Fighting can be a cutthroat sport and I don’t just mean inside of the ring. You have true fighters in the gym, day and night, looking to earn their spot at the top. On the flip side, there are some people just looking to step on others to try and take that top spot. I never understood this type of competition, especially with other female competitors. We should be building off each other, not letting jealousy fuel the grind.
Looking back on how far women have come in our general society, let alone the fighting world, it only makes sense to me that we should support and push each other, no matter the endeavor. Maybe it’s me, but having strong women in my fight camp makes all the difference in my training. There is a certain level on which only fighters can relate to each other, and even more so, female fighter to female fighter.
The trials and tribulations of being a female fighter create such a genuine bond between us. My training partners are my very best friends. Friends I probably would not know I had, if I did not decide to follow the same journey. These women will now be a part of my life, long after I hang up my gloves. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them, in and out of the ring.
Unfortunately, I know a few people that fight for all the wrong reasons, and ultimately it shows on fight night. These are the women who trash you because you are doing better than them. These are the women who would rather pose in photos to social climb and market themselves, instead of putting in the hard work. These are the women who don’t train nearly as hard as you, but want the same success, and judge you daily. The women who would prefer the “easy” fight, so their record looks good on paper. I would rather fight the best and lose knowing I fought my ass off. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say, “Hell yes I am a fighter,” not, “Wow, I look cool as a fighter.” To each their own, but that type of mindset starts to tarnish the image that true women athletes and fighters are trying to build, based on skill, determination, and drive.
What’s that saying? …My circle got smaller and my vision got bigger. Well, that holds true for me. My trainer taught me that water seeks its own level and 4 quarters hold more value than 10jennie 0 pennies. I am so lucky to have such badass women in my corner pushing me and motivating me to reach my full potential. We build and thrive off each other’s talent and success. We pick each other up when we are down, so we can rise as a team, not to use it as an advantage to step over one another to reach the next level. I truly believe that if people kept their eyes forward and focused on their own dreams, instead of trying to crush someone else’s, they might actually reach them.
Writer: Jennie Nedell (Professional fighter/instructor at LAW MMA)
Edit: Pari Aryafar/Kyle Antonelli