How Martial Arts Made Me Confident

Meredith never imagined she’d become a martial artist, let alone considered the benefits of a disciplined body and mind. It all started when her boyfriend brought her to a dojo in San Francisco.

The moment she set foot in the doorway, she knew that she had found a place she wanted to invest herself in, “I had been involved with the Burning Man festival and a lot of other crazy, fun activities. I was 34 and I decided it was time to grow up a little bit, so I went to the dojo and there were all these kids in their little uniforms, and there was this element of family that was totally different than anything I had ever experienced.”

Nobody messes with Meredith. When she walks down the street, she knows she can protect and defend herself. “With martial arts, I feel safe in my body. There is a level of confidence I hold in my body when I walk down the street everyday. If I am wearing high heels or I am dressed up for some event my head is up, my focus is up, and I am attuned to my environment.”

Along with confidence and focus, martial arts have given Meredith a freedom from body issues. “The very practice of martial arts means that your body is clothed in uniform. Having a uniform allows me to be viewed as the same as everyone that I practice with.“ In addition, sex appeal transformed from being contained within body parts and physical features like hair or the shape of a figure, to manifesting itself in the immaterial feelings with the body.

Three years ago, Meredith broke her clavicle. She attributes her rapid recovery to her involvement and new awareness of her body found in martial arts. “In hapkido, my body was attuned and I was able to heal, and do arm movements. I would have never had the return to normal in my left arm if I hadn’t been practicing punches and kicks, and being aware of what my experience was while I was in the dojo.”

Did you know that there is a National Women’s Martial Arts Federation? Check out their web site here!

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Beer savvy… it’s not just for men anymore

Christina was working in a beer bar as a bartender, when she began exploring the finer nuances of each beer she was selling.

“I realized that no one knew about beer and all of its great qualities and how it paired better with food than a lot of wines did,” she said. “I started making it my life and nerded out on beer. I started home brewing, visiting breweries, and tasting beers from all over.”

Christina quit her job with nothing lined up other than her projects and her intention to synthesize the ten years of bartending experience she had with her passion for writing.

“I have a degree in Journalism from Indiana University, and there was something about food and beverage that I really like,” she said. “There was a reason that I was writing all the time, and when I realized my interest in beer it all came together. As soon as I decided what I wanted to do, a flood of opportunities just came my way: book opportunities, writing opportunities, restaurant opportunities.”

Christina noticed a lot of women said they didn’t like beer, or that they would only drink light beer. She was convinced it was because they had a misconception of beer; they didn’t know what beer could taste like. They were never exposed to beers that had wonderful complex flavors like hazelnut, creamy chocolate, or spicey lemongrass.

“I am a believer in responsible drinking and one of the things about people who are paying attention to tasting the nuances of beer is that they are not drinking it as fast; it is not something where you do not care about the flavor. You are pairing it with food, so you are appreciating the flavor, texture, the beginning, the middle, and the end of the beer.”

Christina started feeling like she was an ambassador for beer. She started to love her job and enjoy herself more. When you start doing something you love, a mental transformation takes place. You become more peaceful and healthy.

“Learning about beer for me made me more valuable to my job and also opened up a whole new world for me,” she said. “Truly it was risking something, taking off of the training wheels. Before I would have so much self-doubt. I thought my idea was crazy and didn’t think anyone would be interested in it, but the more I just relied on what I had seen I realized that I really did have a good idea. The difference really is confidence.”

Head on over and quench your thirst on Christina’s beer blog, where she covers cool events, samples new brews and suggests fine beer-entrée pairings.

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