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From Back Surgery to Her 1st Boxing Class

Would you like to get in shape or learn a martial art but feel like you can’t?

Maybe you’re nervous or perhaps you have an injury.

Recently, I had a chat with one of our members who had some legitimate reasons to not workout. Reasons like back and hip surgery. But she was able to overcome any physical issues she experienced and the anxiety associated with it.

And I wanted to do a member spotlight on her because if you’re someone that truly wants to change your physical appearance, build up your level of confidence or just be connected to an amazing group of people.  Then I think Jackie’s story will be resourceful.

Member Spotlight with Jacquelyn Flynn

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What is you Occupation / What You Do Outside of the gym, etc?

Outside of the gym I am a full time student at Western Kentucky University. I am currently a junior with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. 

When I’m not in school or at the gym, I am usually hanging out with my friends, my family, and/or my boyfriend (who I met through the gym). 

Why did you start Boxing training?

In 2014, at the age of 15 I started having lower back issues. I ended up having lower spine surgeries in April 2015, December 2016, and December 2017. The last surgery my spine was fused from my L5-S1. I also had 2 discs removed and replaced with bone from my hip.

Throughout these years, I struggled with a lot of anxiety and depression. I wasn’t able to do the same things my friends could, I had to be careful, I didn’t get to see my family in other states as often, and I was kind of stuck. Even before my back problems started I struggled with my self-image, weight, confidence, and anxiety. However, those things skyrocketed once my back issues became apparent.

Once my back started to heal, I started thinking about something that I could do to help improve myself both mentally and physically. Since I was little, I would always watch The Ultimate Fighter on tv with my dad. I always thought those fighters, especially the girls, were so strong and confident. Thinking back to this, I decided to give boxing a try. 

What was your biggest fear regarding training when you 1st started? 

I had so many fears when I first started. I was terrified that everyone would look at me and think I didn’t belong there, that I looked absurd doing the movements, and that I just couldn’t do anything right. I remember sitting in the parking lot, shaking because I was so anxious and scared, wanting to throw up. It was terrifying! 

If you were nervous before training. How did those fears change once you were in the gym?

My fears changed as soon as I walked in. Trish showed me around and everyone I saw smiled at me. It felt comfortable. I met Josh, the boxing instructor, and I will say he intimidated me at first. He looked tough and professional and that scared me. Little did I know he’d later be like a gym dad to me! On that first day one person even took me under their wing and helped me figure out what to do and told me how things worked.

Everyone in the boxing class was very kind and helpful and that definitely made me want to keep coming back. 

What have you gained from training (weight loss, confidence, new skills, etc)?

I have gained so much from training. I have lost 15 pounds, which I never thought I’d be able to do. For years I worked out and dieted, but could never do it on my own.

I have also gained confidence, which I had very little of when I first started. I am able to do things inside and outside of the gym that I would have never thought about doing until I started boxing. I am able to start conversations with people, walking into rooms without having to have someone else with me, and so much more.

I have also gained multiple skills since I also take kickboxing, MMA, and strength and conditioning classes. Most of all I am able to defend myself, which for me is very important to be able to do. 

Has training changed your life in anyway?

Training has changed my life in multiple ways. I am a better person, both mentally and physically. I feel good about myself and that is something that I don’t think anything else could have brought me. I have made friends that I talk to daily, inside and outside of the gym. I’ve basically gained another family. 

What’s your favorite part about training?

I think my favorite part about training is the friendships I’ve made. It is such a good feeling walking in and having someone to talk to that you know genuinely cares about you. I know I can go to them with anything and they’ll be there for me. 

If someone was thinking about training at our gym but were a little nervous. What would you tell them?

Go for it, give it a try. It’s okay to be a little nervous, everyone is when they first start! You just have to get in there and give it a chance. I know it’s intimidating, but I promise everyone in there is like a teddy bear and wants nothing but the best for you. And most importantly, you might just find your new favorite thing! 

Anything you’d like to share/express?

There are other gyms out there, but I never want to leave this one. It feels like home. Not just the place, but the people. I drive 40 minutes almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day, to train there. I am even looking at a different college to go to for my masters degree because I love this gym so much! Finally and most importantly, everyone at Derby City MMA accepts me for me and that’s all I need. 

Coaches at Derby City MMA Build People Up (Not Tear Them Down)

If you read through Jackie’s story. I hope you found it as awesome as I do. And I related with it so much.

When I began training I was overweight, unconfident and martial arts and physical training changed that. And as a coach for over 10 years I get deep sense of joy seeing the people inside of our gym receive the same benefits. This is true with all of our coaches. We’re focused on building people up, not tearing them down.

If you live in the Louisville Kentucky area and want began training Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or Strength and Conditioning. Click here to to get started!

We all have difficulties and challenges to face. But don’t let those stop you. Just like in Jacquelyn’s story. She was anxious and shaking with nervousness. Yet when she stepped in she was greeted warmly and helped out every step of the way.

Hope to see you in the gym soon!