3 Things I Learned from Being Sexually Assualted

Scared Child

 

I was between the ages of 2 & 3 ….probably closer to 2 years old. It is one of my first memories. I can recall the layout of the apartment to the detail. My dad had left me with a family friend/babysitter – a teenager. Someone I knew well and had watched me before. I trusted him completely. It was probably early afternoon.

I sat on the couch with him as we read a magazine together. He was “cuddled” next to me the way someone reading a child a story would be. As we looked through the magazine we came across a picture of a naked man with a briefcase. He pointed out to me that the man was naked. I distinctly recall going from a place of safety, trust, and comfort to fear, guarded and confused. He then asked me if I had ever seen “one” before and if I wanted to see his. I told him no. He proceeded to pull down his pants around his knees, exposing his penis and tried to convince me it was ok. I don’t know how, but at that very young age I KNEW it wasn’t ok. I created space between us by going over to the other sofa and putting the coffee table in between us.

He then began to ask me to kiss it – telling me it was ok to do so. Again, I don’t know how I knew it wasn’t, I was too young for anyone to have explained that yet, but I knew. I told him no and began creating more distance. He started following me around pleading with me to kiss it. I was scared. I had to use the bathroom and thought i would get some privacy/escape. But, he followed me in, standing in the doorway. He sat on the floor in the doorway with his pants still down. Telling me it was ok. He then told me he would kiss mine if I kissed his. I still told him no. I was scared and knew I couldn’t let him see “mine” so I used 2/3 year old logic and sat backwards on the toilet. When I was done he continued to follow me, asking me to PLEEEAAASE kiss it. I did what any 2/3 year old would do to escape – I went to the bedroom to take a nap. He didn’t follow me and left me alone. At some point during his following he begged me not to tell our parents, that they would be upset.

I don’t know how much time passed before we saw them again, a day..weeks? Its only snapshot memories – like a movie in my head. I think that day may have been the day I told my parents. I recall being scared and clinging to my dad. I recall the friends etc that were there asking why I was so quite and not as talkative as usual. I don’t recall ever seeing them again after that day.

All through my childhood I had nightmares about this day. Reliving it over and over in my sleep waking up screaming, crying and scared but never recalling the dream. My parents had no idea – and with the exception of these dreams I did not remember what had happened. When I was in 5th grade they had a session on molestation etc. I started having the dreams every night for a couple weeks. I remembered them now – finally I said to my mom, I keep having these weird dreams every night and I told her about the dream. She said, you remember that. I realized the nightmares and dreams I had been having were my memories replaying over and over.

As a young teen I was hanging out with some friends who always stopped in and visited this old man who would always have candy for the neighborhood kids. We had visited a couple times and it was always weird and uncomfortable. My instincts said bad place – but my friends went there all the time – so I ignored it. When we were there the last time, he reached out and grabbed my breast, hard, and wouldn’t let go. I froze – completely shut down in shock – my friend grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the house. I told our parents and they called the police.

Why do I share this? Because I never want to feel that again. The fear, trauma, nightmares. I for years couldn’t have an older man standing near me. I would get tense and stressed. I never want that feeling back.

Self defense training specifically like Krav Maga gives you the tools to protect yourself, but more then that… the confidence in which you carry yourself reduces your likeliness of being a victim. Now of course there is no self defense I could have learned for when I was so young..but understanding the feelings help me understand why it is so important.

So what can be learned form my experiences?

1. Listen to your instincts. 

Listening to my instincts at that young age saved what could have become an even more traumatizing event. If I didn’t listen and did as he asked, “kissed it”, what would have come next…. not listening got me into “trouble” as a teenager.

2. Train – the more the better.

I froze.. I FROZE!!!!!! Sure I didn’t have any practical self defense training at that point..but I considered myself a confident don’t take nothing from anyone kinda girl… but my shock froze me in place. My goodness, I responded better at 2 years old keeping distance and furniture between us then I did when I was older. This is more common then you realize, do some research on how people respond in an attack situation. Taking a self defense seminar or two is great. But to know how to respond, to keep your skills sharpened train weekly, daily. Training in a good program like Krav Maga also puts you through stress drills..allowing you to push through the stress..and the “freeze” moment to protect yourself.

3. Tell

If something does happen make sure you tell some right away. Get help and support. Report them right away, you may protect someone else.

So get the training. Learn the facts. Be aware.

Feel free to check out one of my facilities.

www.abdspencer.com or www.abdshrewsbury.com

Or for a Krav Maga school near you visit

www.kravmagaalliance.com  

#liveitloveit #blackbeltlifestyle

Perspective on the Recession

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I met a fellow martial arts school owner at a friends house the other night. The friend mentioned to me earlier in the evening that his guest owned 4 other schools on the south shore. I made introductions and we chatted a bit about his school. He was incredibly respectful, but he also had tunnel vision. I have met many school and business owners like that over the years. They just “know” what does and does not work.

