Friday, October 7, 2011
Happy Birthday Rachel Dovidio
So, as you know by now, I do interviews. When it comes to the women I interview in MMA, I make sure to do all the girls who fight for NAAFS. One I interviewed was Rachel "The Rage" Dovidio. I did the interview and we shared Facebook messages. No big deal. Then as her fight on April 16th got closer I heard she was having trouble with her weight cut. It was a big fight because she was coming back to Ohio to fight in her home town of Canton. I offered to help with the weight cut. From that offer a friendship was born.
Now, before I elaborate on the friendship, I want to talk about that weight cut. For whatever reason, while not gaining weight, she was also not dropping much, perhaps my fault, as I was new to helping people at the time. It surely wasn't her fault. She would be arriving a few days before the fight and was gonna need help. She got me a hotel room close to her house. She was going to need to drop 13 pounds in 2-3 days to make 135. Knowing this would be hard, I offered to suffer with her. By suffering, I mostly mean live in a sauna. A couple times a day we did the sauna, and I admit, I didn't do it as much as her, I needed breaks every once in awhile. She ate next to nothing and sweated all she had. The day of the fight, before weigh ins we went to the gym to sauna one more time. She had nothing left, no more sweat to give. I knew how drained she was, by her snapping at me the night before, to the obvious dry mouth when she talked, to the way she just had no energy. We got to weigh ins, and Rachel made weight, she instantly turned and gave me a big hug. As happy as she was, I was just as proud of her. A lot of people would have given up, but Rachel did what she had to do. We went and ate, went back for the fights, and Rachel did great winning a unanimous decision.
Now let me tell you, and its no secret, along the way I developed a little crush on Rachel. Who wouldn't? She is a beautiful girl with a heart of gold. But I no longer look at her like that, she is like a sister. I love her, but not in "that" way. But still she has a heart of gold and I feel fortunate to have someone like her in my life.
About that heart of gold, I can show many instances, but one instance means most to me. The whole "Jason wants to fight" thing. I wanted to fight, and asked Rachel and Jessica Eye to train me. And both did, and gave of their time, often sacrificing their own training. Rachel needed to train to better herself, yet she often drove an hour to come work with me. While my hip would not allow me to fight, the getting choked out, the bloody nose, the punches to the head I received from Rachel would have helped me achieve my goal. She didn't have to drive here, she didn't have to spend the time with me, but she did. Along the way we also got to lift together, and still do, and its fun. I usually train by myself, so its nice to have someone to work with, especially when its Rachel.
Rachel is a very talented fighter. So has skill obviously, and that heart of gold....... well that heart is a reason she will be as big as she wants to in the sport. Rachel isn't just a fighter though.
Rachel is someone for people to look up to. From her playing high school football with the boys, to serving our country, to overcoming obstacles and Challenges. If I ever raise a young girl, I will want Rachel to know her and be in her life, because I will be thrilled if she can grow up to be the woman Rachel is.
Rachel wrote on Facebook recently that she knows there is more for her than this town can offer. This is both true and misleading. Because, yes, there is more for her than Canton can provide, but she can be in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, or anywhere, and there will always be more than that town can offer her. Why? Because there is nothing she can't do when she decides to do it. If there is a step in her way, she will climb it, if there is a bridge in her way, she will cross it, if there is a mountain in her way, she will move it, if there is an obstacle in her way, she will crush it.
Rachel, I hope your birthday is amazing, as you deserve it. I am not the best writer in the world, but I wanted to write something for your birthday, because your friendship is a birthday present to me and makes everyday my birthday.