Yes, it’s true. There is at least one female fight fan over the age of 50 practicing mixed martial arts on a regular basis. That woman is me.
To see me in action, view the video below:
I was contacted by the producer of the Yahoo! Second Act show late last year. Kristen Beissel and her crew traveled from California to Boston to film me, my instructors, and my fellow students training at Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline, MA.
Before I discovered MMA, my first passion was boxing. Then after watching The Ultimate Fighter on TV, I wanted to find out more the sport of mixed martial arts.
Being on my back—on the ground—was very unsettling. It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable. I’ve had to fight through my own phobias and fear about being attacked—and being able to fight—from the ground and on my feet.
My point of view has always been self-defense first.
However, in the two and a half years that I’ve been training in MMA, I’ve come to understand men in new ways.
There’s not much talking that goes on when you’re sparring and training. I’ve learned to trust men and myself more. I also listen differently. I’m slower to respond to what they’re saying. Because as we women know, men say some stupid shit sometimes. Now, when that happens, I just ignore it. The same way you do when someone passes gas unexpectedly.
Well, actually, depending on who it is and their proximity, they generally get a dirty look from me. “Hey, we all have to breathe this air, buddy!”
Ah, life with the fellas of FloMAC.
Niamh Griffin from the Inspiring Sports Women blog asked the following question: “Do you know anyone else taking up intense sports at an, umm, unusual age?”
Dirty Harry seconds the question: “Well, do ya, punk?”
I’m curious to know who else is out there doing MMA or any other extreme sport at an older age. I know there are rock climbers and other dare-devils who would love to share their enthusiasm for their sport and inspire the rest of us to reach for something more than we might otherwise expect of ourselves.