What Should You Be Saying To Your Kids Everyday?

Teen Whispering 101:

A parent asked me “what’s the number one thing I should be telling my daughters every day besides the obvious stuff like ‘I love you’ etc”

After answering with a quick reply, I felt like I was doing her a disservice and needed to do a live video.

The number one thing you can be saying, is nothing at all. It’s actually A C T I O N.

When Jackie brings home a drawing from school, instead of saying some generic “oh wow that’s great honey!”, you get in the moment, and find yourself in the detail! “Jackie wow! Look you drew within the lines! That is so hard to do. That takes real talent. And look at how you blended the colors!” – I remember when I did my first water color drawing, my Pop said “wow! That’s really hard to do something so abstract”, her validation was so rewarding to me as a 7 year old.

You can tell your kids “I love you” until they’re blue in the face, but if your actions are contrary, showing them that they’re not worth your time, they won’t believe a word out of your mouth. You know what it’s like- show of hands…. how many of you have had a guy say “I love you” and you were just like “oh pa-leeeeeeze! You are SO full of shit- you just want my goodie bag!”

Well believe it or not, kids are REALLY smart. They pick up on all of the detail. And I do mean ALL of it.

So when you’re out at the shops, and youre scrolling facebook, and not paying attention to what they’re doing, but your half ass talking to them while looking at your phone, only looking up when someone starts slapping the other, or causing a problem- you’re reinforcing negative behaviour. You need to get your head in the game, and show them that they’re your priority. Not to say you can’t have time to yourself- but you need to designate that time and be real clear on it- “Jackie- this is Mum’s time, and it’s important that I take care of myself or I can’t take care of you…” or when you’re in the middle of something and Jackie is trying to get your attention because she has something REALLY important to show you, you stop and let her know instead of not looking up and just shouting at her that you’re busy. You instead stop, look up at her, and say “Jackie darling, I’m in the middle of something important, but you are also really important and deserve my undivided attention. So let me finish what I was doing then I’ll give you my attention, fair deal?”

Let me tell you why this is so important. Because what happens is, between ages 0-8, we aren’t fully conscious. We see everything in black or white. Right or wrong. There isn’t much space for grey. We create roughly 75% of our beliefs in this beginning part of our lives- and a majority of those beliefs are limiting! (Not true, unhelpful…)

https://www.facebook.com/KonfidenceByKortney/videos/1816231275076593/

(Watch the live video on my Facebook page if you don’t like to read)

Here’s an example. Let’s flashback in time. Say you are 5 years old, and your little Sister Sarah is 1. She’s sitting in her highchair, you’re sitting on the floor in front of the front door, and your mom is in the kitchen cutting up an Apple for Sarah. Frustrated because you can’t figure out how to tie your shoe, you yell out for your mom’s help. While all of this is going on, Sarah is thrashing around in her highchair and is no standing up, ready to topple over the front straight onto her head. Your mom immediately drops the knife and Apple, looks at you and say “hold on! I’ll be right there honey-“, then rushes over to grab your Sister.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In your little 5 year old head, you create a belief that Sarah is better than you because she got your mom’s attention first. Or, better yet, that your mom loves Sarah more because she attended to her first, and you second. Not knowing that this actually isn’t the truth, and that your mom was simply doing her job as a parent and making sure Sarah didn’t crack her head open, you have now created this limiting belief, and stored it away in your subconscious programming. As an adult, every time you see Sarah on the holidays, for some reason when you get into a room with her, you just want to punch her in the ovary, and you can’t figure out why she just gets on your nerves so goddamn bad!

Now take that example and multiply it by 10,000. 10,000 x 12 years of age… you can do the math. (I still count on my fingers… I suck at math. And that is NOT a belief- that’s a fact lol! That’s also a joke because beliefs control EVERYTHING in our life).
That’s a lot of negative beliefs we create about ourselves and store into our subconscious programming where we don’t even know it exists.

The subconscious mind is an incredibly powerful tool, and something we’ll get into at a later time.

But back to showing action, the other incredibly important thing you must be doing, is displaying a love relationship with yourself. You need to be acutely aware of how you’re acting in your relationship with self, in front of your kids. If you’re telling Sarah every day “I love you”, but then she sees you in front of the mirror with a disgusted look on your face saying things like “God! I look so old today!”, or “ughhhhh this shirt makes me look like a fat cow”… Guess what? You’re child is not going to believe a word out of herself, and she’s going to model behaviour that is unsavoury and incredibly unhelpful.

That term “role model” actually means something when you stop and break it down. We’re conditioned to just say words, and learn what it’s associated with, but not actually consider the meaning in its entirety. What is the “role” you are playing, and how is your child going to “model” it? They will copy your behaviour! So there’s really no point in telling Sarah you love her every day, if she’s learning to copy/model your behaviour in how you treat yourself.

When you stop and think about it, what was your mother’s relationship like with herself? Can you see some of that behaviour in yourself? I’ll let you sit on that for a minute…

No really! Take a few minutes and think about that.

But the good news is, the buck stops here. The reality is, you get to make a conscious decision to become your own best parent right now- right this second! As well as forgive your parents for whatever you felt was lacking in your upbringing. Because lets face it- we did NOT come out of the womb with a how-to manual. Our parents were doing the best that they could with the tools they were given. And now I’m passing some more tools onto you, so you can in turn do the best that YOU can with the tools you’ve been given. As well as increase your toolbox consistently.

I highly encourage any women reading this blog to come and join and us at GL18 in Las Vegas April 28/29th weekend for a life-changing weekend. One of the most valuable workshops I attended in my pursuit to become the world’s best teen whisperer when running Kamp Konfidence, was a program called Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA). NHA is a parenting framework that was created by a psychologist named Dr Howard Glassmen. Bless man was/is an avid horse whisperer, and realised that the same principles of energy that apply when working with horses, is the exact same as children. Specialising in, and designed for kids with adhd/asd, Glassmen created this framework which can be applied in not only parenting, but to all relationships. We’ll have a main stage speaker as well as a smaller breakout workshop in the line up at GL18. At GRRRL, we will continue to deliver life-changing and life-enhancing tools to help us all grow and co-create an INCREDIBLE WORLD!

YOU GO GRRRL! And we’ll see you in Vegas!

So what is all this talk of “International Day of Self Love”?

Formerly known as Valentine’s Day, International Day of Self Love is a chosen day to recognise and honor yourself as your numero uno in life.  In 2016 we rolled out the idea once we realised that there wasn’t a SINGLE calendar day that was dedicated to YOU.  We’re always giving praise, recognising, and supporting other people.  Yes, we get to talk about ourselves and be showered with gifts on our birthdays, but we wanted more than that.

It’s incredibly important for women, because as women we’re designed to be the care-takers.  We’re the nurturers.  We’re the ones that are wanting to fix everyone and everything else but ourselves.  It comes systemically programmed from raising children.  We’re designed by nature, as well as society, to be expected to tend to everyone else’s needs before our own.

My favourite example is the oxygen mask.  When you’re on a plane, the flight attendant gives you pretty clear instructions; Put your own mask on first before assisting others.  I’ve been on hundreds of flights, all over the world, and I can tell you I’ve never ONCE heard anything different.  This is simply because facts are facts- you simply CANNOT help other people if your ass is dead!  So put your oxygen mask on first!  Tend to you FIRST!  Love you FIRST!

This ceremony is an opportunity for you to outwardly, through means of ritual, commit to yourself that you are going to put you and your needs ahead of everyone else in life.  Even your own children.  Because if you aren’t able to be happy and free, your children are going to get a version of you that is 95%, or 85% or maybe even 50%.  Same goes to your partner, your friends, your co-workers and your family.  If you’re too busy saying “yes” when you really want to be saying “no”, to doing things that are taking up too much of your ‘me time’, then you’re going to be rundown, resentful and not close to hitting 100%.

Learning to cultivate self love is hard yards.  It doesn’t come naturally.  This is why you’ve got to get your ass to GL18 and learn some tools!  But first and foremost is you must first make the commitment that you’re going to do you-

So we invite you to get out your favourite dress.  Even get out your old wedding dress.  And if that shit doesn’t fit, cut or tie it so it does!  Go out and buy a new one!  We also encourage you to bake a cake.  Buy a cake.  A slice.  The whole cake- doesn’t matter.  But get yourself a morsel or something that lights up your tastebuds because it’ll be included in the ceremony.

The event will take place on GRRRL Clothing’s Facebook page as well as our IG Live accounts.

Feb 11th, 1pm PST (4pm EST) … (if you’re in Singapore, that’s 5AM MONDAY MORNING FEB 12TH lol)

-come dressed in your favourite dress/top hat/whatever makes you feel like the Queen you are
-get dolled up. Take the time to do what you do when you’d “go out” on a first date with someone else. Do that shit for you!
-bring a piece of cake, or whatever decadent treat you’d normally eat then punish yourself over
-bring a ring.  A new ring, and old ring, a rubberfknband.
-be by a mirror so you can look in it and repeat after me

 

So check this out…

On my IG I have a WAZOO of messages in my DM request folder.  I used to go in there once a month and have a scout for grrrls reaching out, but now I attempt to do it once every other day.  Today I found this message from a guy that taught me a little lesson.  Hence why I’m here to share with you.

Let me just paint a picture for you.  I’m having a horrible day.  Yeah, poor me.  But legit- being an entrepreneur is incredibly difficult.  Every single day is a new height, on a brand new roller coaster, that’s never been ridden before.  One day you’re at the top of it, laughing so hard you’re nearly crying, then 6 hours later your stuck upside down actually crying because you’re scared and you want the fuck off.  So today, I’m not in a great frame of mind.  Taking that energy with me, I opened up the DM request folder.

99 out of 100 DM’s are from blokes.  Either sending a shitty emoji in response to my story, which of course has disappeared so I’ve no clue what it was in response to anyway- or, saying how they want to do x, y, or z to me.  I rarely open them and look, and I usually always never reply.  But then I saw this fella, and thought “huh- he doesn’t look like your average guy trying to holler at me… let’s see what it says.”

