Things happen for reasons. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Tori Nelson for an upcoming issue of I Am Modern magazine, and this lady is contagious. Her attitude, faith, work ethic, and outlook on life are inspiring... and quite frankly, she has given me reason to believe this holiday season.
Suburbia. That's me in a nutshell. I'm a sahm (stay at home mom for those of you that don't know) that spends my days chauffeuring my children from activity to activity and acting as the large and in charge CEO of my household. I have it easy, yet I still find the time to complain day in and day out. You know- I'm tired because I had to get up to take my daughter to preschool. I can't find the time to workout because my hubby is out of town, or he's in the doghouse because he didn't deposit enough "I Love You" money in my checking account. And when I look at my actions, I realize at times they are pathetic. And completely shallow at times.
Enter Tori. I'll save her story for the article... but talk about a woman full of grace. She's a mother, a role model, and one hell of a fighter. And nothing has been given to this woman. It's all been earned. Trust me, I know.
On Saturday night, armed with my posse of my parents Big Daddy Mike and Judy Booty, and my hubby Brendonian, we traveled to Pikesville, Maryland to attend "Season's Beatings." Yes, you read that right. It was a professional boxing card promoted by a man by the name of Jake the Snake. To say I was a little out of my suburban element is an understatement. We entered into an armory full of boxing fans to cheer on Tori in the main event.
Not knowing what to expect, I was nervous. We bought the cheap seats and after seeing a few ring girls’ in barely there outfits, I was a little worried as to what we had gotten ourselves into. But can I just say- There is a whole world out there beyond my life of swim practice and preschool. And it was nothing short of... how I should put it... Exhilarating. Welcoming. And Addictive.
The night began with two of the biggest mo fo's I've ever seen in a heavyweight bout. All I know is that I thought the big man would win, but ole' green shorts held his own. Next was Devin Butcher winning unaimously over Stephen Franklin. If you ask me, Franklin threw the best punches and the ref scored a slip as a knock down. We nicknamed Butcher "show boat" and decided that the boy better get his hands up in his next fight... but he was nice to look at. We also watched Maurice "Freight Train" Byarm capture the East Coast championship over Winston Thorpe of Columbia, SC. In my opinion, the fight was called too early... but then again, "Freight Train" has quite the following and reminds me of someone we'll see on TV in a pay per view one day, so I'm glad he won... Maybe I'll be able to say I saw him way back when...
One of the most exciting fights of the night came when Middleweight Scott "Cujo" Sigmon defeated "Vicious" Julius Kennedy by a 10-round unanimous decision. Cujo hails from Bedford County so I was a fan from the get-go since my in-laws reside in the neighboring Franklin County. He entered the ring reminiscent of Hacksaw Jim Duggan with his entourage livening up his crowd that traveled strong from Southern Virginia. Cujo kept it interesting and must have thrown no less than 300 jabs. I kept cheering and yelling for him to keep his jab going until my hubby reminded me I have no clue what I was talking about. It then got a little scary for a hot second when fighting broke out between fans and the fight was put on hold. There was an all out momentary loss of control where my tail started sweating and I began looking for the nearest exit door in case of a riot... Five security guards eventually drug out a blonde that was kicking and screaming- Five bucks says the phone videos will make you tube within a week. After a powerful will and showing by Kennedy, Cujo came out on top and modeled his new belt in front of the crowd who I'm sure will be celebrating with moonshine all week long. He ended things that could have turned ugly with a message of positivity filled with well deserved pride in his moment of glory.
After six hard fought bouts, many began to leave. Perhaps they had to rush to the afterparty being held at a local club... but shame on them. They missed the best match of the night.
My stomach had butterflies as Tori made her entrance with her manager and two cornermen to the tune of Mary, Mary, the God in Me. It was then that the house was brought down by the hometown favorite and her team of at least ten people deep- Number one ranked Shelley Seivert made her way to the ring.
Although I must admit, I loved hearing "Shelley, Go Shelley" being screamed by the fans since that's my name, my cheers didn't waiver from Tori. Shelley is a girl with presence. No one can take that away from that woman. But Tori is a scrapper. She has the bible verse taped to her steering wheel, "Pain is certain." And she explained to me that she knows she'll go through pain, but that's the only way to victory. Shelley was able to take Tori's breath at times, but was never able to take the wind out of her sails. After six rounds, Tori unanimously won, becoming the new #1 ranked middleweight female in the U.S.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. And this was taken as Tori was escorted away from the match to be released by a doctor:
Simply Victorious. Who knew that a fight night could change my life? My friend, Tori Nelson. She's humbly contagious... and I now know that there is a fighter within all of us and we all need a good fight in our lives.:)