The Last of the Outback Boxing Tents

As unlikely as it sounds, there was logic behind my decision to partake in an outback Australian tent fight. There’s usually logic behind the decisions I make, albeit often convincingly disguised as recklessness or folly.

It started back in Melbourne.

The cozy interior of the Rollerdoor cafe.

It was the day before I left for Queensland. I was saying bye to the folks at Rollerdoor Cafe, our back courtyard neighbors. While there a gent, hearing I was leaving and knowing I was a fighter, mentioned the tent. At this point it was just a comment, a legend. “I hear they have this traveling boxing tent up in Queensland where fighters will take on anyone who wants to challenge them for cash.” How delightfully old school. How fucking outback. But shit like that didn’t still actually exist.

. . . Did it? Continue reading

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So Here’s What Happened

I was living in Melbourne, Australia. At first I was working in a cafe but eventually got sacked for no other reason than everyone got sacked when the owner decided to hire all of his friends to replace us. Which, as is becoming a recurring theme with most shit things that happen to me, turned out to actually be good: it meant that I ended up getting hired on at Absolute MMA and Conditioning, where I’d been training to fight in Mixed Martial Arts. Because becoming a cage fighter is totally a legitimate career change for a 30 year old woman. Continue reading

Catalyst

A short while back, the founder of Australian Girls in Gi (if you’re a woman practicing Jiujitsu in Australia, get in on this awesomeness) posted a before and after (training Brazilian Jiujitsu [BJJ]) pic of herself that prompted a very moving thread in the group’s Facebook forum. In it, a large number of women came forwards with their stories; of how BJJ had helped them in battles against everything from anxiety to overcoming childhood trauma to adult hardships like difficulty conceiving. It was inspiring to have so many women come forth to speak openly about their issues, insecurities and the ways in which they were battling them to create healthier, happier lives for themselves.

Inspirational: She is it.

But a weird thing happened upon reading it. At the same time I felt inspired, I also felt very, very depressed.

Because I tried a couple times to add my own contribution. I’m a big fan of sharing openly the things we typically hold inside, whether that hesitance to share comes from a fear of rejection or social conventions we were raised with and just can’t shake off. But each of these gals, even the ones still in the heart of their issues, came across as success stories whereas I was feeling like I was. . .still failing. Continue reading

Wait. . .What?

As absurd as it sounds, there was a logical process of thought behind my decision to try prize fighting. I had reasons for choosing to do this, now.

First, there was sheer curiosity. Which is admittedly a stronger driving force for me than is perhaps healthy. But when I get a question in my mind it fucking burns until I get an answer, man. Especially when it’s a question of ‘Can I [insert task here]?’ I need to know. And this one had been nagging at me for a long time: could I hold my own in a cage fight?

I’d trained in martial arts before. But I’ll admit readily – not a lot. There was some Shotokan Karate back in my last year of high school and some half-assed Jeet Kun Do back in my short-lived university days. But the style I really loved was Muay Thai, in which I had trained during my early years of tattooing in Newfoundland, as well as for a while in Ireland back at the start of my travels.

And I loved it. Which brings me to my second reason: Desire. Continue reading