© David Smith Photography
Most people in elite sports share similar stories of growing up excelling in various sports and are driven by their competitive nature.
Me, not so much! I cannot skip, I cannot jump. At school, I was the student who received 'Thank You for Participating' awards and 'Good Try' ribbons in sporting events. I have hilarious flashbacks of taking every single hurdle down with me during races. I remember lifeguards walking alongside me during swim races to make sure I was okay, to be fair by that stage it was not really a race considering I was the only one still swimming.
Somehow, someway, I have ended up becoming a professional athlete. Growing up as tomboy, I always enjoyed a good play-fight with my older brothers. As an adult I was introduced to Muaythai through a friend. Initially I just did it for fun. I will never forget going to the fights for the first time and there were girls competing. I remember thinking, ‘I would never have the courage to do that’.
Since then I have gone on to have over 20 fights, won two WMC Victorian Titles in Muaythai, and an Australian ANBF Title in Pro Boxing. I am pure proof that if you find something you love, nothing is impossible with resilience, hard-work and a sense of humour!
The fact that my passion ended up being in a weighted sport is a cruel twist of fate. For I am a fathlete in an athlete’s world. I think about food. A lot! I am Italian so my struggle with starchy carbs is ongoing. And my love for beer is deep.
Fighting has taken me on a tough journey emotionally. It took me a long while to figure out why I fight. I realised that when my Dad passed away I felt like I had lost my biggest cheerleader. With that my self-belief crumbled. Fighting has been my way of learning to believe in myself again.
It has revealed my character strengths and weaknesses. I have found the mental side of this sport so interesting, complex and so important to performance that it inspired me to do further study. I am currently studying with the aim of becoming a sport’s psychologists. My blue sky plan is to work with athletes so they can function at their mental optimum.
When I am not punching things, or eating, or studying, I am hanging out with my husband, two step kidlets and my band of misfits, which consists of six rescue animals. My love for animals runs so deep that I also work as an Animal Carer on a casual basis and am working towards becoming an Animal Assisted Therapist.
My other love outside of fighting, studying, and animals, is writing. I freelance as a writer and am currently working on writing my first book. And my main gig is in marketing and communications for diamond jewellery manufacturers. To say I have a full schedule is an understatement and now just to keep things interesting I have started teaching Muaythai and Boxing at Alternative Women's Fitness.