IT.
Through Bad Athletics, you’ll come to know that nutrition doesn’t have to mean restriction and learning how to give your body the foods it needs doesn’t include depriving yourself of all the foods you love, but it does require discipline. Goals are worth having because they require sacrifice and hard work, not excuses. Some days will suck, there’s no use in sugar coating things. No one expects you to be perfect. It’s how you move on and move forward that matters.
It’s time to say #NoMore to the idea that perfection is the standard and that waiting until tomorrow or next week to start living the life you want is pointless. The time is now!