After nine months of pregnancy, six months of breastfeeding and three months of still trying to figure things out I managed to get a babysitter for the first time and go out for a night on the town. We went to see our friend Chase “Prison Stare” Hackett fight at the Paramount in Denver, also on the ticket was Chris “The Hammer” Holland. We’ve been waiting for weeks for this fight and I was so excited to go.
From left to right: Chase Hackett, Chris Holland, Wade Brinkman and Nick Macias
In Fighting Shape I introduced you to Factory X Muay Thai/MMA and the world that I never thought I would be introduced to. When Factory X first came into business Marc, the owner, asked my husband if he wanted to be the conditioning coach for the fighters. Brent agreed and suddenly we were immersed in the fight world. Before I knew it we had dudes with scary looking tattoos coming to our house for cookouts. (Nick if you promise my husband won’t get drunk when you come over then you are invited for dinner… we kind of miss you.) Since then the conditioning coach position has been switched over to our good friend Wade Brinkman. (Wade you can come over too but the same rules apply… oh and you have to bring your wife.)
The crazy thing is that once you get to know these guys they somehow manage to worm their way into your heart and you become invested in their success. Every fight you go to is an emotional roller coaster and you cheer until your voice is hoarse or you cover up your face and try not to cry if the fight isn’t going your way. It sounds emotionally exhausting and it is… but it’s also exhilarating.
Over the years Factory X and it’s fighters have made a name for themselves and they are selective about who they let represent them. Not only do the fighters have to be well-rounded in their skill set but they have to be decent people as well. Factory X is like a family and in order to be invited in you have to be courteous to the other fighters and uphold the utmost in professionalism through the art of sportsmanship. After all, they have programs for kids as well, many times being taught by the actual fighters. These guys are role models. If you are embraced in this family of sorts Jarah “Factory X Mama” (Marc’s wife) will even make you her famous chocolate chip banana bread to reward you for managing to cut enough weight for another weigh-in.
Last night Factory X had two of their fighters on the card, which means more bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned. The first fighter was Chris Holland who I don’t know personally. But since he’s a Factory X fighter I couldn’t help but feel the pit of my stomach jump when he walked into the cage. Once the fighter’s touched gloves the fight was underway. They exchanged a few leg kicks and jabs and before I knew it Chris was getting punched hard over and over and I wanted to close my eyes as my heart sank. But it wasn’t over, Chris stumbled and fought to stay on his feet and managed to return the favor by knocking his opponent with his signature “big right” fist. Chris had managed to hit his opponent so hard he stumbled and leaned against the cage for support. Chris charged after him but the round was over and the opponents made their way to their corners. As the fighters sat in their corners you could see Chris recuperating and his opponent sagging on his stool.
The second round went under way and Chris didn’t waste any time finishing what he had started. I screamed so loud the guy in front of me turned around to see who the banshee sitting behind him was but I didn’t care! Before I knew it the ref was waving his arms to signal that Chris had won by technical knock out. I was so happy I wanted to hug the weirdo in front of me… but I didn’t.
Next up was Chase, if you don’t know him he’s quite the character. He’s known for his good looks and the creepy mustache he donned during his stint on TUF 15. If you are a UFC fan then you know what that is. (Since this is a weight loss blog written by a woman who complains about lactation I’m assuming you don’t.) All you need to know is that he’s a pretty big deal and his success means a great deal to us. Oh, and he can rock a pair of skinny jeans like no other… or whitey tighties.
My anxiety was mounting as he walked onto the stage to the music and made his way to the cage. The fight got under way at mach speed. It was so fast paced that it was hard for my brain to register what was going on at first. They were both landing punches and jabs but it was such a blur I couldn’t tell what was going on. Then Chase got hit hard and his legs buckled a bit but he gained his composure again and fought back. Then he got hit again, and again. Each time he got up and kept fighting… he just wouldn’t stop. He started to stagger and I was pretty sure I was going to cry when he got knocked again and the ref waved his hands to indicate that Chase was too hurt to go on. But Chase wouldn’t have it, he tried to reassure the ref that he was fine as he stumbled to the ground. Even then he got back up and continued to try to convince the ref to let him fight. But it was over, Chase had lost. I sat there with my hand over my mouth and tried not to cry. As the ref held his opponent’s hand up in victory Chase applauded him and patted him on the back.
This morning I woke up and saw that Chase had posted this picture on his Facebook page with the following message…
“Well I came up short tonight. Hats off to Tony Simms for a hell of a fight and clearly coming out as the better looking man! Thank you for all the support, this just makes me more hungry.”
The creeper in the background is Nick, (normally it’s Chase with the knack for photo bombing) I can’t stop getting distracted at how Nick’s left eye keeps peering at me over Chase’s shoulder.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the fights this morning. I was so proud of the way Chris Holland fought back and won in his fight and I can’t help but be inspired by Chase’s heart.
You only see one side of a person when they win but the true test of character comes with loss. Loss comes with the sport and in order to be successful at it you have to get knocked down again and again and again. Every time that happens you have to come back even stronger. I like to go to the gym and punch the bags and pretend like I’m a badass but I’ll never go through what these guys go through.
At the same time I can’t help but learn from these guys as I watch them tumble and triumph. I was more inspired by Chase through his loss than I have ever been through his victories. If I could bottle up that passion and drive I would have the secret elixir of success right there in my hands. Defeat is inevitable in all aspects of life. We all get knocked on our asses and sometimes we just stay down and whine about it (okay, so maybe that’s just me) but that doesn’t get us anywhere. What I’ve learned from Chase and all of those fighters is that you can’t quit no matter what.
Find what inspires you, what drives you and fight for it!