Finding the Fighter Within – by Aziza Mustafa
Most people wait until the end of December to reflect on the year that has past, but for me September is almost like the start of my new year. Last year at this time, I was unemployed (or, what I like to call on “corporate hiatus”), and super LOST. Not because I didn’t have a job, but because nothing out there seemed to speak to me. I didn’t know EXACTLY what I wanted to do, but I told myself I wouldn’t settle for something just because I felt the need to seem like I was doing life “right.”
September of 2018 I started my first FIGHT CAMP at John Wai Martial Arts- 8 weeks of intense training like a fighter. I had loads of time to commit to a program and I decided to dive right in. Before Fight Camp, I did a few days throughout the week of Kickboxing and Kung Fu, but never set foot in a Muay Thai or Sanshou class. Still feeling new to the martial arts scene, Muay Thai and even Jiu Jitsu just seemed intimidating and I didn’t think either was for me.
Without anything to lose, I threw everything I had into the camp. I ate extremely well, worked out twice a day, ran a LOT, and noticed that I actually really enjoyed the challenge. My coach, Tamer, told me to get my butt to the striking classes and get over my fear!! Well, I bought a mouthpiece, some shin guards and now I don’t know what I was waiting for! I have seen so much improvement just from attending everything John Wai Martial Arts has to offer.
I still get some members that approach me after class and want to know how long I’ve been training for. What they see is the Aziza post-fight camp. The one who is up and off the floor in Kickboxing and hitting the bag with some purpose! They see me go from one class to the next (and sometimes the next), and I say it’s been only a year since I decided to take my fitness up a level. I enjoy talking to members about their own journeys, and I like to remind people that everyone has a first day. I definitely am not the same fighter I was when I started to first train at JWMA back in January of 2018.
This whole year has been really hard, and I’ve made a lot of adjustments and lifestyle changes, but making changes to your life won’t come without a little blood, sweat, and
actually a whole lot of tears. In one year from Fight Camp Season 2, I found a company I was willing to work for, made new connections and friends, trained for a REAL fight and a few other little things along the way. I am always searching for what’s next…
Time to kick it up a notch and prepare for my next challenge: Camp OVERDRIVE! Couldn’t think of a better way to push myself again. All I can say is I am so ready!
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