We first started discussing the styles we taught, he told me about his school and how great his style was. He wasn’t arrogant about it, just confident and specific. He asked how my school was doing. I told him great.IMG_2966 The topic came up, kid students adults etc. He then told me “the economy sucks, so adults don’t want to take class now” When I shared we have over 250 adults training in Spencer, he explained his schools where in high end areas so the recession has caused more problems with wive’s having to get jobs now.

I mentioned how we also offer ilovekickboxing..started to ask if he had heard of it. He told me how he did kickboxing in the 90’s “When it was hot” but “NO ONE” does kickboxing anymore..nobody is going to join that program.

“If there is a recession, I refuse to participate.” Master Paul Garcia

We opened our school right as the recession started. I heard the news and media every day talking about how bad it was. I started feeling afraid, and doubting our decision to open a school. These where the worst conditions, in a small farming community. I heard the locals talking about getting laid off, I saw house foreclosures on every corner. My own home was behind now.  I had been running a school for the 8 years prior in the same community in a great economy, how on earth could we succeed in a failing economy.

Then one day I sat in Master Garcia’s training and he said the quote above, “If there is a recession, I refuse to participate”. I realized I had allowed the mindset of what was in the media etc. affect my own behaviors. I realized then I had a choice on how I was going to respond to the things happening in our community, I Could jump into the doom and gloom boat, or I could paddle against the stream.IMG_3105

We doubled the size of our school that year. We have continued to grow every year, in every program. We surrounded ourselves with like minded individuals and stopped spending time around those negative nellies. I have watched all of the America’s Best Defense Schools (even those in well to do communities grow like crazy year after year).

Please understand, I am in no way down playing or sweeping under the rug the fact that there have been some very had times in our country for families. I am rather encouraging to choose how you work with the cards you are dealt.

Did you know that the game Monopoly was born due to the Great Depression? Charles Darrow found himself out of work after the crash of ’29, he then spent years perfecting the game and became the first millionare by creating a board game.

Check out these 5 stories from the great depression,

Monopolyhttp://mentalfloss.com/article/20837/5-great-depression-success-stories

Then of course, you can check out why so many adults choose our schools at http://www.abdspencer.com or http://www.abdshrewsbury.com

I Fired My Doctor

donald trump fired

In Fitness for Life, I shared that people in my life’s attitude about aging and what you can and should do influenced how I thought my years would be. One of the major influencers during that negative time in my life was my Doctors and his team.

To give a little back story, I struggled with post par tum depression after the birth of my second son. I ended up needing a prescription to manage it. After a while my doctor successfully weaned me off of the prescription.perscription But, 6 months later I was again in a very bad place, and although I didn’t see it at the time, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. Let me clarify, It wasn’t my husband. See my next blog, I was in an Abusive relationship. My doctor prescribed a new script for what we thought was depression(this was a new doctor due to an insurance change).

That medication caused me to gain 20pds in just 6 weeks. I was very frustrated, and made an appointment with my doctor right away. I sat down with the on call doctor who was a woman, and explained what was going on. I told her my activity level and diet had not changed. It was then she added to the mantra I had heard many times. “honey, woman our age” (mind you I was 25). bathroom scaleShe basically told me to be happy with what I had but try weight watchers if I was really worried, but in her opinion I was still in a “healthy” weight range (this still horrifies me)

My primary care doctor was constantly putting on weight. It was hard for me to trust my health to someone who clearly didn’t value his own.

I only saw him when I had no choice.

A couple year later a severely sprained my ankle and was on crutches for 3 months. When I shared my activities, which now included Krav Maga, grappling and running 5-6miles, and asked how soon I could get back to that.. my doctor said I shouldn’t plan on it.  Plus at “my age” I was at higher risk for injury. I got a second opinion and she gave me exercise to strengthen to prevent those injuries.

The final straw came 9 months later. I had totally changed my lifestyle. Eating healthier, working out more and my ankle was doing great. I had ended the destructive relationship a couple years prior and was emotionally healthy. I had gone 30 days with no caffeine or an processed food and I felt amazing. Then I started having these bizarre heart flutters. They lasted less then 20 seconds and happened every 1-2 hours.dont get sidetracked I continued with my normal activities including exercise as it did not seem to be affected either way. But after 3 days it was still happening. I called my doctor assuming, being heart related he would have me come in and get it checked. NOPE. First he told me stop consuming caffeine, when I explained it had been a month he said oh, good keep doing that. Then he said stop exercising. That I must just exercise to much.That there was no need for me to be exercising. Just like that, over the phone.

Your doctor is part of your support team to a healthy lifestyle. If your doctor is not living a healthy lifestyle, how can he direct you?  Zig Ziglar said “If you have a fat doctor fire him” ….the same apply’s to a poor accountant… My doctor did not have any interest in helping me be in the best shape of my life. He had no concerns at my sudden weight gain, because I was still under the national average.

