Thursday, August 27, 2009

Me Versus The 5 time World Kickboxing Champ!

I know a lot of you are wondering what happened with the big fight- the one last month against my hero, Kathy Long. Some of you were able to catch in online, and some of you got my updates on Facebook and Myspace. So here's what went down:

I showed up to weigh ins fat and sassy like I promised- drank as much fluid as I wanted and ate 2 meals beforehand. I still came in at only 127, and she only came in at 126. This was perfect, because we both agreed to come in 5 pounds heavier at 130. It was great to see her, she was a total lady. We did the post weigh-in pre fight pose off- but it was all smiles.

The day of the fight, I waited in the locker room like I always do, but I wasn't a bundle of nerves this time. I knew going in that I was fighting the 5 time world kickboxing champion, and, honestly, I had nothing to lose. I just knew that I would go in doing my best, and I was sure she would be awesome.

The bell rang, we smiled at each other and touched gloves, and it was ON! She came at me with what I think was a straight right that shook me to the core! I literally went weak in the knees! I looked over at my coach and my husband with a look of shock. I expected her to hit hard, but really- it was like she had fists of stone. At that point, I was thinking, this might be my first knock-out- only I'd be on the receiving end. I shook it off best I could and came at her with some punches of my own. I used my leg kick on her as much as I could to keep her at bay. I believe it went like that most of the first round.

In my corner, my coach was telling me I was doing great as he was jamming huge q-tips up my nose to swab the blood. My husband was forcing water down my throat- I tend to just want air between rounds- but he knew I needed to stay hydrated.

Round 2 was a little better, I was getting used to her punching power and attempted some take downs. I was able to take her down, but it was usually right on top of me. From there, I'd either heel kick her in her calves or clinch her to me until the ref would stand us up. When we were up against the fence, we would knee the crud out of each other- mostly to the legs.

Round 3 was same as the last round, but at the very end of it- I was on the bottom and was able to climb the fence to do a wicked escape right out her backside. She tried to catch me in an ankle lock, and then the round was over.

We hugged like best friends, and I told her she was awesome- and that she was STILL my hero. She smiled and told me I was really strong. (I flip tractor tires.) The ref grabbed our hands, and we waited for the judges to call the decision. It was a unanimous win for...... Kathy Long. I clapped. I was honestly happy for her. I limped back to the locker room- my legs were tore up from kicking and getting kneed. I was getting great reactions from the crowd- lots of "Great job! Great fight!" I was on cloud nine. I felt really good about my performance.

Then the pain started.... back in the locker my coach looked at a nasty knot behind my ear and took out his terrible cold iron (it's like a torture device for pressing out swelling). He pulled it out of the ice and mashed it against my knot. It was the worst pain I'd had all night. I wanted to scream, but I didn't want the other fighters to think I was a wuss. The knot went down mercifully quickly.

After that, I cleaned up best I could, so I could go out and enjoy the rest of the fights. Again, people were giving me lots of pats on the back and congrats. Then I ran into Kathy. We hugged each other one last time and got a post fight picture (which she had taken, and I have included for your viewing pleasure). You can tell by the looks on our faces that it was a great experience for both of us. All I have to say now is, thank you, Kathy, for the opportunity to fight a true champion. Best of luck in your mma future!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank You, God, for the Second Chance!

Last time you heard from me, I was in pretty bad shape. I suffered from kidney failure as a result of being sick and getting dehydrated in my last fight. My doctor (Dr. McDaniel- who NEVER sugar coats anything) warned me that my fighting days were most likely numbered. I could have cried when he told me that, and he knew I was seriously bummed. Everyone did. I was moping around for days. My doc told me, though, that the final decision would be in the hands of my kidney doctor, Dr. Krahling. It seemed like it took forever to get in to see him. I waited whiled he looked at my latest blood tests. I expected the worst. I was thinking- maybe I can start doing Tai Chi or something. He looked at them and said I was fine. I did not believe what I'd heard. I asked if that meant I could work out again. He said, "Of course." I waited a second to let that sink in then asked if that meant I could fight again. He said, "Of course. You can do anything you want, just don't get dehydrated again!" I could have kissed him, but my husband was next to me (I'm just kidding, honey!).

I was so relieved and happy and excited! I felt like I just got a pardon from the Governor! First thing I did was call my coach, Mike Chu, and tell him that I was back! He was worried he lost a fighter. I asked him to get ahold of Kathy Long, my hero- whom I was scheduled to fight in August, and ask her if she'd let me be an alternate in case her opponent didn't make it to fight her. She wouldn't hear of it. She wanted me to be her opponent, and the other girl could be the alternate! I could have kissed her, but my husband was there (kidding, baby!).

I started training like crazy- I had almost a month off to recoup- a month of zero training a tons of junk food. I had to ask Kathy to agree to come in heavier- 130 instead of 125- she readily agreed. I couldn't chance losing weight- didn't want to skip any water whatsoever!
I questioned if I had enough time to prepare for her- less than a month to fight the former 5 time world kickboxing champion. I decided I could be ready- if I really put my mind to it.

Here I am, now, just a few days before the fight. I feel like a little kid before Christmas! This fight is my gift. I feel blessed to have this second chance. I've gotten a lot of flack from people, though. Most say I'm crazy for getting back into the ring after such an illness. I say I'd be crazy not to fight this fight- it's a dream fight- it's against the best of the best. This is a real test of my skill and my heart. I feel like if I don't fight her now, I may never get another chance.

It's kind of cool to go in fat and sassy. I've plumped up to 130 very easily, and I feel stronger than ever. Sure, I don't look as good, but I'd rather feel strong than look good. It's a beautiful thing to be able to eat 3 real meals a day the week of the fight, and to be able to drink as much water and fluid as I want up until weigh ins! My shorts won't be baggy on me for this fight!

So the fight will be in Ontario, CA on August 15th in case any of you make it down to Southern California. If not, win, lose or draw, you will hear about the results in next month's column. Wish me luck!