The Day I Was a Knockout on the Beach

The Day I Was a Knockout on the Beach
I stood on the beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, staring at the ocean early one morning when a stranger crept up behind me, clasped his hand hard over my mouth, and swung his other arm around my waist. “Move in!” my coach yelled. Even though she was half a continent away, it was as if she were screaming in my ear, telling me what to do. I spun around to face the assailant and pressed against him so it would be harder for him to control my body. Then I slammed the heel of my palm into his face and threw my knee into his crotch as hard as I could. We tumbled onto the sand, lukewarm salty waves splashing over both our faces while I struggled. I wondered if I was going to be drowned and raped all at the same time. Five years earlier, after a series of personal setbacks put my life in the crapper, I signed up for a class called Model Mugging, where women like me learn to deliver a knockout blow to single, unarmed assailants. During class, highly trained men dressed in gigantic padded suits attacked us, and we learned how to land strikes that would render them unconscious. The cracking sound my elbow made the first time I belted it against my mock assailant’s head, and how the force of that violence changed something in me, are embedded in my memory. It was a defining moment in my life, a time for me to change the way I was living. After the fight on that beautiful Mexican beach, I scrambled up the shore, putting as much distance as I could between the man and me. My arms f
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One comment

  1. Becky Jeffries says:

    You are so inspiring. Reading your articles always empowers me to make sure I am taking care of myself and being the best me so I am here for my daughter and a great example for her. I miss you and your positive energy. Thank you for being so open and transparent because many of us reading your experiences are helped by what you say!!! <3

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