Friday, September 11, 2015

Book review: Ronda Rousey fights on

When Patrick Swayze says in ‘Road House’ be nice until it’s time not to be nice he could be talking about Ronda Rousey. A pin-up who smiles sweetly until she takes another record-time win.  This week we heard Rousey’s signed on to play his character ‘Dom’ in a remake – not as stupid as it sounds at first. 

I bought her autobiography to read about the UFC but having some to the end now, after my earlier post on the opening chapters, I have to say the section just before MMA is the most interesting.

At a judo training camp in Spain, she sets out to smash her international opponents. She says: 

‘Most athletes in the training camps were trying to get through the day’s workouts. I was trying to leave an impression on every single person in my division.’ 

Sound familiar? She’s in a new sport today but that same psych-out and confidence-earned-through-disaster is what’s bringing MMA results. 

Honed too by an eating disorder. This is the silent sister to all combat sports – you obsess about everything going into your mouth, every gram of weight is a big deal. Do you drop down one division or go for two? How tall are you, where does your reach and your weight balance out? 

Male and female bodies deal with cutting weight differently for complex biological reasons  - if you’re feeling alone, trying reading this book and maybe give a few chapters to your coach. 

For me the main takeaway from this book is self-belief. One of her many little mantras is still running around in my head: 

‘Every armbar that I’ve done is entirely different to me. Just because it ends up looking the same doesn’t mean I got there the same way. There are over 100,000 ways to get the same result.’

You can read the my review of the opening chapters in Rousey' life in this blogpost.


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