"Those who have seen the darkness have the most light to give.
Martial Arts found me when I was at my lowest point in life.
I was mentally, physically, and emotionally suffering.
During that time, I had no one to turn to- I truly felt alone and empty inside.
The person I saw in the mirror was unrecognizable- and I resented her a lot.
By a weird twist of fate, I found myself at a martial arts gym that offered Boxing, Kickboxing, BJJ, and Muay Thai. The people there were incredibly kind- it caught me off guard considering the type of environment we were in. I was used to gyms that had ego and arrogance, not easy-going camaraderie.
I tried everything the gym had to offer. I threw myself into the fire and burned because it was the only feeling I could experience aside from being numb.
In doing so, I discovered that I enjoyed the beauty of becoming. I embraced the challenges. It was like a new adventure. Each day I went in, I did a different class, met different people, and started to have a different mindset.
I was slowly picking up the pieces of my life and putting them back together in the form of a mirror
-a mirror with a reflection that I could finally recognize as my own.
I continue to train primarily in Muay Thai and Kickboxing- it constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone which then leads to growth. The passion comes much more naturally when I am in a constant state of transition. It keeps things fresh and interesting so that no matter how much time passes, I always find myself in the gym ready to train and eager to grow.
Over the years, I came across many people who were at rock bottom like I was, transform into champions.
Sometimes all it takes is a little courage, some accountability, and most importantly: self love.
So for those that are still there at their lowest point, please remember to show yourself some patience and kindness. It is okay to not be okay- just do not allow it to consume you.
Acknowledge that darkness, and transform it into light because one day, you will tell your story- and it will be apart of someone else's survival guide." @cori.kiiyana .storey - Hawaii