Sunday, July 19, 2015

My confession

It is time I’m honest with you:  there is something I do you may not be aware of.  Because if you were you would most probably be shocked.  Or disgusted.  Or amused.  Or all of the above.

I do MMA training.  Big deal you might say, a lot of young men do this type of training.  It makes them fit and strong, and increases their self confidence.  Except, I am not a man.  And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not young either, it will not be too long before I celebrate my “half century”.

I am a middle aged female who does MMA training.  No, I do not compete, competition is simply not for me.  But I do the full contact fight training.  You might say that doesn’t count, it only counts if you compete and you are a champion.  But I think you are wrong.  Unless you have done this type of training you cannot judge it.  It is full on, and you need to be strong and tough.  Mentally and physically.

For those of you who don’t know what MMA is:  MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts.  Also referred to on tv as UFC.  It is a mixture of kickboxing, judo and ji-jitsu.  Your goal is to get your opponent on the ground, then submit them.

My mother is absolutely horrified I chose this sport to train in.  All her life she has tried her best to teach me knitting.  And crocheting. And cooking and baking.  Only to find her precious daughter can be a violent, aggressive creature who chooses to fight her way out of a difficult situation.  Not debate or politics, but hard fists.

But let me tell you a secret:  I have never received more respect or friendship than I do in the harsh world of MMA.  When you fight against someone and give it your all you expose your soul.  They will see your good side, and your bad one.  Your weaknesses are quickly exposed, as are your strengths.  When you throw all your strength and stamina into a round you can’t hide.  Everything you are is right out there for the world to see.  And that is a humbling experience, one that causes a tight bond between you and your training partners.

So the next time you watch a champion MMA fighter on tv or in real life, know this:  they have trained 6 days a week, 4 hours a day to be the best they can be.  All so you can be entertained, and they can prove to the world that their spirit is the strongest.  Because it is survival of the fittest after all…