I have lived most of my life in fear and anxiety. I was afraid to do anything that I may get hurt at, afraid to meet new people, and afraid to be myself. I had been overweight ever since I was five years old and was severely bullied because of it. By the time I entered college my anxiety was at an all time high. I was afraid to try anything new because I was afraid to get hurt both emotionally and physically. I actually got to the point where I thought this was life. You just go through the motions and hope some good days come your way.
My life changed when I had hit 265 lbs. I remember thinking oh my god, I am over half way to 300. This is not possible. I was soon introduced to MMA (mixed martial arts) when I was looking to make a career change and I was getting ready to do an internship with a local gym. I remember going in for my first meeting with Jason (now my MMA coach) thinking they are going to take one look at me and send me out the door. It was the exact opposite. Jason was so encouraging and talked me into my first MMA class. I thought MMA was just a sport athletic guys participate in, I can’t do it, but I finally took a chance.
From that moment I made my goal to get out of my comfort zone as much as possible. When I first started I could only make it through about 15 seconds of a round and then I would have to take a break. Over time I started to love working out and made it an important part of my life. I found myself making more and more goals. Today I am happy to say not only am I 110 lbs lighter, but I have earned my green belt in MMA, ran 5 k’s, a half marathon, did a warrior dash, and I will be competing in grappling tournaments.
I am now officially a member of our schools fight team and I am looking to debut in my first amateur MMA fight this fall. I think what has helped me the most is the amazing people I have met on my journey. My goals now are to give back what I have been given and help other people set goals and change their lives. I am lucky to participate in the anti-bullying program that my MMA school has that helps out at local schools. Everything really paid off when I got to go back to my former school and introduce the elementary students to “Super Kate,” an athletic super hero who teaches kids to put an end to bullying. I love being myself and not being afraid to live life. It is such an amazing feeling and I hope that I can pass it on to so many others.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.