I fired my doctor, and interviewed and found one that I knew would put my health and fitness as his priority. I got references from people who trained like I did. I want to know if I go to see my doctor for a concern, he will take me seriously, as an individual, not a statistic.IMG_3855

What about your doctor? Would you consider him part of your health and fitness “support team”, or just a necessary evil? Have you had an ailment or injury that hasn’t improved and your doctor hasn’t made it a priority? Your health is with you for life, just like in any professions, you will have doctors who are passionate about their career choice, health, and their patients. You will also have doctors who are just going through the motions, meeting their statistics and making the insurance companies happy. Don’t put your health and lifestyle in someone life thats hands. You deserve to live life to the fullest and have each day count, and be better then the day before. Don’t let anyone hold you back, especially the Doctor who should be moving you forward! If you don’t have a doctor that will put you first, find one who will!

Fitness for Life

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The Journey Never Ends

30 begins the slow decline to death” 

Was the anthem that surrounded me during my 20’s. My instructors, employers, friends, training partners, and coworkers sang it frequently, like a chant reminding me my days where numbered. As I looked to those people in the martial arts that I knew at that time over 30, it was disappointing. Training was limited by any number of “age” ailments. Shoulders, knees, back, neck, weight etc. I was growing older, just wait, they said… As a mom with 2 young children, I was working full time and barely finding time to work out myself…I couldn’t even imagine how disappointing my future would be.

As I entered my later 20’s I was working 50-80 hours a week teaching martial arts and running a martial arts school. I found time to hit the gym occasionally – but my martial arts training had dwindled down to only our instructors class that was geared specifically to what we where going to teach the next day, not challenging me to the next level. I was a 3rd degree black belt,  I had adapted the belief in my head that this was it..becoming a Master (my next rank in that system) would require learning a new form or two – every few years. I looked at the instructors around me who now learned via book or video and felt my martial arts training had come to an end.

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First Half Marathon- Never thought I could

Then we opened our own school. I began to fantasize that maybe I could train again. I wasn’t sure how but I wanted to learn Brazilian JuJitsu so badly. I also really wanted to become certified in Krav Maga, and after watching a season of Master Toddy’s FIght girls, I was mesmerized by Muay Thai.

I started gymnastics with my demonstration team, I was 28 now… only a couple years left to get all the things I had always wanted in before my body fell apart right? Then 3 months after I started gymnastics I broke my arm badly. It required 3 surgeries to put it back together and I was out of work for 3 months. During that time, so may people said to me “What were you thinking” “Don’t you think you are a little old for that stuff” “I hope this taught you, its time to stop”. I couldn’t help but agree and think they where right.

I settled, at that point  I reserved myself to the fact that this was the best I could get. Go to the gym a couple times a week and hope for the best. But I would never again have any new accomplishments. At that point I gained 10 pds.

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The End, I thought.

Then, later that year, a business friend of mine posted on Facebook about having a mentor. I couldn’t help but think of someone I had taken some seminars from, He really “walked the walk” and if I could choose anyone in the world to learn from he was the man.

It was then I joined Martial Arts For Excellence, with Master Paul Garcia. I was excited to learn how to run a great martial arts school, attract more students, and have financial success.

The thing is, I didn’t get a business seminar. The very first event we attended i was blown away at these very successful school owners – they were all in amazing shape!!! Most of them where not only over 40, some where over 50. When the instructors hit the training matt, so did they.

Master Garcia taught us then, we had to lead from the front. That we had no business teaching martial arts if we were not training at least 3x a week..IN MARTIAL ARTS (we also should be working out for cardio and weights). Not stuff you already know he said, go learn new things. Be the best you can be for your students. Fall back in love with martial arts.

I felt like it  was a dream come true, hadn’t I started in the martial arts and fitness because it was my passion? I started teaching so I COULD train more.

My arm was still healing so at that point I was limited to Monday training. Then a Jujitsu class opened up on Fridays. It was so exciting to start learning new things again!

THEN I TURNED 30, and my world fell apart just like everyone said….the end.

NOT

Master Garcia had taught that it only gets better, and I saw living proof! I watched a 44 year old out kick an 18 year old. I watched those who had been training for years, humble themselves and get certified in Krav Maga. My thinking changed, my beliefs changed, my input changed, and so did my results. I have accomplished more in the 3 years since I turned 30 then I did in ALL of my 20’s. I could totally kick my 20something year olds butt.

Since then I have

lost 15pds

Got my Krav Maga certification 1,2,&3

Got my first 3 stripes on my white belt in Brazilian JuJitsu

Certified in Trans Muay Thai

Got my White Mongoul in Muay Thai

Got my 4th degree black belt

I Run more,

Lift more,

I am Faster,

I Kick higher

become and inspiration to my children

….and much much more

With 2014 here, as you set your goals for health and fitness. Don’t let societies beliefs hold you back. Set goals, then find the coaches that can get you there. Don’t settle, get off the sidelines of life and play!

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Stretch your limits