Belt Rank: Blue
Academy: Revolution Dojo
Instructor: Jeff Messina
1. What do you do for a living? Respiratory Therapist at Memorial Hermann Hospital - TMC
2. Are you a mom? A wife? A girlfriend? A sister? A daughter to awesome parents that let you do Jiu-Jitsu? I was a single mom to two wonderful sons that are proud of me as a martial artist
3.Where you a tomboy or a girly-girl growing up? Tomboy all the way.
4. Did you grow up doing other sports? I was always playing sports, games or swimming with my brothers and I did a bit of gymnastics as a little girl.
5. How did you find BJJ? My son’s chose it.
6. How often do you train? Currently I’m training about ten hours a week, but in the past I’ve trained as little as one day a week due to a life.
7. What is the one thing that keeps you from training some days? Work, family responsibilities, and exhaustion
8. Have you ever wanted to quit? I’ve considered it, but never wanted to.
9. What drives you or inspires you to keep training? I have a genetic defect in my collagen that could cause me to be disabled if I don’t keep my body strong. I literally train so that I won’t end up in a wheel chair.
10. Do you compete? Why or why not? Sometimes I compete to see where I am in my Jiu Jitsu and to learn. However I’m not the type of person that measures my success by medals and trophies.
11. Where do you think the drive inside you to fight comes from? (whether you compete or not) I can’t explain it, but it’s in every fiver of my being. I believe that there is something in our DNA that makes some of us fighters whether we are male or female.
12. What are some of your biggest upsets either in training or competition? Because of my collagen defect I have a lot of joint problems that make it impossible to train at times. I get frustrated with the limitations of my body.
13. What are some of your best accomplishments either in training or competition, on or off the mats? I try to be supportive of all of my team mates and to help them and encourage them when I can. I see their success as my success however small my contribution may be.
14. What are some of your fears with BJJ? I’m afraid that one day my collagen defect will make it impossible for me to train.
15. What do you love about BJJ the most? It gives me inner peace. What do you dislike? That people don’t understand why a woman would train.
16. What are your future goals with BJJ? To treasure each and every moment.
17. Did BJJ change your life? I don’t sweat the small stuff in life anymore. How? After spending the first two years in BJJ getting squished, it kind of puts a whole new perspective on life. I can’t explain it.
18. Do you have a BJJ practitioner you look up to whether it be male or female? My team mates. The higher belts, the other blue belts and yes the white belts. I watch them overcome their obstacles and it inspires me to not let my own obstacle overcome me.
19. If a girl was standing outside of your academy scared to come in and try BJJ, what words of encouragement would you give her? The hardest thing about martial arts is stepping on the mat for the first time. That’s the hardest part.
20. Any last thoughts? Don’t take yourself or others too seriously. Just relax and enjoy the journey.