As some of you already know, my kickboxing classes have officially started at Battle Arts Academy! I taught my first class yesterday to a group of amazing women! We had such a great time, the girls were enthusiastic, and the energy was fantastic!
It’s very nostalgic and comforting to be teaching at such an amazing facility. For me, it goes much deeper than people know.
Here is a little piece of my story: Coming from a broken, dysfunctional, and abusive childhood, I had a lot of stress and anger as a child and teenager, and I needed an outlet to release it. My self-esteem also needed a boost, and I needed to gain more confidence.
I signed up for my first kickboxing class when I was 16 years old. I had never had any martial arts experience before, but being a very naturally athletic and competitive person, I excelled at it immediately and took up a passion that I would never let go of.
I used the gym as my therapy. I relied on the bags, focus mitts, and kicking pads to help channel my anger. I looked up to my coach who taught me that discipline, hard work, and focus will get you to the top. The endless hours of mountain running and cardio drills kept me focused, driven, and inspired to be the best I can be and never give up. No one knew the pain I was fighting. I kept it all to myself, but I wanted to break the cycle, and turn the bad situation I was in, into a good one.
Not only did I learn self-defence in my healing process, I boosted my confidence and self-esteem. I also improved my flexibility, coordination, and agility. I gained physical and mental strength.
8 years later, I left to accept a career in another province. The hardest thing to leave was the walls that had kept me so protected for so many years, the boxing gym. It was my comfort zone, my security, and my safe haven. I never told my coach what he had done for me as a fighter and a person. He was my mentor, my saviour, and my role model. I had to be a big girl and move forward. Taking on the unknown was scary, but I knew I could face anything now. I had a renewed sense of confidence and a restored hope and a love for life.
Over the years, I continued to fight, train, and never give up. Today, I have never forgotten who I am, and where I came from. Although I don’t fight in the ring anymore, I will always fight and stay committed to being the best that I can be. I want to motivate and inspire others so they too, can challenge their fears, and embrace a new confidence.
My safe haven will now be the walls of Battle Arts Academy, where I can continue to pay forward something that I am so passionate about. I am forever grateful to the 3 men that made this happen: Terry Frendo, Steven J. Wong, and Anthony Carelli (aka Santino Marella of WWE), as well as my amazing husband, Dave Laus and our 4 boys, who support and love me unconditionally. I am truly blessed to have come full circle, right where I belong.
Train hard, fight harder, and believe. You deserve it.