All posts in January 2010

Peace and Hope.

Last weekend, the Girls Fight Back team reunited in Denver, CO for a weekend of training, strategic planning, and some fun times thrown in for good measure. While we were deep in a brainstorming session, we started talking about what Girls Fight Back, and self-defense in general, was really about. Now, when a person hears “self-defense” and “Girls Fight Back,” the things that may jump immediately to mind are words, such as kicking butt, taking names, etc.

However, as we discussed this weekend, that is not really accurate. At Girls Fight Back, we definitely believe that we all have the right and responsibility to be our own best protectors. We also very firmly believe that everyone is worth fighting for. However, I think that, at their core, Girls Fight Back and self-defense are really about peace and hope. The ultimate goal of a self-defense program is to teach people how to lead a peaceful and safe life, reminding people that the best fight is the fight never fought. It is about valuing yourself, coming from a place of self-respect, and ultimately knowing that you can protect yourself and you are worth it.

During the weekend, I watched of part Megan’s, one of the GFB Speakers, videotaped seminars. Megan told the story of her childhood babysitter, Lisa who was killed by husband. For me, what really stood out about this story were Lisa’s parents. Losing a child must be the most devastating experience but Lisa’s parents turned tragedy into hope for people in Lisa’s situation. They founded Lisa’s House, a safe haven for women in abusive relationships. Stories like this make me realize that, while we cannot always stop tragedy, we can and should always hope and strive for a better, more peaceful future. We can turn tragedy into hope and inspire others to take action.

Strong. Resilient. Spirited. Unified.

Yes. I said that…

So…sometimes I get a little ahead of myself and start telling a story that I think is funny. Then about midway through I realize this may not have been the best idea. This happened to me last week when I was giving the Girls Fight Back program at Lincoln College at Normal.

The program was taking place at the Student Commons and I walked in at the tail end of R.A. interviews. It totally brought me back to every interview I ever had in college, but mainly reminded me of the worst experience ever with my R.A. Let’s just say that it involved the boyfriend of the girl across the hall, intoxication, public urination, my brand new rug from Target and a really uncomfortable apology demanded by my R.A. I’m going to spare you all the full story (what happens in IL, stays in IL) – but I will make clear that it was not I who was intoxicated, urinating, or apologizing.

Anyway…

I had the best time with the ladies of Lincoln. The group was a little smaller, which I loved because it gave me more one on one time to learn about them and answer questions. We were also reminded why you never mess with the smallest person- I would certainly not want to be on the receiving end of any blows from the front and center blonde (you know who you are)  🙂

It’s really interesting hearing about the fears women have and talk through them. The students at Lincoln College definitely gave me some great topics to bring with me on my journeys! Thanks for having me…