Hey all! My name is Claire Tietgen. I have been bullied for seven years. It was so bad, I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I just wanted to be like all the other kids at school who had friends and had fun. But I couldn’t because there was always someone teasing me, saying mean things to me, pushing me, touching me, bugging me. They said I was fat and I don’t belong.
I felt really sad because no one really likes me, and it felt really bad because I was all alone. I wondered why it was me? Why isn’t it somebody else? I think it’s sad if it’s somebody else but I didn’t want to go through this anymore. I wanted it to be done. I wanted to have friends. I wanted to belong and have people like me.
I went home and wrote in my diary. I cried a lot and it hurt so much that I just wanted to die. I started writing that on my bed, in my diary, and in my closet. My mom found it and totally freaked out. Of course she showed my dad and he freaked out too. He wanted to go to school and take out all of the bullies, but he couldn’t do that. One night, my dad and I were watching Real Steel, a movie where there were these really cool fighting robots. I told my dad I wanted to try boxing and the next day he found a gym and signed me up. My dad is like that. He just wants to support us and encourage us to find our passion. Anyway, I went to Brass Boxing where I met Austen Ford. Wow. Austen was amazing. Austen told my dad to put me in Kids MMA, which I had never heard of. My first class Austen let me “roll” with his son Maxxwell who is very good. I guess I did okay because everyone was cheering for me and telling me I could be in the Olympics and I reminded them of someone called Ronda Rousey. Austen was very impressed with what I did. My parents alway cheered for me,
It felt good. I had people who liked me. I had friends. I had people telling me I had talent. I started researching Ronda Rousey and felt a connection to her. I’m a lot like her, she had struggles at a young age and she pushed through them. She was a fighter. So I wanted to be like her, because she never gave up.
My coach Austen and my dad enrolled me in every jiu jitsu tournament they could find. I was so nervous. Rolling with strangers is a lot different than with your training partner. They were a lot more wiggly than I expected. But something awesome happened; I won. And I kept on winning. Austen told me Hard Work Pays Off and we worked hard at our Kids MMA classes. It was fun too. I have a fat stack of gold medals hanging on my bedroom wall to show for it.
The kids at school? They are still mean. It still hurts. I still want to know why they don’t like me. But I learned that what other people think of me isn’t as important anymore. They aren’t in charge of what I do with my life, I am. And today, I choose to go out and kick some butt. (Can I say that?).
Peace out homies!