Then I read his message.  I got to the last sentence, and saw “I will tell you more about me on fb messenger or email”.  I immediately thought, “the FUCK you will!  Who the hell do you think you are Romeo?”…. then for shits and giggles I clicked on to check out his feed.  I looked at a couple of the newest post, and Immediatly thought “should I bloke this bloke?”… But then I kept scrolling.  I watched the above video, and started to wonder if they guy was a bit psycho.  Then, for whatever reason, it dawned on me.  It dawned on me what his actual message said before that last sentence I chose to become fixated on, when I started drawing up my judgements about him.

He said, “I am 48 years old and have a fourth grade level math skills, this is what makes me unique”.  Then it dawned on me- maybe this guy isn’t trying to hit on me, or holler at me- and he simply is just looking for a goddamn fucking Friend.  

You see, perspective is a really powerful tool.  We always have the choice to look at every situation in a different light.  ALWAYS.  Yes, it’s incredibly important to follow your instincts and be switched on when scrolling social media, and block people who might pose a risk of being obsessive- but all in all- remember that you might have some lonely people out there in the world just looking for a connection.

Do the next right thing and be a decent human being.

So what defines success?

I’ll tell you what doesn’t; Achieving your “goals”, making hundreds of dollars an hour, or even finding your purpose.

I’ve done all 3. And yet I still manage to make myself feel miserable every day because it’s “not enough”. I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what it “is” I’m supposed to be doing on this earth. Even with achieving 8 years of continual sobriety and 7.5 off of drugs- Even having a business where I don’t have to report to a superior; I AM the superior- Even being able to travel and not wake up to an alarm clock- Even having created a brand that is actually changing the world and is going to be bigger than Nike in 10 years time- SOMETHING is always not right.

Our clothing isn’t fashionable enough. The website has a problem. I want to be spending more time meditating. I want to meditate period. I want to have a more developed VMO (the teardrop muscle on the inside of your knee). I want to grow faster.

And on and on and on.

The ONLY thing I’ve found in life that makes me feel successful is when I’m in direct service to someone else who is in true need. I’m not talking about in need of an email answered. I’m talking about someone who needs to be heard because they feel alone and like life is not worth living. Someone who can’t stop drinking or doing drugs. Someone who has a teenage girl who is cutting themselves and they don’t know where to turn.
THAT kind of service.

The only challenge with that, is for me that’s difficult to measure.

So the other day I was doing something I hardly do anymore because when you devote every cell in your being to your enterprise- to your WHY, you can easily lose your libido.

While I was in the shower- I realized that even after 7 years, I’m more attracted to my husband than I was when we said our Do’s. I wasn’t thinking about someone else. Or needing to watch other people. I simply closed my eyes and thought about my husband and blew the roof off.

So what is the definition of success?

Is it a certain number hitting your bank account every day? And even then will that truly make you happy?  Will that change and is it ok for that number to change?  Or is success finding your voice and leaving a miserable relationship?  Is it coming out?  Or is it having a child?  Or do you just ‘think’ that’s what success is because society tells you that’s what we’re supposed to be doing as women?

My point is this; Everyone has a different deferent version of success. What’s important is that YOU figure out what that looks like to you. Not society. Not your parents. But YOU.
And by finding out that means DO SOME WORK!  Put pen to paper. Isolate yourself and do some writing. Ask yourself some important questions. Take time. Don’t rush it.

You deserve to connect with your innermost self and find out what that success looks like unattached by what everyone else around you ‘thinks’ it is. Too often we let our heads (thinking) define success and not our hearts (feeling) what success is.

Because I’ll tell you what: That O face sure FELT like success to me. And the O looked like my significant other.

Here’s to many more successful days grrrls!

Comment below what success looks like to you.

By: Krissy Mac, Founding GA Member

My experience at World’s Strongest Woman

On 16 and 17 December I had the privilege of attending the Official Strongman Games at Dorton Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina as a spectator.

There was no way I was going to miss this competition. It’s the first time the Official Strongman Games has been run and it encompassed World’s Strongest Woman in all weight divisions (Open, u82 and u64kgs), including Masters, as well as World’s Strongest Man u105, u90 and u80kgs and Masters. The Heavyweight men also had a platform with a Giants Live competition. Basically, it was set up to be the biggest strongman competition in the world, with a gathering of all countries, all ages, and all weight divisions.

It’s so hard to describe all of my emotions for such a weekend. As a strongwoman competitor and huge fan, it was basically Mecca for me. To see all the strongest, most badass women in the world duke it out over two days was some kind of dream come true.

 

As a Grrrl though, it meant something even more. I planned this trip with a fellow Grrrl, Amy, who I had never met before. Me being from Australia, and her from Maryland, we hadn’t had an opportunity previously to meet in real life. However, we had built a friendship online due to Kortney sharing a photo of me on her personal Instagram earlier in the year. Amy saw it, and commented “Hey, we look alike, and I pull stupid faces in my photos too. We should be besties”. So we struck up a friendship.

The friendship blossomed over a shared love of lifting heavy things and supporting one another through some tough times during 2017. We really do look alike, it’s quite uncanny really, so in May, Amy had the idea to do a “twinning” photo in our matching Grrrl clothes and show how Grrrl Clothing united two women from opposite ends of the earth. This started a global #twinning movement on Instagram and Facebook thanks to the savvy social media crew at Grrrl. To finish off 2017 with meeting my Twinnie in real life was just incredible. Amy walked into the hotel room and started talking like we were in the middle of a conversation, it wasn’t even weird. We didn’t shut up for 5 hours. And so the Twinnies were now real life friends with a bond that I don’t think will ever be broken. Grrrl brought me a human who feels like a piece of my soul that I didn’t know was missing. To be together with her, with someone who shares so many of the same values as I do, where we are always safe together in a judgement-free and supportive environment, was to be made whole.

Friday night we got to catch up and have steak and beer with another fellow Grrrl, Meredith. Meredith and I were real life friends in Australia, though she is American and moved to North Carolina in late 2017. We used to compete against one another in strongwoman in Australia, that’s how we became friends. Somehow, with the fates aligned, we reunited in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the eve of the biggest strongwoman competition in the world. It felt as if no time had passed, and of course, Amy and Meredith got on like a house on fire. What more could a Grrrl ask for?

That night the incredible Samantha Coleman texted me. I suspect some of you might know her as our athlete fit Shape Sam (#shapeSam). I’d never met Sam in real life, but through strongman pages on Facebook and through the closed Grrrl group, we had struck up an online relationship. Sam had had a really rough week and didn’t even know if she was going to compete on the weekend, but decided to go anyway and just see what happened. Sam needed help, and she reached out to me, a fellow Grrrl, to see if I could help her over the weekend. I got to play Sam’s coach, friend, handler, manager, official cheer squad and communicator with her real coach, her husband Kyle, who couldn’t make it because of sickness and a work disaster. Luckily, I came with Amy, and as a Grrrl-trio we were able to help wherever possible, keeping Sam on track and focussed where needed.

Sam went on to break the world record log press, twice, now the undisputed world record log holder at 270lbs/123kgs. To have played a small role in that historical moment fills my heart with joy. Sam proved that weekend to be just as kind, generous, hilarious, sweet and utterly determined as she appears online. She is a Grrrl to her core: hard working, never gives up, doesn’t listen to the naysayers and a true powerhouse. Our Grrrl Sam is the 5th strongest woman in the whole world after that weekend. If you wear shape Sam, wear it with pride. I feel so privileged and overwhelmed to be able to call Sam my friend. You couldn’t ask for a better role model.

Aside from these amazing moments, I got to meet so many other Grrrls in real life for the first time, including Sunny, Kikki, Cecilie, Laurie, one of my favourite strongwomen ever: Lisa, the now two-time World’s Strongest Woman: the incredible Donna, and caught up with another Aussie Grrrl Susan. The nations represented there include the US, Australia, England, Norway and Germany. I also got to catch up with other incredible women, some of whom I have competed with at competitions, others who I had never met before. Shout out to Brendali (South Africa), Kate (New Zealand), Kim (USA), and Britteny (USA) who are incredible women and a pleasure and joy to watch compete.

The women there were beyond inspiring. Strongwomen tend to be a special breed, the tenacious kind who don’t believe in the word “no”. The kind that will pick you up off the floor, dust you off, acknowledge you’re hurting, and tell you to go again. Grrrls are another breed again. The kind that will never judge you, who are open minded and want to hear your experiences and where you come from, the kind of people that grow from our differences, and find beauty in it. We are stronger together and the Official Strongman Games was the perfect example of that. Women supporting other women. Women shouting at other women not to give up, to show what they are made of. Women strapping their competitors’ arms and sharing equipment. This is unity. This is the future.

 

A lot of our Grrrl Army members probably won’t catch much of this story if you’re outside of Australia, but I’m going to write about it anyway.  In fact, I was going to write a blog about rape culture a week ago, and dropped it on draft because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write it at the time.

2017 has been one helluva year.  We all thought it was going to be dookie with POTUS Dick Splash stepping into the role for the next 4 years.  I don’t like to talk poltics because it divides us.  But lets face it- anyone who pushes anti-abortion rights and jurisdiction over a women’s body, is not revered in my book.  Yes President Dick Splash has actually done some decent things, and if you’re a bit of a conspiracy theorist like I am, you’d find that all President’s, no matter what side- are merely puppets.  But that is neither here nor there.

2017 has turned out to be ‘not too shabby’.  Sure, it was the MOST stressful year of my life, to BOOT- between finances with the business, launching our first live event, getting diagnosed with Graves’ disease, living in a brand new foreign country, for the third time in less than 3 years… it’s been intense.  But all and all, with what’s transpired with the #MeToo campaign, I can say that this has turned out to be a launching pad for what is about to be OUR FKN YEAR Y’ALL!

We are NOT putting up with anymore shit!

Or are we?

So let’s get to Jarred Hayne.  Jarred is a star Rugby player down in Australia, who was drafted to come play in the USA for the San Francisco 49ers.  According to the last article I read, it sounds like Jarred was a ‘good ol’ Mormon boy’ up until he signed on with the niners.  To which point he started partying and ‘acting a fool’, if you will.

Within the last 24 hours, Jarred has been accused of rape.  Read the excerpt from an article below:

On the Sunday afternoon, the woman, identified only as “Ms V”, attended the 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium.
After the game, she and friends went to a restaurant for a meal and drinks, and then went to a bar.
Santa Clara County Court documents say that one of Hayne’s friends was texting and messaging the woman to find out which bar she was drinking at with her friends.

