Today we have the honor of presenting one of our toughest mamas yet! Beth is a social worker turned professional MMA fighter (that’s “mixed martial arts”, if you don’t know), and a soon-to-be new mom. As a hardcore athlete who sweats and bleeds for a living, we are thrilled to have her perspective on pregnancy here on our blog. We’re also thrilled to have her wearing our apparel! (Like all of our customers who are also guest bloggers, Beth has not been compensated for her post, and all opinions are her own.)
My name is Beth Revell. I have been training mixed martial arts for three years now.
Let me give you a a little background on fighting: Amateur fighting is usually where most fighters start to either establish themselves of to get a feel of things, and of course, the main difference between amateur and professional status is that professionals get paid. Different states and organizations have different requirements from their fighters regarding bloodwork, physical exams, and licensing. Regardless of your record as an amateur, when become a professional your record is wiped clean and you start fresh. Once you become a professional in mixed martial arts, any other contact sport such as boxing or Mauy Thai require that if you compete in them, you also have to compete as a professional.
So, I turned professional in October of last year and had my first pro fight with only five days to get ready! My opponent was the cousin of UFC fighter Joe Stevenson, Erica Torres. She was a 2-0 pro. I lost the first two rounds, but began to turn the tide in the end of the second round, I won the fight within 33 seconds of round three with an arm bar. (An arm bar is a joint manipulation of the elbow which forces an opponent to either tap-so the ref stops it, and the fight is over – or risk hyperextending the elbow or in some cases breaking the arm.) I had competed in the All Army Combatives Tournament two weeks earlier and two weeks before that I won an amateur fight, also went into that fight as the underdog.
Prior to becoming pregnant I was training full time – morning conditioning for 90 minutes, then two or more hours of technique and/or sparring in the afternoon, and some more cardio and weight training. Some days I would train up to six hours, but mostly, I tried to avoid that due to the risk of injury that comes with over-training.
I was training at the HIT Squad, formerly owned by UFC fighter Matt Hughes and living in the fighter dorms when I met Haider Qayyum, now my best friend, fiancé and the father of my soon-to-arrive baby. He had spent a few years training Muay Thai in Thailand before moving to the HIT Squad.
He was my motivator, and we trained together. I suffered a big set-back when I was injured during a pro grappling class and was unable to fight. Because I’d had a number of fights fall through after my pro debut, I was dying to fight again. I was also being bullied by some of my male teammates – I wanted to fight soon to show that I took fighting seriously. Plus, I needed to get paid again, since I had to put my social work career on hold to pursue fighting. Haider’s expertise in training and swimming was invaluable to help me stay in shape and rehab my injury. This setback turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since I became pregnant during that time (though I didn’t know it yet) and sparring could have been dangerous for the fetus.
My fiancé and I had decided that we were ready for a change and a more positive training environment (HIT Squad is under new management and is a great environment now) and decided to move to Chicago, which is when we found out that we were expecting a baby. My fight career is now on hold till some point after I give birth. I have had a lot of people tell me that my fight career is over. But I am determined that next year – with my fiancé in my corner – I will return to the cage and make my presence known. Some of my sponsors, Cageside MMA
and Martial Arts Life Apparel
have been supportive with sending me new gear and training equipment.
The first trimester was rough for me. I was sick for the first two months almost all day everyday (why do they call it “morning” sickness?). Working out was almost impossible. I kept up with swimming and have now started doing some light weight training again and cardio machines. My fiancé has been doing some pad work with me, and I am planning on taking the Muay Thai classes he teaches – no sparring of course! I am hoping to recover some of my stamina before the third trimester. I love training, and I get really motivated when I have some fights lined up, so I am determined that I will be ready to fight come mid 2012! For now, my priority is the health of my baby, growing stronger every day.
You can find more about Beth on her Facebook Page. Check back here for updates, as this super-tough mama sends us updates!
So, what do you think about this professional fighter-turned-mom?
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