May 31, 2018
Finding My Fight
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Finding My Fight
Hannah Grace Mirmiran
Photography by Heather Brussleman, Life Inspired Photography
A year ago I was not in a good place. I was going through a messy divorce which lasted almost two full years from start to finish. There was so much uncertainty in the divorce. For a long time, much of my life was up in the air for a judge to decide—custody of my children, a parenting plan, ownership of houses, child support, investment accounts, retirement accounts, etc., etc. I didn’t know what was going to happen and I was scared. I was all of a sudden a single mom of three children under the age of 10. I am a psychotherapist with a private practice, and while I absolutely love my job, it’s not easy being self-employed as a single mom in the midst of a divorce. I didn’t know if I could keep my business open.
The world of divorce was new to me. I didn’t know what to expect and I had no idea it would be that hard or painful. Coming to terms with the end of a ten year marriage is hard in itself. When you add on a custody fight, financial insecurity, threats of losing your home, attorney fees and friends who disappear because they are tired of your drama, it gets harder. Top that off with receiving subpoenas for every medical record, psychotherapy note, and bank transaction from the previous few years, life felt unmanageable and hopeless to me.
I knew I couldn’t give up. I wanted to fight for myself and for my kids, but I was so overwhelmed. I was afraid. I was alone. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was hospitalized twice. I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to make it financially, so I tried to work a lot of hours. I didn’t want my kids to suffer, so I tried to make their lives as happy as I could, which at the time meant spoiling them and overdoing it with unlimited movies, toys, a new puppy, fast food, trips, sugar, and late bedtimes for everyone! I looked at self-care as an indulgence I couldn’t afford so I didn’t really exercise much. I ate poorly, did not sleep, and drank a lot of alcohol. Drinking wine was the only thing that seemed to make the pain and the fear go away. I just tried to survive and prayed that one day, everything would just get better.
I wanted to fight for myself and for my kids, but I was so overwhelmed. I was afraid. I was alone.
During all of this messiness, I had the brilliant idea to start dating because I was so healthy and ready for a new relationship, right?!? Right! For some unknown reason, Jason came into my life. I will never understand what he saw in me or why he believed in me, but every day I am grateful that he showed up and that he loved me, even when I didn’t love myself.
For the first time in my life, I felt loved unconditionally. I felt supported and I felt hope. I wanted life to get better. I wanted to be better. And I believed that maybe I could change.
I knew the alcohol was definitely not helping anything, so I asked for help and I quit drinking.
Jason had joined TITLE Boxing Club and kept encouraging me to go with him. He obviously didn’t know me because my idea of a fun Saturday was watching football, drinking Corona, and eating queso, definitely not boxing. After months of his encouragement, I finally joined him for a class on a Saturday morning last September. I had never done anything like boxing and frankly, I really didn’t have any interest.
Prior to joining TITLE, my exercise regime looked like belonging to a gym, and going about once a week to do the elliptical machine for half an hour while I watched the news or a cooking show. I hated to sweat or work hard. It was never fun and working out always felt like a chore.
My first class at TITLE Boxing Club was sixty minutes, but it felt like five minutes. It flew by. There were few mirrors, so I wasn’t always seeing my reflection and wondering if I looked stupid. I just had to stare at a bag, so I didn’t compare myself to others.
When I put on the gloves and hit the bag, I was blown away by my power. I had no idea I could hit a bag so hard. I felt strong. I felt powerful.
I’ve always thought of myself as a nice girl. I was born in Texas and raised in Nebraska, both places where nice girls are usually expected to be sweet, kind, thoughtful, generous, and selfless. I was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, the wife of a physician, and the President of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Grace is seriously my middle name.
Nice girls don’t fight or punch or hit or kick or stand up for themselves. Nice girls ignore bullies, pray for them, turn the other cheek and then bring casseroles.
When I punched my first bag at TITLE, an anger inside me I had never known let loose. It scared me at first and I wondered where it even came from. But it felt good. At the end of the class, I was pouring sweat and I was exhausted. I felt proud of myself and I felt like I had accomplished something.
I had no idea I could hit a bag so hard. I felt strong. I felt powerful.
I signed up for a membership and bought my first pair of gloves the same day I took my first class. I started attending classes at least four times a week. At first, I always went with Jason, and then I started going on my own.
My kids were all doing Tae Kwon Do at the time and I started taking my 9 year-old son to boxing classes at TITLE with me. It became something we shared. We even bought a heavy bag for our basement.
Before long, I didn’t recognize myself. Within six months I lost 60 pounds. I saw muscles in the mirror I didn’t even know existed. I walked taller. I felt stronger. I had more energy. I slept better. I looked better. My blood pressure normalized. I no longer felt depressed or anxious. I smiled more often.
This all translated into a new belief in myself. For the first time in my life I learned that I could stand up for myself. I learned that I wasn’t a victim. I no longer felt afraid all the time.
The divorce finalized and I have joint custody of my children. I kept my house and my therapy practice. All of the financial issues sorted out. Life became more manageable. Today, I am still 60 pounds lighter, sober, and healthier and happier than ever. Jason and I are in love and have an amazing relationship. My kids are all doing well. We are making it.
I continue to attend classes about five times a week and the time still flies by. Boxing is fun and challenging and I never regret going to TITLE.
I am forever grateful to TITLE Boxing Club where I found my fight and saved my life.