Hayne and his mates then joined the group and, as the documents say, her friends “had never seen [the young woman] so intoxicated”.
What happened next is what will be contested in the civil suit.
Ms V says in her court documents that in the early hours of Monday, December 21, 2015 “despite having minimal interaction that night [Hayne] took the now heavily intoxicated [woman] back to his home in San Jose via Uber”.
It was in his apartment the alleged incident took place with the woman who says she had never had sexual intercourse previously.

The documents say she felt pain, and the following morning woke up among bloodied sheets.
She then took “an undergarment” because she allegedly felt people would not believe the incident had taken place, and for police to test.
Through his legal representatives, Hayne unequivocally and vehemently denies the allegations.
Five days later, Hayne was again promoted to the 49ers’ 53-man roster after guard Alex Boone suffered a knee injury.

Hayne announced his retirement from the NFL on May 15, 2016, and joined the Fiji sevens team in hopes of playing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In May 2016, the young woman reported the alleged assault to San Jose police.
The District Attorney’s office informed the young woman that “there was not enough evidence to prove the crime of rape beyond a reasonable doubt”.

The thing that makes absolutely zero sense to me, is the part that says “She then took “an undergarment” because she allegedly felt people would not believe the incident had taken place, and for police to test.”  Which would have been somewhere shortly after the incident on December 21, 2015.  But then the article jumps to some bullshit history about what Jarred’s next moves were, then “In May 2016, the young woman reported the alleged assault to San Jose police.”

OK…  Like what the hell happened between January and April?

And when was “Ms V” informed:  “The District Attorney’s office informed the young woman that “there was not enough evidence to prove the crime of rape beyond a reasonable doubt”.?

And as far as the news outlets in Australia?  The tone from officials in the Football leagues:

“Boys will be boys”, and “let justice serve it’s purpose” and “innocent until proven guilty”.. well in America, you’re guilty until proven innocent. So not sure what the fuck happened there.

This is just typical, bullshit club behaviour- basically.

Reminds me of a time many years ago when my Husband was the CEO of the Gold Coast Titans, the team Jarred was last playing for upon his return back from rapeville, USA.  For a brief stint of 4 weeks, I was the assistant strength training coach for the under 20’s until a reporter found some topless photos of me on the internet, and decided to write an “article” framing me as ‘ex porn star’.   The article of course went into the fact that I’d been raped when I was 17, and that I was a reformed drug addict and alcoholic.  But the article turned out to be a massive “scandal” and caused an immense amount of bullying and slander online.

However- the year prior when a New Zealand rugby player married a porn star, the entire country was congratulating him on his ‘success’.  

At the end of the day, Australia needs to take a page out of Hollywoods book and stop glorifying professional athletes as if they’re some sort of Greek mythical God who cannot be touched.

And for any of you grrrls who’ve been down the soul-destroying path of sexual harassment or rape in your past, hopefully this video helps:

https://www.facebook.com/KonfidenceByKortney/videos/1591649067534816/

2018 is our fkn year grrrls!  GET YOUR BATTLE CRY OUT AND READY-

XOMFCEOKO

Have a look below at my highest “liked” (engaging) post on IG to date from my personal account.  It seems like people in general are really ready to embrace the new dawn of strong, powerful females.

 

Because comic books 📚 Back before we launched @grrrl_clothing I was working on a concept. “Ms. Leggy”- Her superpower was making any man fall in love anytime they gazed upon Her anaconda legs. A hard, strong personality like The Rock but an animalistic one when it came time to get down to business. Of course she silenced with her legs. Her job was to infiltrate corrupt monopolies where women were mistreated, seduce the highest ranking officials then 💥 🍉💦💀. Not all is lost – @figlesiase and I will get back to the drawing board eventually. The world needs more media that sits ‘outside the box’ so we can create a new box. One where females aren’t the ones getting raped and assaulted. Movies, books, ads, music videos- all media plays heavily into societal beliefs and what we grow up thinking. Look out homeboy- Ms. Leggy’s coming for ya 🐍🦖 And of course we’ll holler @therealstanlee
Hard to believe but I specifically asked @charleslowthian not to airbrush or photoshop my body when shooting. He’s just that good. And yeaaaaaaaaaa “Leggy” needs heels. She may have the world’s deadliest Thighs but they short like Kevin Hart. Plus the stripper heels turn into daggers 🗡
#comics #fantasy #supershero #killer #concept #legslikekortney #marvel #figure4 #anaconda #comicbooks #comicbook #female #empowerment #womenempowerment

By: Prue Houston findingmyfit

Today I’m changing it up a bit and reviewing an active wear brand. But not just any active wear brand. No. This one is so far removed from your run of the mill shopping mall brand its ridiculous! This one spruiks girl power with so much zest it’s infectious. This brand bases its sizes around beautiful body shapes and names them after their stable of powerhouse athletes. Oh and you can forget about seeing photoshopped “fit” models wearing clothes from this brand…hells no. There is no mistaking it, this rebellious brand is taking names and taking no shit, oh and if you don’t like it…um they couldn’t care less…in fact they may even flip you the bird!

This brand is GRRRL Clothing and they are here to change the game!

So yeah I’m a fan. I mean it’s hard not to be, just check out their Instagram or better still follow their MFCEO (I’ll let you figure that one out), the formidable, hilarious and oh so impressive Kortney Olson. It won’t take long for you to jump on the GRRRL Army bandwagon, I promise.

But before you do, let’s talk clothes. And by clothes I mean the awesome tee and windbreaker the team at GRRRL sent me to road test.

Here’s the low down on the gear…first up the G Windbreaker (shown) is the perfect lightweight item to wear outside. Super soft and comfy, I would wear this to and from the gym on cooler days and definitely while out walking. I wasn’t sure if my size estimate was correct but I was happy to say the G Windbreaker fit perfectly. I’m an all over Kortney btw. Side note: GRRRL Clothing sizes are all based on the body measurements of the GRRRL Athletes. You simply apply your upper body and lower body measurements to the body shape athlete closest to you and you’re all set.

Next is the Right to Bare Arms fitted tee. OMG I’m a sucker for a badass tee so I LOVED this one on sight but when I held it up I thought it looked like it would be too small. Can you imagine how happy I was when I popped it on and it fit…perfectly. I had big plans for this tee, so it was important that it felt comfy and looked flattering.

This blog might be the shortest read with the tallest reward you’ve had to boot- As a female entrepreneur, I will always endeavour to bring you tools that have changed my life for the better, and helped me find strength and power in relationships. Not power over someone else, but power over my own reactions and how I conduct myself. Society says that females are “weak and too soft for business”, but I call bullshit. We simply need to teach each other simple tools like the following. Enjoy!  And YES!  Share it!
MFCEO KO

Business Leadership: How to give someone bad news.

Do you have a parent that you need to break up with? Or a Boyfriend you need to kick to the curb? I mean, let down gently… Or how about an employee that needs to step up their game, but you’re not sure how to let them know in a constructive manner?

Grrrls- I present to you, the sandwich method.

The sandwich method was actually taught to me by one of my best life Teachers, my Husband. In fact, it was in the midst of him telling me that I needed to chill the fuck out, and stop stressing on everything because it was driving him nuts. Bless his heart-

Here’s how the conversation rolled:

(Positive)
“Honey- you are such a beautiful soul. You’re so caring and loving towards everyone and everything. I’m not sure you understand how much I admire you for that. I’ve never met someone with as much heart as you. It’s truly a gift.

(Negative)
However, sometimes our greatest gifts can cause us the most misery. You’re tendency to overthink and over stress details of things, and how others might perceive your intention, is having a bit of an effect on my own personal wellbeing. It’s bringing an extra layer of stress that I’m having a hard time coping with.

(Positive)
But I will say I’ll never meet another person on the face of this planet that I’d cope with as much extra shit for, than you. You’re my soulmate, and I would do anything for you. Not ‘damn near anything for you’, but anything for you. Because there is no one on this planet I admire, cherish and adore more than you.”

You see what he did there?

He started with a positive. He fed in the negative. Then he ended on a positive.

When you deliver information in this format, it allows the other person to take it onboard, and then end on a good note. As opposed to sitting someone down, and saying “Look Jane- you fucking suck. I appreciate you trying, but you’ve gotta do something different”… When you start out with a negative, the other party will shut down straight away. So start with a positive. Then slip in the part that needs addressing, fixing, or negative. Then end on a positive so they feel supported and encouraged to do something constructive, and not in a framework of feeling defensive.

I had a beautiful grrrlarmy member message me over IG and ask me how she could break up with a parent, as she remembered reading a blog months back on my personal brand’s website.

I suggested she could start with a letter first, or move into a convo.
I said something along the lines of:
“Start with the positive, put in the negative, end on the positive- so it sounds something like this: I love you because x, y, and z however I’m working on myself and need to surround myself with positive strong women. I feel disrespected with the way you’ve treated me lately. I will always love and appreciate everything you’ve sacrificed for me, and I hope you find happiness because you deserve it.”

Proof is in the love heart emoji. This shit works.

The reason why I wanted to write this, is this is the simple shit we aren’t taught in school. Come to think of it, effective communication is INCREDIBLY challenging, and yet the most rewarding tool to have in your tool belt. This is why I have insisted on doing a powerful, life-changing keynote on this topic at #GL18 April 28th in Las Vegas. The entire value of your ticket will be worth this one keynote alone, as I’m about to change your life and set you free. Buy your goddamn ticket here if you haven’t already! You deserve it!

Normally I applaud people for going against the grain and calling it how it is. But this, however- is NOT calling on anything but absolute shite. The Mommy Activist isn’t that foolish to produce something so outlandish- she knows people like myself are going to share and help her get exposure. But at this precise moment I’m too upset to not share my thoughts.

https://www.facebook.com/theactivistmommy/videos/1491494530968691/

She’s claiming that women who’ve participated in #MeToo, and have shared their story of being “a victim”, are in fact NOT a victim and that we (because I was in the MeToo camp before it was a ‘thing’ or a ‘trend’ as she calls it) should have known that our bosses didn’t want us up in their hotel room to discuss giving us a raise.

