Realising I had to be in control of my life again rather than let it control me, I Googled 'MMA Brisbane' and Fightcross MMA kept showing in the results. I had reached the ultimatum where I needed to force myself to do something daunting and physically challenging or I could continue going the same way I was. The latter wasn't an option; I needed help getting fit and being confident in my own skin.
Unfortunately I had let working, full time study and a serious but slightly unhealthy relationship lead me in to a lifestyle where I was unmotivated. I didn’t want to see my loved ones, wasn't as happy or inspired as I usually am and I felt that something was missing, or that I was simply ‘missing out’.
It took me a couple of days and a few Facebook views of the Fightcross page to gather the courage and a 'feel' of the place before I felt I could even contact them or go straight into the lion's den. Ross Cameron, the head coach, was the first point of contact and was surprisingly lovely despite my expectations. The cage scared me at first and so did the inked boys behind the bags.
I took Ross up on his offer of the first free class which happened to be Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I could not have felt more safe and comfortable there. The techniques are awkward at first but as a woman it is probably one of the best self defences to learn.
I went overseas for work and during that time I still went onto the Fightcross Facebook page and felt involved with everyone's friendly yet professional interaction, keeping me excited about joining upon coming back to Brisbane.
One of the regulars, Bec, was definitely another reason I did end up joining Fightcross. She was right when she said that the boys would most likely be more intimidated by my presence, than I would be of theirs. As a mother and wife she told me she had spent many hours on the mats and had come a long way from when she first started. I immediately respected her and could feel how much even the younger boys respected her. It made Fightcross feel more family orientated than any other place I had been to.
The Fightcross team are a very respectful bunch of like-minded people. Even though we are all different builds, genders, ages, levels of fitness and experience, everyone really comes together and has advice on anything from diet, supplements, training, lifestyle and beyond.
Huynh really brought me out of my shell a lot quicker than new people tend to, he added me on Facebook and answered all my starting questions on classes, times, Fightcross procedures and MMA queries I had. He was the warm person I required when starting a new place with brand new people. Luckily Huynh and I share the same witty sense of humour, making classes and trips to Fightcross more enjoyable taking away any shyness or insecurities I may have.
I have never felt more safe, content or comfortable in any gym or health centre. I have also never felt more proud or satisfied with a place that will break you then make you into what you want to become. I was surprised to see that even the most senior members or the 'big guns' will get in there and help anyone, in their own time and at their own expense. It is only as expensive or as inexpensive as you make it and you can progress as far as you want. I really enjoy doing Brent's circuit classes in the cage and you can't get me out of it!
At the moment, I’m working on toning and fitness, while learning aspects of self defence. Thankfully I also have the freedom to keep my future goals open in a healthy and positive environment. I would really love to see more women in MMA and hopefully remove some of the negative connotations around a great and rewarding sport.
I recently went to my first fight show and got to see first hand the results of the weight cuts, personal sacrifices and emotion the fighters put in. As full on and hard as MMA can be, not everyone at Fightcross watches UFC and enjoys the fights. There are a lot of members that come just for the professional service by top instructors. We are all part the Fightcross team and everyone is welcome at Fightcross MMA.
Thank you Ross, Huynh, Bec and the rest of the Fightcross team for bringing my out of my shell and helping me become the best possible version of myself.