Katie Stosic Machin @dreamsituations- Muay Thai @renzogracieacademy / by daphne youree

I had a fantastic shoot with Katie @dreamsituations ! I loved hearing her story and feeling her energy... such an awesome woman - from styling photo shoots to training Muay Thai! I was even inspired to take a Muay Thai class at @renzogracieacademy- so incredible and so hard....Here is her story:

"I have been doing some form of sport my entire life. I grew up playing soccer, I dabbled in track & field, but after college I was sport-less and started the life of being in the gym trying to get my fitness on through weights, cardio machines, and the occasional group class. When I met my husband, he was (and still is) a Jiu Jitsu obsessed, super healthy, and noticeably humble guy. I was going to a “regular” gym everyday and loving how I felt, but he kept trying to convince me that Jiu Jitsu was the way. Even though the benefits he experienced through training were appealing, I was not convinced- But his academy, Renzo Gracie, also offered Muay Thai. That seemed like something I would enjoy, so I tried a class and was instantly hooked. It was my first time trying a martial art, and it was so fulfilling and humbling to have to start from the ground up with something. To be a true new comer, like I was, caused something inside of me to wakeup. I found something that challenged me, that I could grow and get better at, I gained team mates, I didn’t even know I was missing being part of a team until then! I had to truly become a student. And bonus, my level of fitness resulting from training Muay Thai surpassed anything I could do on my own at the gym. Not only that, but my cognitive learning was switched on, I had to pay such close attention in class- It became a form of meditation for me, it was one of the only places I could truly be present at for an entire hour. 
A year into Muay Thai, I finally stepped to the other side of the cage and tried jiu jitsu.I think by my second class, I was just as obsessed as my husband who had been training for years. In jiu jitsu, there are literally endless moves, submissions, attacks, I am using literally in the correct way here. (I think)…. It’s like chess, but with your body, there’s a counter to every move you make. Something else I love about martial arts, besides the challenge, joy, and sometimes insanity (the good kind) it can bring, is that there is no ego on the mat. No one knows what your job is, how much money you make, your relationship status, how “cool” you are. We are all in the same uniform, on a level playing field- except the players that know more, they will kill you. Not literally kill you, but you will be DEMORALIZED, which is important for gaining humility and knowledge.
One of the many developments in my life since starting training martial arts is that I have made a career move from the fashion industry and into the field of fitness. Exercise and sports have always helped me improve myself, and now I get to help others work towards their better selves. Not to make it sound so profound, but challenging ourselves, trying something new, pushing yourself to your physical and mental limits, getting a healthier, more abled body, it really does bring you closer to your higher self. We are capable of so much more than we know. I used to think I couldn’t do ___, because I’m not _____ enough, (fill in the blanks with the fear of the day) but training martial arts has given me a new insight into what my body and mind can do. No fear."