Let me break it down for you “Mommy”-

At 17 years old- and being clean off meth for 3 Days (despite being the ASB President at a Catholic High School, in a Christian rock band and bound for Stanford… although I knew to “Just say no” to drugs, like my Mommy told me- it didn’t work out that way), I was a lost messy soul. As recommended by my school counselor, I attended a boxing class to meet my new boxing coach to help mentor me and stay off meth.  After all, the root of my wanting to use was because I felt fat, so boxing was a good solution.  Or was it?

Despite the fact my mother taught me “all of the things she teaches her 6 daughters”, I still didn’t know where to draw the line, and at 17 years old let a 72 year old man lure me into his home because I was going to be his “last world champion before he retired”. (I Guess that’s me getting lured into his hotel room to talk about my raise)

Shortly after arriving, he drugged me and I woke up with him inside of me. For the next 10 years I sucked myself down into a world of pain and misery because I believed it to be my fault. I must of lead him on.

This woman claims that those of us in the MeToo camp are prostitutes and not victims.

The most prominent story that comes to my mind is Monica Lewinsky. Imagine being an intern, an impressionable, young woman with the President of the United States showing you attention and interest. Until you’re in that position, and get “sucked” in too close to the fire to be able to use your voice and say no- you couldn’t possibly understand.

The answer isn’t making more women feel like Absolute shit for not knowing the right tools– and in fact I can’t think of a more unhelpful piece of media in my 36 years on this planet.

I am proud of my past. I WAS a victim. But I am NOW a victor and use my experience as strength to help other young girls become grrrls and avoid situations like I’d gotten myself into.

Keep showing up and telling your story and be PROUD of wherever you are in your journey. And remember- “No one has the authority to make you feel inferior without your consent” -E Roosevelt

“Photable”, The app that allows you to edit abs onto photos

I’m LIVID right now sisters.

This morning, I wanted to sit down and FINALLY attempt to spend a little time getting caught up on looking for #grrrlarmy posts, when three posts into IG, I get a sponsored post for an app that allows you to edit your photos. But not only is it a beauty filter, you can add ABS and definition into your pictures! (and I believe tattoos?)

As most of you know, I don’t have a snapchat because the filters drive me nuts. They pose to the younger generation as fun and harmless, when in fact they’re not whatsoever. They have an airbrushing effect so every photo looks flawless. Angelic-like even… Programming us to feel disgusted when we look in the mirror and see something other than what our photos exhibit.

Since I’ve been spending a ton of time in South East Asia, I’ve noticed that EVERYONE, men and boys included, use “beauty plus”. This app allows you to basically airbrush your photos in seconds.

I’ve had a few men reply “who cares?” when I recently posted my disgust.

Allow me to explain-

Most people go on social media with no awareness. Just harmlessly scrolling through posts. What happens is, we look at pictures of false realities, and our subconscious mind (the part of our brain that holds all of our beliefs… beliefs that rule our lives and behaviors) tell us that we are not good enough, because we don’t look that flawless. Furthermore, now with this app that allows you to falsify muscle and definition, aka hard fucking work and sacrifice, people who are trying to ‘get in shape’, will slide further down the hole of ‘not being good enough’ because everyone else is achieving results faster than them, and they cannot get their body to look like that no matter how hard they try.

So many women follow other “fitspo” models as motivation, and this is crippling to their self esteem and self worth. Yesterday, I even found MYSELF- someone I consider to be very “switched on” and “self aware”, feeling like I wasn’t doing enough because I didn’t look like this woman who “had her life together” with all her 750k followers, and a baby on the way, with her stunning, perfect photos. After about 20 seconds, I caught my thoughts on auto-pilot, and analyzed the insanity of them. Then realized I might as well be smoking crack, and how silly of me to think that these photos were real. Once again, everyone, anywhere, can make themselves flawless.

The scariest part of all of this, is that I’m 35 years old. There are girls as young as SEVEN years old with their own social media accounts. Furthermore, do you think that public education has been revolutionized in order to teach young people the reality of ‘social media’. I’m afraid not.
(Fear not… @GRRRL we have a plan and have been working on revolutionizing the public education system since 2013 so young people can be equipped with basic tools to lead a happy life and still use social media)

Now, it might be hard for a man to understand on a deep enough level (although there are plenty of men with eating disorders and body dissatisfaction), but women are fed ads over the course of our lifetime that convey a message reading in order to be beautiful, we must not have sun spots, lines, wrinkles, cellulite or dimples. Aka “flaws”. When they aren’t flaws at all. They are in part what makes us human.

It’s OK for men to be showing signs of aging in ads, but for women, it’s not acceptable.

Men are considered “distinguished” whereas women are considered “past her prime”.

Ads sell us an idea of success: What is beautiful and what is desirable. They are also completely unachievable, and not real.

SO- to take all of this false reality a step further and allow fake muscle, I believe we’ll start to see more men falling victim to the self-hatred parody, as well as women. Instead of using our thoughts to figure out how to better the world, we’ll be swirling around in a pool of self pity thinking that we aren’t good enough, nor will we ever be.

The fact that there are studies now being published that THREE YEAR OLDS ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEIR BODY, should be enough of a red flag and obvious point, to answer your question of “who cares”.

I encourage us all to refrain from using the beauty plus and facetune apps, and at the very least disclose when you do.

#grrrlarmy

In response to criticism of GRRRL in respect of our recent dealings with Cris Cyborg, we consider it is necessary to present the background to what SHOULD have remained a private matter in respect of our commercial sponsorship of Cris.

 

A little over a month ago we entered into a 12 month sponsorship agreement with Cris, to cover a personal appearance at our GRRRL:Live event in Las Vegas combined with an ongoing 12 month commitment through Cris’s social media channels.

 

Unfortunately, within a matter of hours of appearing and speaking at our event, Cris was involved in “battery” of another fighter on the street outside a UFC retreat. Cris’s conduct in this regard has broadly been condemned by the fight industry and the organization by whom she is contracted as a fighter.

 

As a company with representation and brand ambassadors amongst girls as young as 6, we cannot publically condone this behaviour especially as the behaviour is directly in conflict with the messages Cris shared at the event, one of our speakers on cyber bullying and our company message to promote female harmony and unity.

 

This conduct has the potential to diminish the tireless work by our amazing network of women throughout the world to support female harmony and unity.

 

As a consequence of these matters, it is with regret that our sponsorship of Cris has come to an end.

 

We wish Cris well with her continued professional career. And every success in the future.

 

We are unable to comment any further in respect of this matter as it is now being handled by our legal team.

I know I’m late to the party, as usual. But something needs to be said.
If you think Lady Gaga is fat, you’re a fucking idiot. Full stop-

Apologies to my Grandmother off the bat if you happen to read this. I’ve been doing really well when it comes to curbing my language. However, this topic needs SEVERAL f-bombs sprinkled throughout, so please stop reading if you can’t hang grams.

First off, I didn’t watch the superbowl because A) I’m not a die-hard fan of football and B) I think it’s pathetic that as a country, we have companies and corporations that spend millions of dollars on advertising and putting on a spectacle, when there are SO many homeless veterans (people who fought for your very freedom), women stuck in domestic violence situations, and so on.

Yes! For the love of God it’s “tradition”, and you want to “enjoy your life”, but there comes a time when some traditions need to be broken, and when you need to stop being a self-centred twat and stand up for those who don’t have the capacity to do so. Perhaps go to a junior varsity championship game, or go support your local fucking roller derby team.

Yes, I have my panties in a twist. Perhaps I wouldn’t if there was a female league of sport we could all support to this extent, but fear not, that’s coming.
I digress…..

As I was saying- I didn’t watch the superbowl, so I didn’t see Lady Gaga’s performance live. But what I did see upon awakening this morning, was a truckload of RIDICULOUS comments about her “muffin top”.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for the rest of this year:

1. ALL women have some kind of roll, somewhere. It’s called GRAVITY you moron. You don’t see it or know this to be true, because no woman wants to be NEAR you, let alone come home to your creepy ass apartment, or better yet, the basement of your mom’s house, so how could you know? But at some point in your adult life when you’re able to seduce a woman to take her clothes off around you, you’d realise that it’s human nature.

2. In my experience, women who do not have some amount of body fat on themselves, are 99% of the time, fucking MISERABLE. For a woman to be low enough in body fat to not have any ‘soft bits’, she’s dieting extremely hard, and working out like a fucking freak. I know because I’ve spent a majority of my life in that head space. And it sucks.

3. It’s 2000 and fucking 17- Grow the fuck up

4. Speaking of 2017, welcome to the party. In case you haven’t been introduced to the dawn of the new age, women aren’t here for your approval, and we truly do not give a fuck what you think. When you comment stupid shit like “I was waiting for a guest appearance but all I saw was Gaga’s muffin top”, you look like a SUCH an insecure little cock-sucker who has a 3 inch dick, and drives a ridiculously over-priced lifted F450.
Namaste Bitchesssssssss
KO,
MFCEO
#grrrlarmy

