Why I Enjoy Watching (and Training) MMA
I am a fan of fighting...obviously.
But I’m more than that. My story expands beyond observation.
I also love to train and have been consistently learning boxing for the last 6 months. I think I’d like to take an actual fight and am at that point in my training where I’ve taken it as far as I can go *without* taking a punch. I feel ready to take it to the next level.
Many times, I find myself perplexed (in the most wonderful way possible) about how I got here: how I went from a peace-love-and-kumbaya activist to a combat sports fanatic. To someone who spends the better part of her waking hours living and breathing fighting. Someone that has infused martial arts principles into her daily life.
I often think about what drives me to fight. What appeals to me about combat. The answers that come to mind are all drawn from some kind of trauma, whether it’s with a tiny or capital T.
The adverse, violent, and terrifying experiences that I’ve been through, that I’ve survived.
These things have not only made me stronger, but they’ve shaped who I am and how I behave in the world.
They’ve also, in certain ways, broken me. They’ve shown me terror that I can never un-see.
I’ve been wounded.
I’ve been cut out and hung to dry.
Before- I didn’t know what to do with this pain and shame. I had many coping mechanisms, sure: binge eating, manic shopping, isolation, abusive relationships, self-harm. But these were just band-aids to a much a larger problem lurking beneath the surface. It was easier to ignore it and fill this gaping hole with small pleasures, instead of digging deeper and pushing myself to endure the discomfort.
Until I found fighting.
Fighting changed everything.
Suddenly, I felt a freedom, power, and strength that I’d never felt before. I noticed that I was completely ‘tuned in’ to what was going on around me. My thoughts were suddenly quiet, as my body took over.
I also found a voice. When I was punching and kicking, I found a way to say all of the things I couldn’t find the words for in the trauma.
I gave myself permission to be loud, nasty, mean. I was suddenly everything I needed to be in those moments when I was a young girl who needed saving.
I had become my own savior.
What is more powerful than that?
This is why I fight.
I fight for power.
I fight for love.
I fight because I love myself.
I give myself permission to be powerful.
I give myself permission to be great.
Fighting gives me everything I need because I’ve found a way to give it to myself through the art of combat.