Everybody is talking about their New Years resolutions. Last year, mine was to practice Japanese at least twice a week, including talking on the phone to a Japanese friend once a week. I have successfully completed this, and every year I set this resolution.
This year? I actually can’t think of one. I mean, I have goals (win my next fight, improve jiujitsu and maybe get promoted, learn to dance country). However, I feel like ‘goals’ are things you work towards, while a resolution is a change in behavior or something you decide. Hmm… I asked my mom today, and this is what she said:
That’s right! When I realize there’s an issue, I try and deal with it. If there’s a challenge, I attack it immediately, so I don’t have to keep worrying about it. For example, after teaching kids, I re-tied my hair and just went home, never looking in the mirror. If I stopped by the supermarket or Walmart, occasionally I’d run into fans who would want a picture. Then I regretted not fixing my hair properly. It was fuzzy and sticking out everywhere. I looked terrible. I mean, at the risk of sounding sexist, girls are supposed to be presentable in pubic. I made a self-promise: “Don’t go out anywhere without fixing your appearance that you wouldn’t want a fan to get a picture of and plaster all over the internet.” THIS HAS SERVED ME WELL since I started making an effort. Also, I decided recently to try and dress a little more fashionably. Sarah Kaufman and JoJo strongly encouraged/half forced me to buy skinny jeans. My first pair. Go ahead and laugh but it’s hard for me. I’m self-conscious, okay?
I also went to country dance club (with Helena), which is hard for me because I don’t dance because I’m self-conscious, kinda awkward, etc. Some random guy asked me to dance and I did! And it was hard! But we’re supposed to do hard things because we grow.
Lorenzo told me, “I think you’ve grown the most in the past six months both as an athlete and a person.” I agree. I’ve started to put two and two together in regards to the movements I do in his physical training and what I do in fighting more than I ever have in the past.
I’ve been dropping in to Dunham Jiujitsu academy for about two years irregularly, but I think in January 2019, I started making Saturday mornings consistent. My gi jiujitsu game was elevated a lot this year. Thanks Taylor Ninja, Rene Lopez ( I miss your classes soooo much… I sacrificed that class for Muay Thai time x_x I’ll try and come back more after my fight), and recently Evan Dunham himself.
February: I trained a lot with Mike Pyle last year, but then he stopped teaching classes, so I continued with privates. My no-gi jiujitsu game was elevated.
In February, my uncle Fran passed away from cancer at 69 years old. I loved him. I visited home for the funeral.
March: My kids class has been growing constantly all year. My students are a great source of pride and love for me. I want to give them everything.
In April, I went to Russia, fought, and beat Antonina Schevchenko! Coach John really had an excellent gameplan for me, and had me drill all the appropriate techniques that helped me win. Mike helped me also, and I’ve been feeling stronger and stronger from Lorenzo’s strength and conditioning training.
Huge accomplishment for me!
Several days later, I went to Boston for my dad’s retirement party. I’m so proud of him and look up to him as my number one hero! He worked so hard all his life and totally deserves all the success he’s got. However, he also had many failures and roadblocks that he overcame. I don’t believe in “It is what it is” and “things work out.” You MAKE them workout. You CHANGE what you don’t like. Life is unfair. Suck it up and work harder.
Some time around the beginning of the year, Vinny’s jiujitsu team merged with ours and I had to change the way I ran my class a bit. I love Vinny, but that merge was not a fun adjustment. 🙁 As I just said, sometimes you need to suck it up and carry on, looking at the positives, and not making decisions based on emotions. That’s one thing I’m good at. I make decisions with my mind, not my heart.
In May, my cousin Adele passed away from cancer. I think she was 40 years old. She left behind a 4 year old son and husband, and of course, other family. Such a tragedy. She actually managed to call me the day before she passed. I went back for the funeral.
In June, I fought Jennifer Maia in San Antonio and lost by decision. That hurt.
In July, I was like, “What am I supposed to do now? I thought I prepared for this fight well enough…. dang my clinch game kinda sucks. Maybe I should ask AJ. I guess Thai fighters do clinch stuff.” Hah. I was decent at wrestling from the clinch, but Jennifer Maia wouldn’t let me get close enough for that. I started training regularly with AJ Matthews, a teammate and our resident Muay Thai instructor. What an excellent decision that was! That lead to so many things. lol Including changes to my music play lists and the way I think about elbowing people in the FACE. :F
I requested only clinch lessons for several months, and then I started joining his Muay Thai CLASS, which I had never done before in all of my six years at Syndicate. (There were always different teachers) I’m very picky about my striking trainers because I get frustrated really easily. So joining class lead to me making friends with Helena, and now Erica. Then I started having elbow/knee/clinch battles with Helena, Noah, and Ezekial every morning. John actually scolded me for being tired for MMA class. lol Which was kinda true. But I want to do everythinggggggggggg.
It also lead to me improving my body mechanics and footwork, which AJ is really good at explaining. He has really had my back and supported me.
Lots of personal growth.
In September, I moved into my own apartment!! I can now afford to live alone. Thanks, guys, for helping me move my furniture. Also G and Charlie, thanks! Rob visited! I also went to Hannah’s wedding! I also went and cornered Manjit in her Invicta fight! Later in the year, I went to The Hu concert! So much stuff. It was my birthday in September! I turned….however old you think I am, we’ll go with that. I don’t really feel a certain age. lol
In August, I won the Master World Jiujitsu tournament at brown belt! It’s one of the biggest accomplishments a jiujitsu practitioner can have! People flew in from other countries.
In October, I decided to officially affiliate myself with Dunham Jiujitsu. Obviously I fight MMA with Syndicate, but I want to further my gi jiujitsu career with Dunham’s. I consider myself under Mike Pyle no-gi, but he stopped teaching classes, and I’ve been doing all of my gi at Dunham’s for two years anyway. Despite just dropping in, they all treat me like family! When I told them the news, my ‘teammates’ all said, “Oh we already considered you part of the family.” <3
In November, my best friend Serena fought for Invicta! I’m so proud of her growth, accomplishments, and performance, even though she wasn’t able to pull off the victory. This is only the first step, buddy. I got your back! Always!
Is December really over? My fight with Maycee Barber is set and I’m training hard for it. I’ve learned so much chain wrestling and other cool things from my head coach John Wood. I’m so lucky to have him as my head coach. I definitely wouldn’t be in the UFC if it weren’t for him. And now I’ve sharpened other weapons with AJ as well that I didn’t even know I had. I’m so excited to show it in this next fight. I hope I can show it. So much more happened this year than I can write about. I’ve been hanging out with my friend and teammate Jeslen more. Made friends with Tasmanians Adam Cook and Katie. My kids are winning jiujitsu tournaments. Big shout out to Teri Wallace for being the best massage therapist ever and keeping me able to move, train, and function. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you.
I really have an adventurous life, and I appreciate every second of it. It certainly hasn’t all been positive, but I always try to FOCUS on the positives, and forget or downplay the negatives as much as possible. I appreciate all the people in my life. Including YOU. Thanks for reading my blogs and following my life! I’m entertained by it, so I hope you are also entertained by my life’s story. lol
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