There are a lot of opinions and discussions out there about what it takes to be a champion.  This applies to mostly everything.  When people reference athletes though, the most common topics to come up are things like how hard someone trains, the way they train, how they treat their body, what they do for recovery perhaps, and finally, their mindset.
“Champions make habits, not excuses.”  “Champions go the extra mile/round.”  “Champions don’t quit.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?
I wanted to write about this after seeing the UFC 207 post fight press conference with Amanda Nunes?  Did you all catch it?  It honestly made me love her even more and it spoke volumes to me about her frame of mind and why I consider he to be a true champion.
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Now let’s keep in mind how hyped this fight was.  It was rumoured months before the UFC confirmed it and it was high up on the list of fan requests.  Rousey making her big ‘comeback’ after a 13 month layoff and Nunes defending her belt for the first time.  After a victory like this, in environment that encourages smack talk, it would have been so easy for Nunes to be glib or arrogant in her responses.  Some people are immediately commented on Nunes ‘attitude’ post fight claiming she was arrogant in her interview with Joe Rogan in the cage.  I personally felt like she exuded confidence, walking that fine, sometimes indistinguishable line between arrogance and confidence.  At the end of the day though, haters gonna hate.
In the post fight press conference, Nunes fielded some pretty awkward yet obvious questions and I believe she handled things exceptionally well.
When she was asked how she felt about the promotion for UFC 207 being so one sided Nunes said that she had expected it.  She acknowledged that Rousey was the draw card for this fight and went on to say that she had asked Dana White for this fight and she ok with the promotion running in this fashion.  In return, it was in her favour to fight a big name.
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Nunes was asked about how she felt about the pay discrepancies and she said she was happy. She didn’t care. It allows her to buy a house, to look after her family and to help her take care of people that have helped her along the way.  It is the largest pay Nunes has received for any fight and she was just happy.  She said ‘I don’t know (how much I will be paid), but it’s gonna be a lot of money’ as she grinned from ear to ear.
She was asked if she felt bad for Rousey and Tate, having potentially retired the two biggest names in the division.  Her response?  ‘There is a lot of talent in this division and people need to see that.  Now people won’t only be talking about Rousey or Nunes.’
When asked about who should be her next opponent, Nunes says she doesn’t care. She will be ready for anyone.
It is so clear that Nunes is a passionate, driven fighter.  I think we all know that the reality is, fighting seldom makes you rich and famous.  Nunes talked and acknowledged that her win was not only good for her, but for the other talented women who have busted their guts getting to the UFC.  Of course she wants some recognition in the future, but I feel like that is just plain logic.
On the opposite side to this, it is no secret that I am not a Rousey fan.  Even when she was famous and on her winning streak I was not a fan.  However, taking 13 months off after a loss (and granted a very nasty knockout) is not, in my opinion, how a champion thinks.  A 13 month layoff is not something (barring surgeries and serious injuries) that I can really comprehend.  Losses are a part of any competitive sport.  And in fighting, when you look at it, when you walk into that cage (or ring), there are only really two possible outcomes (failing a draw which is incredibly unlikely at this level).   You win or you lose.
To be fair, Rousey is not totally to blame.  The UFC have enabled her to behave as she pleases.  They have enabled her extreme ‘time off’ and allowed her to shirk her media responsibilities.  And now, after yet another loss, it is likely she will not return to MMA.
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When Tate lost to Nunes, she still showed up to the post fight conference.  Tate being another example of an athlete who has the grace and mentality of a champion.  Rousey was no where to be found after both of her losses.
I’m stoked to see Nunes as champion again.  I think she is the prime example of the hard work, commitment and mentality that it takes to be a champion.  Every athlete is different.  Every athlete trains in a different way.  I would just like to see more champions conduct themselves in the way that Nunes does.

Given the robust talent in the greater Boston area, I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the Eagle Tribune’s 2016 Sportsman of the Year.

The Eagle Tribune has been in my corner every step of the journey. I am grateful for the support and friendship that I have developed with them.

Check out the article here

Or by clicking on this link!

http://www.eagletribune.com/sports/local_sports/sportsman-of-the-year/article_86a18317-eaed-5134-bcd9-56f5ad4a609e.html

Thank you all for the continued positivity and love. It fuels me in a way I cannot describe. Special thanks to my mom, dad, and brother, as none of this would be possible without you.

Thank you Crimson Aquatics and Andy Cannon at NorthEast Rehabilitation for keeping me on my “110% game.” Thank you NYOW for putting on a world class marathon swimming event, 8 Bridges.

Thank you to my sponsors: GRRRL Clothing, Vermont Peanut Butter, BRL Sports Nutrition, Knuckleheads Apparel and VOMAX…you have taken my training and performance to the next level.

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Unknown

 

 

It’s no secret that this year has been more challenging than the first two I had spent abroad.  But when everything happens in so many small, unconnected incidences, it’s quite confronting when someone forces you to look back at the challenges you’ve faced.

I always try to be positive and move forward – always looking for new opportunities if I believe I can be doing better – doing more.  That is, after all, how I ended up in Berlin.

My time in Thailand has allowed me to become a complete master in compartmentalizing my emotions.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have my moments – hell – I have my days.  I cry, I throw tantrums, I feel sorry for myself and I just want to throw in the towel.  The problem now is that I am so used to burying my head and pushing forward that sometimes that I fail to take the time to acknowledge the challenges I have had and the impact they have had on me mentally.

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This year started out in pretty bad fashion and was a constant roller coaster of injuries, let downs and questions over my own personal motivations and if I could justify to keep going down this road.

After changing gyms at the end of 2015, I was so hopeful and optimistic moving into 2016.  I was training under James McSweeney at the newly opened Unit 27 Technical Fight Factory and the year was full of promise.  After taking some time off for treatments to my knee and shoulder I came back ready to rock and roll.  Not a month into training, I was kicked in the hand and my 5th finger snapped at a 90 degree angle.  It took 3 months of xrays and visits to the surgeon to ensure that my finger and the fractured bones inside had healed enough to put my hand back in a glove.

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Before my hand even had a chance to heal our gym was shut down.  I remained diligent in my responses to the reasons behind the fall of UTFF but my friends close to me know that I experienced one of the biggest betrayals in my career to date.  My coach vanished – moved to another country and never said a word.  He left behind an entire fight team who were relying on him and because I had been training with him the longest, everyone turned to me for answers.

Fast forward a few months and I was happily back at AKA.  I had joined the MMA program and although far behind in certain technical aspects, I was still managing to hold my own and earned the respect of my fellow team mates.

Just as I had gotten back I was struck down with a random viral infection that had me out for a week.  A few trips to the clinic and lots of IV bags later, I was slowly getting back into training.

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Not long after this, I was finally settling in to the program at AKA and it was there I suffered my first ever concussion.  As per most training incidents, it was a complete accident.  I was in the midst of preparing to be matched for a fight though so stopping wasn’t an option.

2 days later I am called to fight Muay Thai on short notice and after much deliberation, I decided to take it.  I hadn’t earned any money in 6 months.  And most of all I was hungry.  And fed up.  I just wanted to fight.  So I took a fight on 24 hours notice after already training 4 hours that morning.

The next night I fought and walk away with a win, a second concussion and 5 stitches.

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Yes.  I can hear you all now.  The eye rolls.  The head shakes.  The ‘oh what a silly girl’.

None of you are wrong.  I still roll my eyes and shake my head when I think about it.

Luckily the stitches alone meant a week of rest which I happily took.  The head trauma was extremely noticeable so I was happy to take some time to relax.

The problem in Thailand is that no one checks on you or makes you see a doctor.  No one checks before you fight to make sure that you are ok.  No one questions when you decide to return to training, it’s almost expected that you just will.  And for someone like me, who has been such an active fighter for these years, these things make for a bad combination.  The fact that I could find myself justifying training like this will haunt me forever.

At this time I was having issues with my left ankle.  I suspected stress fractures as this was an injury I had suffered on numerous occasions before and everything about the injury felt familiar.  But I pushed forward, still hoping for my first MMA fight to come.

About 2 weeks after the Muay Thai fight, I suffer a third (yet mild) concussion.  Mostly a direct result of not resting for long enough.  It was an unfortunate accident in 4 ounce gloves that landed me out again for another week.  During this time off I went to visit the doctor to have my ankle looked at.  Xrays showed I had stress fractures in my left ankle that were approximately 3 weeks old.

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I was set to very limited training for a few weeks following meaning no fights, only light boxing and no weights or Muay Thai.  I tried to use this time to continue to work on my appalling boxing skills, but unfortunately my limited movement made sparring extremely difficult.

Finally I received the all clear to resume, but in my time off I had booked a 6 week trip to Europe to reassess what I was doing with my career.

I ending up booking a fight 2 days before I due to fly out.  Naturally I took it on 8 days notice.  It was a local Queens Cup event but I felt it was a good way to end out training before taking a big break.

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After a solid win, despite being incredibly unfit, I ventured to Europe where I travelled, at good food, tried out different gyms and cities and eventually found my new home at Spitfire.

When I look back on things, I should have cut my losses and gone home.  I had many moments where I wanted to.  I spent most of the year in complete angst over the time I had spent chasing what seemed like a ridiculous and impossible dream.

I was so unsure of myself and my ability to make good decisions moving forward.  The only thing I knew was that my time in Thailand had come to an end.

I had spent two weeks in Berlin on my holiday.  1 week enjoying the sights and the nightlife and another week of training in what was to be my new training home.  It didn’t take me long to realise that a change in pace and scenery was just what I was needing.

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The European circuit is full of competition in my weight class and I figured it was a great way to fulfill my lifelong wish to live and travel in Europe, and also take on a range of new opponents both in MMA and Muay Thai.  K1 also remains an option and experience for the near future.

I’m now a few weeks in to my time here in Berlin and I am loving it.  Unfortunately though, I have since suffered my 4th concussion for the year in a freak BJJ accident.  (a post on this to come).

It was a truly frightening experience for me because I know that there are only so many times that this can happen before it ends my career.  I remember just lying on the mat with a stream of tears rolling down my cheeks.  I couldn’t stop it.  In that moment I felt so useless and defeated.

I’m certain everyone thought I was physically hurt, but the stress of another hit was a little more than I could bear at the time.  Moving countries, leaving all my friends in Thailand and Australia and being benched again.  I was at my limit.

After a night in hospital under observation I was released and took a week off to rest.  (I was actually banned from the gym but let’s call it rest ;)).

I’m finally back into training, with the year coming to a close.  No rest for the wicked though as I have now been cleared to spar and fight pending a second doctors check once I get matched.

It has been a weird and refreshing change to be in a gym where my well being comes first.  Not just to my manager and trainers, but even to my training partners.  “Health comes first”.

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Being in Berlin, starting my life all over AGAIN.  It’s not without it’s challenges.  But I definitely feel good about where I am.  Even though I am so new, I have been so supported over the past few weeks and the knowledge that the fighters in my gym have to offer is just incredible.

Bring on 2017.  I’m ready to take things to the next level.

Phuket has become an increasingly popular training destination.  Not only for Muay Thai fighters but for health and fitness addicts, and people wanting to improve their general health in some way.  It’s actually a great deal.  You can come and train, eat well, and soak up the wonderful island atmosphere, all at a fraction of what it might cost you at home.

After almost 3 years on the island, I’ve noticed quite a few mistakes that people make on their first training trip to Phuket and I have selected what I believe to be the most important, and have included a few tips to help the new traveler out.

