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This is the twenty-second profile in our Society Nine Storytellers series where badass female fighters across all sports, media and culture in our community share their definitions of femininity, strength and empowerment and discuss what they fight for.
Have a story to tell? Submit it here! Tell us who you are, a little bit about your journey and what you fight for – in life and sport.
When my now ex-husband confirmed that he was, in fact, cheating on me my mind was in a cloudy haze. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. I went back to all the times I had suspected something but I had convinced myself I was wrong, even though I already knew. A women’s intuition is powerful and sometimes when it’s something unpleasant and we don’t want to confront it, we tend to ignore it. I knew that the coming days and months were going to be the most challenging of my life and I had no idea what was going to happen. I was weak and powerless, but that feeling didn’t last for long.
After trying to work things out and realizing that I could no longer be a willing partner in a relationship where the foundation was based on lies and dishonesty. I took the initial steps to end the marriage. This was the first step in my journey; my fight, my struggle. Everyone who knew me was shocked that it was me who had asked my spouse to leave, me who filed for divorce, me who stood up to him and his family. Everyone assumed I would be fine with the cheating so long as he continued to support us, and that I would turn a blind eye. However, I had decided I was not going to be a doormat or a victim anymore.
I have a daughter, who is now 20 and two younger boys. I decided it was my responsibility and my duty to let them know that I could and would take care of them. I wanted my boys to grow to respect women and everyone that they came in contact with. I wanted my kids to know that we are all responsible for our own actions and we need to accept our mistakes, learn from them and move on. I wanted my daughter to know that it was not OK to be in a relationship that was a lie, even if that meant struggling. I had to fight for them and I had to fight for me.
I didn’t come across Krav Maga, until September 2013, at that time I had been separated for more than three years, had settled into a new place, new job.
I did a lot of soul searching, self-improvement, and most important, I had to let go of the hate and resentment.
I had been reluctant to try Krav Maga earlier in my life because I didn’t have the support of anyone around me, but it was different this time around. I was encouraged, even pushed to go outside of my comfort zone and give it a try.
The first few months I was covered in bruises and sore every day. I loved every minute of it. I decided I needed more than just to learn self-defense. I felt like I was still out of shape. I signed up for a gym membership as well and combined with Krav Maga, got in the best shape of my life, ever. Not only has Krav Maga given me a sense of empowerment but it has also given me self-confidence; a kind of self-confidence I never had before. There’s been so many times when I felt like crying at the end of a work out session - not from the strikes, kicks or attack drills, but the pure satisfaction of knowing that I have accomplished something that I never thought I would ever be able to do. Krav Maga clears my mind and gives me an outlet to take out my stress and frustration while at the same time gives me to the confidence to know that should anyone try to hurt me or my kids, who are my life, I will fight.
I will not be a victim, and I will never again give anyone the ability to have power over me or my life.
Liz Gurdzhyan is a proud mother of three cool kiddos, empowering them to be their own boss and do what they want, whatever that may be. She works full time and is starting her own little company that can! She is writing her own story, one day a time, and trying to redefine the role of a single mom in a society that seems to think that we are helpless.
Follow her on Instagram: @fitkravgirl