I learned from these past five years training at Tiger schulmann’s, to not be afraid or intimidated to make certain decisions, because any single one of them can change things for the better.
We all make thousands of decisions throughout a single day, and I never thought that just one of those would change my life completely. That decision was on January 21st, 2009, to take my first class at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts.
As far back as I can remember I was always shy, and I always had my older sister to stick up for me whenever anyone tried to push me around. I remember being in middle school on the bus ride home when two boys were making fun of me; I just sat there and let them, then my sister stood up from anther seat and punched one of them. My shy personality became even more insecure when I was in high school. Not only had my sister graduated, so I had no “body guard” but I was also gaining a lot of weight, which hit my confidence even harder. I stayed quiet in school, never really talking to anyone but my small group of friends. I live five minutes from the beach and never wanted to go. I used to make excuses how, “it’s so boring. I hate just laying there. It’s always too crowded,” when in reality I never wanted anyone to see me in a bathing suit. Even at friends’ pools, I covered up my bikini with either shorts or a tee shirt.
I graduated in 2007 at 189 pounds (at least that’s what my weight was when I decided to never step on the scale again). Throughout the next couple of years I tried to lose the weight: running, gym memberships, weight loss programs, counting points, counting calories, I even had “buddies” to keep me motivated, but nothing seemed to work.
January 2009, I made the same New Years resolution I had made at least three times before that. I remember watching a Tiger Schulmann’s commercial and thinking to myself “maybe I should try that.” The next thing I knew I had picked up the phone and dialed the number. I didn’t expect myself to actually sign up, I just planned to call, get some information, hang up, let the note sit, and consider that progress. Instead I found myself excited about doing something different, and scheduled to take a class just a few days later. I remember almost everything from that first class, but mainly how much fun I had, how much of a great workout it was, and how I became instantly hooked.
I lost weight immediately. That March I started my first “90 Day Challenge,” and weighed in at 165lbs. I was excited at my progress so far and eager to continue. Finally, something worked for me. I have trained consistently since that very first class and have lost over 50 pounds! I was shocked at what I lost, but also surprised at what I gained: I never had this much confidence before. I’m proud and happy with the person I have become, I hold my head up high, and I’m not afraid to stand up for myself when I need it. I have set and achieved so many goals that I never even thought I would be capable of. I am much more outgoing and I love meeting new people (and I love going to the beach!). Not only that, but the friendships I gained from other students is one of a kind. I met a lot of wonderful people, each with their own backgrounds and reasons as to why they started. All of them are so helpful and supportive, especially during those tough times when I felt stuck. I am thankful for all of my training partners and Sensei Colontino for helping me get to where I am today.
I have trained consistently since that very first class and have lost over 50 pounds! I was shocked at what I lost, but also surprised at what I gained: I never had this much confidence before.
I joined for one reason, which was to lose weight, and never did I expect the results to transform me completely. Along with my weight loss and confidence, I have also found a new hobby which I love, competed in several Challenge of Champions, and NAGA tournaments and am currently working towards my goal of becoming a black belt. Another thing I learned from these past five years is to not be afraid or intimidated to make certain decisions, because any single one of them can change things for the better.
by Ericka – TSMMA Brick