“I’m going to train 15 sessions a week, every week.  I’ve got it all planned out!”

I genuinely enjoy people’s enthusiasm when they get here.  Not only that, I also understand it.  People arrive with the best intentions but often feel defeated a few days in.

The humidity in Phuket is almost always high.  Much higher than most have experienced or expected.  Coupled with those travelling into our high season and the scorching heat, those first few days (sometimes even the first week) can take some time to adjust to.

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Many people start off really strong, fighting through the jet lag and the heat (or whatever other obstacles may be in their way) only to fall short a few days in, exhausted and unable to train.

Don’t underestimate the change in climate!  Start of a little slower than you normally would.  Let your body adapt to the climate and training in these conditions.  It might take a few days, then you can train as hard as you like.

“Water is adequate for hydration”

For those of us who have acclimated over time, this might be true.  But for those coming from abroad, it’s a common mistake to make.

Training sessions are often conducted outdoors  at times where the heat and humidity is not too extreme.  Most people sweat just from being outside, let alone pushing their bodies.

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I have seen many people suffer from cramping, nausea and extreme exhaustion during their sessions without understanding the why.

It’s difficult to replace the amount of water you lose through sweat each session.  Electrolytes are a cheap and simple way to avoid symptoms of dehydration and it always surprises me to see how many people don’t actually use any.  Head to your local pharmacy or Supacheap and ask for some.  Even your local 7/11 will stock some.

“Beach erryday!”

For those training 1 session a day, going to the beach (when the weather is good) is very realistic.  For those training multiple sessions a day, you might find this a struggle.

You usually have a few hours in between training sessions.  Most will spend the first hour or so after training, showering and eating.

Hitting the beach in between every training session begins to take it’s toll for a number of reasons.

Most importantly, your rest period is usually in the middle of the day, right when it’s the hottest.  Why?  Because most people don’t want to train when it is that hot.  So when you hit the beach at that time, be prepared to fry yourself.  Most only last a hour or 2 at that time.

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Second to this, the heat zaps your energy.  A combination of extreme heat and possibly a little dehydration can leave you feeling exhausted, as can swimming in the ocean!

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen people do it.  Chill on the beach every day in between sessions.  But usually it is people who are only here for a week wanting to maximise their time and experience.

The beaches are beautiful and relaxing, just be sure that if you go, to stay adequately hydrated and make sure you leave enough time to rest and fuel up for your next session.

“Thai food is so healthy!  It’s going to be easy for me to lose weight”

I myself fell under this trap when I first moved here.  Thai food is so delicious and cheap, it’s difficult to resist sometimes.

People often think that Thai food is all vegetables and rice – which to be fair is not completely wrong.  What most don’t realise is that a lot of the food is laden with MSG and sugar.

All Thai dishes contain sugar.  All.  Even their omelettes have sugar in them.  Luckily, if you are aware of this, you can request your dish without.

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MSG is the tricky one.  Here in Phuket, some cafes are advertising that they don’t use MSG.  Because of the rather healthy clientele and repeated requests to make food without it, it’s become easier to find places that no longer cook with MSG.

In addition to the MSG and sugar, traditional Thai meals don’t have a good macro balance.  You get almost 2 cups of rice with your meal (most people mistake it for one) and almost no protein (approx 50 – 70 grams per serve).

I’m not a huge advocate of stuffing yourself with protein, but if your nutrition approach requires a high level of protein, you’re best to stick with the BBQ proteins available.

In my experience, especially with grappling and MMA, every gym has a different style and program.  Most of what I know I have learnt through tips from other people or from watching fights on TV.  When everyone is on the same program it puts you on par with other students.  This recent change in gyms has really highlighted a lot of technical gaps and gaps in my knowledge.

My grappling is still very new.  Yes I dabbled from time to time in Melbourne, but nothing significant enough to warrant mention.  In all honesty I mostly went to spend time with my grappling buddies and to take a break from getting punched in the face.

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When I left Thailand I finally felt as though I had turned a corner in both my grappling and MMA sparring.  I went home and rolled with a good friend who had trained with me in Thailand earlier on in the year.  He had a lot of good feedback about my development in the few months in between which was a relief to hear.

Fast forward to Berlin and I don’t even understand a lot of the warm up.  I feel like the broken link in the chain slowing my partner down during drilling.  It’s the first time where things have been shown to me and I can’t put them into action.  It’s so frustrating to feel like I am starting all over again.

Fortunately, I am still a white belt and most people have exceptional patience with me but I’m eager to catch up with this program and to start developing again.  It’s a strange thing having your rolls be ok, but having no technical training against technical grapplers really shows.14753713_1814485248827455_8807372661076320949_o

I had my first sparring session over the weekend which was nice.  I almost backed out but thought it might be nice to see how I go on my feet – do something that I am more comfortable with.

One of greatest things from the past few months at AKA has been getting in MMA sparring 3 times a week.  I relied heavily on my clinch in my fights and never took the time to develop my striking until this year.

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It was a very uncomfortable beginning.  A few (accidental) concussions and some quiet (and some not so quiet) tears.  After a few sessions you decide to quit or not be the punching bag and I went with the latter.  I worked with people I trusted, people who would push me, and I grew.  My striking still has a long way to go but I am feeling a lot more confident on my feet.  Even in my exhausted and jetlagged state, I felt comfortable standing and trading.

It’s always difficult being the new kid at a gym – it takes time to see where people are at, what is acceptable in training and how hard people will push you.  Today was a great way to help me find my feet although I still feel like I was a few steps out of place.

I’m, however, definitely in the right spot for now.  I feel completely supported in my career and I have some really talented training partners.  I joined a team and a family and I’m excited to see what lays ahead for us all.

I am hoping to announce my next fight soon but this next week will be spent getting on the new program – getting some of my fitness back – and hopefully shaking my awful jetlag!

Stay tuned!

There should be no surprises when I say that moving back into the Western World was not without a little reverse culture shock.  It has, however, surprised me by the things that have taken some adjusting to and the things I am really enjoying!

Drinking tap water should have been the greatest thing in the world.  But I have been so wired to not drink tap water now that I kept forgetting that I could.  Couple that with the cold weather and I was extremely dehydrated my first week here.  The water tastes a bit funny to me but I am also not sure if that is just the taste of Berlin water or if I’m just so used to drinking the ‘recycled’ water in Thailand.

Everything is closed on Sunday’s here which is still throwing me through a loop.  It’s my only day off and I want to run errands but I can’t.  I was told over the weekend that this is impossible here (yes – the word used was impossible).  Aside from the local Spati’s (late night corner shops) almost everything is closed.

I have traded in my motorbike for a push bike which I am actually loving.  It’s so quick and easy to ride around here (although moderately terrifying because everything still feels backwards to me).  The extra exercise is great although I have been using it to justify eating bread and soft baked pretzels which is not so good.

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German efficiency is beginning to look mythical to me as the formal process to register my existence and apply for my visa is a stressful and taxing one.  Even with a lawyer it’s a difficult process and you always seem to need one thing in order to do another and vice versa.  I don’t know if this is simply the ‘German way’ or if they are trying to discourage the (quickly growing) number of expatriates living in the city.  A question for another day.

I have been surprised by the number of people who don’t speak English here.  On most accounts, general consensus was that almost everyone speaks English here.  This is simply not the case.  It makes training interesting because there’s a lot of hard work being done, and people shouting in German.  Sparring is particularly frightening with all the German yelling.

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I have to be very mindful to not fall into the lazy trap here.  Particularly with these colder months ahead.  Part of my moving here was to explore Europe and enjoy Berlin so I need to be diligent in doing so.  The two days off that I have had I have spent doing some touristy things.  A trip to the Zoo and the Berliner Dom have been my first two pits stops and I am planning to take a trip over the Christmas weekend – hopefully to somewhere I have not visited before.

Grocery shopping is challenging because I have had to Google translate a lot of things.  Meaning I spend a lot of time at the grocery store and often leave without things that I went in for (and a lot of things I didn’t go in for).  I have had some groceries delivered online so I could translate my orders on my computer but there is a noticeable price difference for doing so.

I have joined the ‘Free Advice Berlin’ group on Facebook where I can ask random questions and get advice.  It’s been very helpful in me avoiding committing any cultural or social faux pas, simply from reading other people’s questions.

Socks.  How great are socks!?!? Especially the warm fluffy kind.  And shoes!  I don’t even know where my flip flops are!  It’s a bizarre thing to be enjoying it, but I am!

There is a nice casual culture here which really suits my style.  My boxes still haven’t arrived from Thailand though so I am wearing mostly gym clothes and was forced to buy new jeans.  It could be worse, but I will enjoy having my things when they finally do arrive.

It is COLD!  But shockingly, I am enjoying it – provided there are no gushing winds.  It’s been a really pleasant change after walking on the sun for 3 years.  It takes an extra few minutes to get out the door because of all the layers I have to put on, but all in all, it’s not so bad.  I have more difficulty regulating my temperature between the initial cold, warming up by walking and riding, more cold, then extremely well insulated buildings.  I will get there eventually.

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DHL and other package delivery services are free to leave your parcels with your neighbours which weirds me out a little bit.  So far it’s been fine and it appears to be common practice.  Definitely not something I would want to have happen in Thailand.

The party scene and nightlife is not as obvious as I had expected.  Turns out Berlin has a great nightlife, but is, for the most part, a regular city where people get up and go to work.  Who knew!

I have managed to find a lot of random things that I thought would be difficult to find.  The other day I even found Matcha powder which was a huge win for me.

Wheat free bread is a thing here.  And gluten levels in regular bread are low.  So little to no allergic response to bread has been fantastic.  Very pleased to have been shown where the wheat free bread is though (hopefully when I go back there, the person can speak English…).

Berlin is proving to be quite a lonely city but again, I am not sure if this is due to the weather and being new.  I expect that summer will be a very different story.

All in all the move has gone well.  I love that I am here and I am insanely happy.  It was the right call for me personally and I’m excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.

I always liked to dabble in jiu jitsu.  It has often been a welcome break from my striking training, and a large number of my friends back home are grapplers, so it was a great way to spend time with them and have a little fun in between fights.  (pajamas and cuddles!  I mean, c’mon!)

