Tuesday, 17 July 2012

From Supermodel to Fighter and CrossFitter


Hi there! My name is Hilary and I am fortunate enough to have been asked by Jenn and Dave to contribute to their blog.  I am currently finishing my internship under Jenn to complete my Diploma in Exercise and Wellness, so along with my own athletic and personal journeys, I would like to share the unique perspective of learning from and being mentored by Coach Swagar.  For my first post, I would like to offer a brief intro to my story and where I am at currently to better frame the path I am on and the person I am striving to become. 

On High Fashion
I spent my key developmental years working as a high fashion model, scouted at the young and impressionable age of thirteen.  Luckily I have great parents who had instilled in me strong values, which kept me out of trouble for the most part.  However, by the time of my ‘retirement’ at age twenty, I had accumulated a nice little collection of neuroses; I was struggling with bulimia, substance use, depression, and paralyzing anxiety, and had no understanding of my true worth as a person.  I was completely incapable of making even the simplest decision on my own, as I didn’t trust my own judgment.  I decided to go back to school, and after upgrading my sciences and receiving some pretty spectacular psychotherapy, dabbled in psychology, sciences, and nursing.  I was hanging in there pretty ok, but was still tormented by my lack of purpose and worth. 

On Kick Boxing & CrossFitting
At the time I was still seeking any new means to make myself ever thinner, and with that goal in mind, I decided to try kickboxing.  What I encountered at my first kickboxing class could not have been farther from the fat burn I was seeking.  Instantly my body was redrafted with new purpose, no longer esteemed on its aesthetic principles, but rather celebrated through the fundamental splendor of functional athletic movement.  Where before I worshipped a wilted, weakened physique, I now hungered after muscle.  As a model, comments on the increasing size of my arms or shapeliness of my thighs would have shattered the carefully constructed image I believed I inhabited.  However, as an athlete, these spoke to newfound capacities to kick harder, punch faster, and push past my previous physical limits.  After just under year of training I took my first kickboxing fight and was hooked.  I am now preparing to debut in mixed martial arts, and have aspirations of fighting at a championship level. 

For me, the technical martial training is the easy part.  Because I have only recently undergone the transformation into an athlete, the mental toughness and will to undergo strenuous physical exertion is where I encounter my greatest struggles.  What I love most about CrossFit  (which I am still very new to) is the same thing that I hold most dearly about martial arts: I am constantly having to confront my weaknesses.  This body of mine has already proven itself to be capable of things I never dreamt possible, instead it’s my mind that limits me.  I was honestly the last person you ever would have thought capable of doing a pushup, let alone chasing elite athleticism in the name of stepping into a cage to challenge another person fist-to-face.  I have found that my greatest opponent is not to be found in the ring but in the mirror, and I am discovering my ability to wage war.  Where I seek to go, there is no faking it; I must continually allow my weaknesses to be exposed and chipped away.  And I do, everyday.  Every time I choke back tears of fear or frustration in the ring, or swallow the rising panic and drowning sensation mid-Fran, and pick the bar up again. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment