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!