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Going into MMA, I know I need to work my ground game A LOT.  I am far behind the pack, but with no regrets as I have spent this time developing my striking skills.  In the beginning I struggled to find the motivation to train consistently because I naturally wanted to go back to what I knew.

I really enjoy live rolling.  I always have.  But it was never really enough to keep me interested.  How was it that I spent 2 years doing 12 Muay Thai sessions a week but 5 BJJ sessions a week seemed impossible?  Why would anyone want to do that?

Fighting on the side has meant constant interruptions to my BJJ training, which personally, I haven’t minded.  I have felt that by taking a few consecutive days off the mats, that I come back and new things click into place and make sense to me.  It gives my tired old body some time to catch up to my brain.

One of the biggest problems I faced, was that I have always loathed training in a Gi.  Mostly because I got choked out with my own Gi a lot (which is both hilarious and frustrating) and I felt like no gi was the better fit for MMA.  I used that as an excuse to avoid training in a Gi.  Also, if I’m being totally honest, having a valid reason to buy colourful spats and superhero rash guards was also a big draw card….

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Before I went on my holidays, I found a new enjoyment in my BJJ sessions.  It didn’t matter how tired I was, I didn’t want to miss out on a roll.  I put it down to it still being so new, that the novelty would wear off.  But to my surprise – it hasn’t.

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One of my friends tagged me in an article we were discussing last night, which I felt excited to read.  The BJJ community is so large and there is a huge amount of information out there, passed down by people, once walking in our shoes.

I’ve been searching for tape to buddy tape my busted finger and to protect my poor poor spidey fingers because I love spider guard drills so much that I don’t want to miss out because my fingers are raw or bleeding.

I recently watched some great videos on foot and ankle control and guard passes because I get stuck there.  And then I realised.  It’s happened.  I’ve turned into a BJJ girl.

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I had that great light bulb moment where I rolled with a blue belt, and used his Gi to manipulate his and my own movements and finally understood why people enjoyed Gi training so much.  There are so many creative ways to maneuver, submit and roll in a Gi!

It’s nice to be able to continue learning and growing so much and doing what I love.  I am shocked that I have found so much love for this sport and I’m excited to keep pushing and seeing where I end up.

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I’m joining an amazing team in Berlin next month where I hope to start working towards my blue belt (something which never really mattered to me before).

Maybe it’s time to buy that second Gi….

For the longest time I was watching my friends (particularly in America and Australia) post about their gravity float or sensory deprivation sessions.  I knew a little about it from listening to a Joe Rogan podcast but had resigned to the fact that probably would not have access to, living in Thailand.

We lucked out here in Phuket when Joe and Steve came along and opened the first gravity float in Thailand – about a 10 minute ride from my house.

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I was quite curious about the whole thing so I booked in for one of their opening specials – an hour float for 1000 baht (probably less than half the price of what I would pay at home).

I was greeted by Joe and Steve and sat for a quick chat while the tank was put through it’s routine clean after the previous persons float.  They gave me a run down of the different experiences that people have had their first float and some sage advice for being in there.

Once the float tank was ready, I was ushered into a room where the tank is housed and am provided with a number of items to assist me with my float.  Ear plugs, pillow, Vaseline (for any nicks or cuts), a small towel to hang inside (in case I needed to wipe my face) and a large towel for when I was finished.  I am given a run down of the tank itself, how to get in and out safely, and the bell to listen out for when my time was up.  I was also shown the ‘panic button’, should I, for any reason, need to get out but can’t.

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Awesome!  I’m set to go!

I climbed into the tank, carefully placing my small towel on the rack, and closed the hatch.

Now I don’t know what I was thinking, but my first thought was ‘sh*t!  It’s really dark in here’.  Yes.  Yes it is.  Because it’s a sensory deprivation tank (d’uh!).

I slowly slide down in the tank and try to let myself float.  Easy enough so far!

I closed my eyes to try to visualise the fight I had coming up in a few days, and noticed that my body was slowly floating in a circular motion.  I went to reach for the handle bar on the hatch door, and couldn’t find it.  In a moment or slight panic and opened my eyes, looking for the dim outline of the hatch.  My eyes didn’t appear to be adjusting at all so I quickly sunk my butt to the floor to sit up and in all of my awkwardness, splashing myself in the eyes with the high sodium water.

I slowly found my way back to my starting point, attempted to flush out my eyes with the water bottle provided inside the tank, and continued to float.

I eventually found a few markers inside the tank to give myself an idea of where I was inside the tank.  Eventually I just forgot about it and continued with my float.  I figured there is only one way out!  I’d find it when I needed to.

I had a moment where I was fully focused.  I could see myself at the stadium, getting my hands wrapped, warming up…. and then I was thinking about my cat… and then thinking about training… and then thinking about my personal life… then thinking about needing a new media kit.  My mind went crazy.

I felt really frustrated that I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to.  In turn, it made me restless and I began squirming around in the tank.  I developed an insane impatience because I had no idea how long I had left and I felt a sudden urge to get out.

I convinced myself to just sit still but my anxiety got the better of me and I sat up and opened the hatch door.  I sat there for about 10 seconds and told myself it couldn’t be too far off finishing, so I took a long, deep breath, sunk back in and closed my eyes.  Next thing I knew the bell was sounding.  My time was up.

I hopped out and showered and took a seat out front with Joe and Steve.  They were both so eager to find out what my experience was like.  I told them I was so disappointed that I didn’t get what I thought I would from it, but they both assured me that it was ok and that my next float would be better.

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When I went back for my second float, I had a lot going on in my personal life and it showed.  I couldn’t focus on my next fight at all.  In a moment of frustration I told myself to just let it go.  What ever was going to pop up from my subconscious – let it.  Surprisingly enough, it helped me clear a lot of things out of my mind, which in turn helped me focus on what I needed to be ready for my fight.

I still couldn’t lie still for the entire hour.  What I estimate to be about 45 minutes into the float, I started moving my body.  Rolling my hips from side to side, stretching my arms and legs.  It was actually quite nice and I wasn’t bothered by it at all.  I felt a sense of accomplishment that I sat still for so long.  Meditation is not something I have ever mastered, nor is sitting still.

I didn’t feel panicked or anxious this float which made the hour pass by quickly.

By the time I went in for my third float, I was mentally and personally in a better place.  I was again, close to another fight, but I had such a different experience during my float.  I had a more calm sensation and was able to focus fully on my fight.  I spent my time visualizing all the things I wanted to achieve in my fight, combinations I had been working on and how I could implement them.

I still ended up moving around and stretching from time to time, but mostly because I was so stiff and sore from training that I wanted to increase the physical benefits of my float as well.

Aside from learning how to calm my mind and sort through my subconscious, I noticed a significant difference in my recovery and the extreme relaxation I felt after my floats meant that I came home and had some of the best sleep of my life.

I’m sad to be moving away from Float Indigo – if I had it my way, it would be part of my weekly routine.  Hopefully I can find something similar in Berlin!

To anyone visiting Phuket, I highly recommend you check these guys out.

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In my experience, especially with grappling and MMA, every gym has a different style and program.  Most of what I know I have learnt through tips from other people or from watching fights on TV.  When everyone is on the same program it puts you on par with other students.  This recent change in gyms has really highlighted a lot of technical gaps and gaps in my knowledge.

My grappling is still very new.  Yes I dabbled from time to time in Melbourne, but nothing significant enough to warrant mention.  In all honesty I mostly went to spend time with my grappling buddies and to take a break from getting punched in the face.

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When I left Thailand I finally felt as though I had turned a corner in both my grappling and MMA sparring.  I went home and rolled with a good friend who had trained with me in Thailand earlier on in the year.  He had a lot of good feedback about my development in the few months in between which was a relief to hear.

Fast forward to Berlin and I don’t even understand a lot of the warm up.  I feel like the broken link in the chain slowing my partner down during drilling.  It’s the first time where things have been shown to me and I can’t put them into action.  It’s so frustrating to feel like I am starting all over again.

Fortunately, I am still a white belt and most people have exceptional patience with me but I’m eager to catch up with this program and to start developing again.  It’s a strange thing having your rolls be ok, but having no technical training against technical grapplers really shows.14753713_1814485248827455_8807372661076320949_o

I had my first sparring session over the weekend which was nice.  I almost backed out but thought it might be nice to see how I go on my feet – do something that I am more comfortable with.

One of greatest things from the past few months at AKA has been getting in MMA sparring 3 times a week.  I relied heavily on my clinch in my fights and never took the time to develop my striking until this year.

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It was a very uncomfortable beginning.  A few (accidental) concussions and some quiet (and some not so quiet) tears.  After a few sessions you decide to quit or not be the punching bag and I went with the latter.  I worked with people I trusted, people who would push me, and I grew.  My striking still has a long way to go but I am feeling a lot more confident on my feet.  Even in my exhausted and jetlagged state, I felt comfortable standing and trading.

It’s always difficult being the new kid at a gym – it takes time to see where people are at, what is acceptable in training and how hard people will push you.  Today was a great way to help me find my feet although I still feel like I was a few steps out of place.

I’m, however, definitely in the right spot for now.  I feel completely supported in my career and I have some really talented training partners.  I joined a team and a family and I’m excited to see what lays ahead for us all.

I am hoping to announce my next fight soon but this next week will be spent getting on the new program – getting some of my fitness back – and hopefully shaking my awful jetlag!

Stay tuned!

Phuket has become an increasingly popular training destination.  Not only for Muay Thai fighters but for health and fitness addicts, and people wanting to improve their general health in some way.  It’s actually a great deal.  You can come and train, eat well, and soak up the wonderful island atmosphere, all at a fraction of what it might cost you at home.

After almost 3 years on the island, I’ve noticed quite a few mistakes that people make on their first training trip to Phuket and I have selected what I believe to be the most important, and have included a few tips to help the new traveler out.

“I’m going to train 15 sessions a week, every week.  I’ve got it all planned out!”

I genuinely enjoy people’s enthusiasm when they get here.  Not only that, I also understand it.  People arrive with the best intentions but often feel defeated a few days in.

The humidity in Phuket is almost always high.  Much higher than most have experienced or expected.  Coupled with those travelling into our high season and the scorching heat, those first few days (sometimes even the first week) can take some time to adjust to.

