I apologize for keeping everyone out of the loop!  i have had so many little stories to share, but as everyone knows, life doesn’t always allow us the time to sit down and tell a good tale.  I wanted to tell you about my training camp for my UFC debut on 12/12/14, and how the training grounded me and allowed me to get re-centered.  Nothing like preparing for one of the greatest opportunities of my fight career to reignite my passion fully!  Or I would’ve told you all about the experience itself – the thrill of being in the UFC, the excitement of having fans running around, the joy of being surrounded by family and friends that came from all around the US and from two other countries.  i would’ve told you about the unexpected calm that came over me as a result of being surrounded by the familiar faces of the TUF20 cast, and all the events that ensued post fight.

But what I will say now is that the feedback, encouragement and support I received from many of you out there fueled me with more positive energy than I could have mustered on my own.  THANK YOU.

Maybe you have questions about the fight itself- how did I feel when I walked into the cage?  how did I feel fighting my friend and teammate from TUF?  How I feel about the fight itself or the decision loss?  I can answer all of those questions clearly, but most important is how i feel today back in the daily grind of my life – the one true constant in my existence.  While the fighting at times feels like the center of my world, it is not.  The heightened emotions and energies, the enhanced physical state of being, the focus of all resources into the sole purpose of fight preparations…. the support of family and friends, and the increased activity on social media either looking to build me up or break me down, makes it easy to feel like the fight is my one purpose.  It is that experience itself that makes the fight that much more exciting!  But the truth is, the fight is over in less time than a lunch break and all that existed before a fight camp still remains.

I returned to matters of the home and heart, and so many details come back into focus.  I want to throw myself back into my life and be 100% present for everyone once again.  I want somehow to give back to everyone who gave to me.  I want to listen, to offer advice, to travel, to hug people longer, linger in conversations, and make more commitments. However, there is a cadence to life that cannot be manipulated, and as much as i wanted to rush back into my life, life would not let me skip steps to reclaiming a sense of “norm”.  After such an incredible life event, it is always a bit challenging for me to readjust back to my usual routine.  Though I seek adventure, change and spontaneity, I am still a creature of habit, and transitions are rarely seamless.  Friends still catch my gaze drifting during conversations, I worry about getting in my workouts when I say I am going to rest, and I seek ways to fill my days when some stillness would be best. Just when I think I am getting closer to a place of peace, some new unsettling circumstance is exposed and I realize that, while I may be ready to settle back into simple living, life is not promising me anything simple.  So I prepare for a bumpy ride.

In reality, fight camp allowed me to step away from all that was happening around me- but it was still happening. No matter how much I want to believe that things will be easy and relaxing after a fight, it never really is.  In actuality, training for a fight is easier and more relaxing because we have an excuse to be selective with where we put our energies.  We focus so hard that some things are inevitably neglected, and the aftermath of neglect waits for us.  Today, I navigate through some stormy waters… I tell you this here, but I do not post on Facebook or Twitter these challenges.  I would not have anyone believe for a second that my struggles have any more meaning than yours, nor would i have you believe that for one second I am not grateful for all that I have.  Truthfully, I am fortunate to feel a sense of purpose and place in this life, and one such purpose is to find ways to inspire others.  Thanks to all the feedback I receive from friends, family, fans, teammates and strangers, I know that whether I win or lose my fights, I am still achieving my goals.  Whether I am training for a fight, on the other end of fight, or committing myself to other pursuits, i know that somehow my actions are having a positive impact on others.  Among the days of my sometimes crazy life, I find my peace in knowing that in some way I might be inspiring just one new person out there.

Thank you for following me on my journey.  Thank you for letting me know who YOU are and for sharing your thoughts, your journeys, your fears, and your joys with me <3