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Many people start off really strong, fighting through the jet lag and the heat (or whatever other obstacles may be in their way) only to fall short a few days in, exhausted and unable to train.

Don’t underestimate the change in climate!  Start of a little slower than you normally would.  Let your body adapt to the climate and training in these conditions.  It might take a few days, then you can train as hard as you like.

“Water is adequate for hydration”

For those of us who have acclimated over time, this might be true.  But for those coming from abroad, it’s a common mistake to make.

Training sessions are often conducted outdoors  at times where the heat and humidity is not too extreme.  Most people sweat just from being outside, let alone pushing their bodies.

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I have seen many people suffer from cramping, nausea and extreme exhaustion during their sessions without understanding the why.

It’s difficult to replace the amount of water you lose through sweat each session.  Electrolytes are a cheap and simple way to avoid symptoms of dehydration and it always surprises me to see how many people don’t actually use any.  Head to your local pharmacy or Supacheap and ask for some.  Even your local 7/11 will stock some.

“Beach erryday!”

For those training 1 session a day, going to the beach (when the weather is good) is very realistic.  For those training multiple sessions a day, you might find this a struggle.

You usually have a few hours in between training sessions.  Most will spend the first hour or so after training, showering and eating.

Hitting the beach in between every training session begins to take it’s toll for a number of reasons.

Most importantly, your rest period is usually in the middle of the day, right when it’s the hottest.  Why?  Because most people don’t want to train when it is that hot.  So when you hit the beach at that time, be prepared to fry yourself.  Most only last a hour or 2 at that time.

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Second to this, the heat zaps your energy.  A combination of extreme heat and possibly a little dehydration can leave you feeling exhausted, as can swimming in the ocean!

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen people do it.  Chill on the beach every day in between sessions.  But usually it is people who are only here for a week wanting to maximise their time and experience.

The beaches are beautiful and relaxing, just be sure that if you go, to stay adequately hydrated and make sure you leave enough time to rest and fuel up for your next session.

“Thai food is so healthy!  It’s going to be easy for me to lose weight”

I myself fell under this trap when I first moved here.  Thai food is so delicious and cheap, it’s difficult to resist sometimes.

People often think that Thai food is all vegetables and rice – which to be fair is not completely wrong.  What most don’t realise is that a lot of the food is laden with MSG and sugar.

All Thai dishes contain sugar.  All.  Even their omelettes have sugar in them.  Luckily, if you are aware of this, you can request your dish without.

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MSG is the tricky one.  Here in Phuket, some cafes are advertising that they don’t use MSG.  Because of the rather healthy clientele and repeated requests to make food without it, it’s become easier to find places that no longer cook with MSG.

In addition to the MSG and sugar, traditional Thai meals don’t have a good macro balance.  You get almost 2 cups of rice with your meal (most people mistake it for one) and almost no protein (approx 50 – 70 grams per serve).

I’m not a huge advocate of stuffing yourself with protein, but if your nutrition approach requires a high level of protein, you’re best to stick with the BBQ proteins available.

For the longest time I was watching my friends (particularly in America and Australia) post about their gravity float or sensory deprivation sessions.  I knew a little about it from listening to a Joe Rogan podcast but had resigned to the fact that probably would not have access to, living in Thailand.

We lucked out here in Phuket when Joe and Steve came along and opened the first gravity float in Thailand – about a 10 minute ride from my house.

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I was quite curious about the whole thing so I booked in for one of their opening specials – an hour float for 1000 baht (probably less than half the price of what I would pay at home).

I was greeted by Joe and Steve and sat for a quick chat while the tank was put through it’s routine clean after the previous persons float.  They gave me a run down of the different experiences that people have had their first float and some sage advice for being in there.

Once the float tank was ready, I was ushered into a room where the tank is housed and am provided with a number of items to assist me with my float.  Ear plugs, pillow, Vaseline (for any nicks or cuts), a small towel to hang inside (in case I needed to wipe my face) and a large towel for when I was finished.  I am given a run down of the tank itself, how to get in and out safely, and the bell to listen out for when my time was up.  I was also shown the ‘panic button’, should I, for any reason, need to get out but can’t.

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Awesome!  I’m set to go!

I climbed into the tank, carefully placing my small towel on the rack, and closed the hatch.

Now I don’t know what I was thinking, but my first thought was ‘sh*t!  It’s really dark in here’.  Yes.  Yes it is.  Because it’s a sensory deprivation tank (d’uh!).

I slowly slide down in the tank and try to let myself float.  Easy enough so far!

I closed my eyes to try to visualise the fight I had coming up in a few days, and noticed that my body was slowly floating in a circular motion.  I went to reach for the handle bar on the hatch door, and couldn’t find it.  In a moment or slight panic and opened my eyes, looking for the dim outline of the hatch.  My eyes didn’t appear to be adjusting at all so I quickly sunk my butt to the floor to sit up and in all of my awkwardness, splashing myself in the eyes with the high sodium water.

I slowly found my way back to my starting point, attempted to flush out my eyes with the water bottle provided inside the tank, and continued to float.

I eventually found a few markers inside the tank to give myself an idea of where I was inside the tank.  Eventually I just forgot about it and continued with my float.  I figured there is only one way out!  I’d find it when I needed to.

I had a moment where I was fully focused.  I could see myself at the stadium, getting my hands wrapped, warming up…. and then I was thinking about my cat… and then thinking about training… and then thinking about my personal life… then thinking about needing a new media kit.  My mind went crazy.

I felt really frustrated that I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to.  In turn, it made me restless and I began squirming around in the tank.  I developed an insane impatience because I had no idea how long I had left and I felt a sudden urge to get out.

I convinced myself to just sit still but my anxiety got the better of me and I sat up and opened the hatch door.  I sat there for about 10 seconds and told myself it couldn’t be too far off finishing, so I took a long, deep breath, sunk back in and closed my eyes.  Next thing I knew the bell was sounding.  My time was up.

I hopped out and showered and took a seat out front with Joe and Steve.  They were both so eager to find out what my experience was like.  I told them I was so disappointed that I didn’t get what I thought I would from it, but they both assured me that it was ok and that my next float would be better.

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When I went back for my second float, I had a lot going on in my personal life and it showed.  I couldn’t focus on my next fight at all.  In a moment of frustration I told myself to just let it go.  What ever was going to pop up from my subconscious – let it.  Surprisingly enough, it helped me clear a lot of things out of my mind, which in turn helped me focus on what I needed to be ready for my fight.

I still couldn’t lie still for the entire hour.  What I estimate to be about 45 minutes into the float, I started moving my body.  Rolling my hips from side to side, stretching my arms and legs.  It was actually quite nice and I wasn’t bothered by it at all.  I felt a sense of accomplishment that I sat still for so long.  Meditation is not something I have ever mastered, nor is sitting still.

I didn’t feel panicked or anxious this float which made the hour pass by quickly.

By the time I went in for my third float, I was mentally and personally in a better place.  I was again, close to another fight, but I had such a different experience during my float.  I had a more calm sensation and was able to focus fully on my fight.  I spent my time visualizing all the things I wanted to achieve in my fight, combinations I had been working on and how I could implement them.

I still ended up moving around and stretching from time to time, but mostly because I was so stiff and sore from training that I wanted to increase the physical benefits of my float as well.

Aside from learning how to calm my mind and sort through my subconscious, I noticed a significant difference in my recovery and the extreme relaxation I felt after my floats meant that I came home and had some of the best sleep of my life.

I’m sad to be moving away from Float Indigo – if I had it my way, it would be part of my weekly routine.  Hopefully I can find something similar in Berlin!

To anyone visiting Phuket, I highly recommend you check these guys out.

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I always liked to dabble in jiu jitsu.  It has often been a welcome break from my striking training, and a large number of my friends back home are grapplers, so it was a great way to spend time with them and have a little fun in between fights.  (pajamas and cuddles!  I mean, c’mon!)

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Going into MMA, I know I need to work my ground game A LOT.  I am far behind the pack, but with no regrets as I have spent this time developing my striking skills.  In the beginning I struggled to find the motivation to train consistently because I naturally wanted to go back to what I knew.

I really enjoy live rolling.  I always have.  But it was never really enough to keep me interested.  How was it that I spent 2 years doing 12 Muay Thai sessions a week but 5 BJJ sessions a week seemed impossible?  Why would anyone want to do that?

Fighting on the side has meant constant interruptions to my BJJ training, which personally, I haven’t minded.  I have felt that by taking a few consecutive days off the mats, that I come back and new things click into place and make sense to me.  It gives my tired old body some time to catch up to my brain.

One of the biggest problems I faced, was that I have always loathed training in a Gi.  Mostly because I got choked out with my own Gi a lot (which is both hilarious and frustrating) and I felt like no gi was the better fit for MMA.  I used that as an excuse to avoid training in a Gi.  Also, if I’m being totally honest, having a valid reason to buy colourful spats and superhero rash guards was also a big draw card….

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Before I went on my holidays, I found a new enjoyment in my BJJ sessions.  It didn’t matter how tired I was, I didn’t want to miss out on a roll.  I put it down to it still being so new, that the novelty would wear off.  But to my surprise – it hasn’t.

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One of my friends tagged me in an article we were discussing last night, which I felt excited to read.  The BJJ community is so large and there is a huge amount of information out there, passed down by people, once walking in our shoes.

I’ve been searching for tape to buddy tape my busted finger and to protect my poor poor spidey fingers because I love spider guard drills so much that I don’t want to miss out because my fingers are raw or bleeding.

I recently watched some great videos on foot and ankle control and guard passes because I get stuck there.  And then I realised.  It’s happened.  I’ve turned into a BJJ girl.

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I had that great light bulb moment where I rolled with a blue belt, and used his Gi to manipulate his and my own movements and finally understood why people enjoyed Gi training so much.  There are so many creative ways to maneuver, submit and roll in a Gi!

It’s nice to be able to continue learning and growing so much and doing what I love.  I am shocked that I have found so much love for this sport and I’m excited to keep pushing and seeing where I end up.

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I’m joining an amazing team in Berlin next month where I hope to start working towards my blue belt (something which never really mattered to me before).

Maybe it’s time to buy that second Gi….