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Grand Traverse Woman before my fight and if my scale didn’t say a certain number, I couldn’t get in the cage. I wasn’t going to have wasted all my time and energy not to make weight.

NO MORE MRS. NICE GIRL Leading up to the fight, I thought there was no possible way everything would work out for me—that I’d make weight, that I’d win, that I’d keep my reputation. I was nervous of the outcome and that I’d be seen as a failure. Plus, we were the ONLY female fight of the evening, and I was the first and ONLY female fighter ever to come out of my fight gym… no pressure, right? Talk about expectations! On top of that, the week of the fight, I still had 15 pounds to lose. There was absolutely no way I’d get this done, I thought. I’d been following a regimen that consisted of 2 gallons of water per day for two weeks prior to the fight and a lot of peeing! Then, the week of, the weight came off like this: Monday: 2 gallons of water and 15 lbs. overweight Tuesday: Ate only FAT so basically unsalted almonds and avocados (still can’t eat them plain to this day) and water cut down.  Wednesday: Ate only fat and water cut down. Thursday: No food or water and A LOT of spitting and peeing (I actually sucked on Jolly Ranchers and had to spit out the juice!). Friday: No food or water and some exercising to sweat out the last bit of water. Friday night weigh-in: Made weight within .05 lbs. Followed by a box of chicken broth (which was DELICIOUS) and then some water and eventually some dinner at the local hibachi grill.  Saturday night: The fight!

DADDY’S GIRL A day before my late dad’s birthday, I suited up. I wore fight shorts with the words “Daddy’s Girl” embroidered on them and watched as my teammates completed their turns. I paced, listened to music and just prayed that I wouldn’t get hurt too badly. After what felt like forever, it was my turn. I took to the hallway to do my walkout, where my coach, trainer, husband and teammates joined me. From there, I don’t remember much of anything. I didn’t hear my walkout song or the hundreds of people cheering or booing at me. I didn’t hear them tell me it was time to get into the cage. Honestly, I don’t even remember stepping into the cage or them announcing my name.

But there is one thing that I do remember that evening. As my opponent entered, the cage door was locked behind me.

CLICK I’ll never forget the sound of that lock. It was time. I couldn’t rely on my trainer to pick me up if I fell. I couldn’t rely on my husband to hold me when I felt like stopping. It was time to find out if all those months of training and sacrifice were worth it. It was time to find out if I could get punched in the face, kicked in the legs, or hit in the head and fight back.

TOTAL BADASS It was the longest and shortest six minutes of my life! I made it through. In fact, I held my own fairly well against an opponent 15 years younger than I was. The best part though? My hand wasn’t raised at the end. I didn’t win! Because even though I had lost, I knew with every part of me that I was walking out of that cage a total badass, even more than I had been when I entered. I never have fought again, nor have I walked into a cage since. My priorities have changed, but that isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to get into the cage again someday. I know it would take even more courage, strength and training, now that I know what to expect. Maybe it would be even more crazy of me to fight again, knowing what I’m in for.

YOUR FIGHT My inner badass took me inside a locked cage and got me beat up in front of a crowd, but everyone has her own fight. What is your obstacle that keeps punching you in the face and knocking you down? What do you need to face and where do you need to unleash your inner badass, once and for all? Once you know your fight, believe in yourself and align yourself in it. Determine your values and strengths, and when you’re in the cage and ready, assert your power. Own your badass, the most badass version of you. After all, this version of you is you, and this world needs it. For me, quite frankly, being my own version of a beautiful badass is enough for me. Cage and all. Jaclyn Roof, a former Muay Thai cage fighter, is a “Beautiful Badass Leadership Coach” who runs various in-person workshops and retreats as well as online programs and courses. She resides in Traverse City with her husband, Michael, and their children, Abigail and Adelyn. Learn more at

Meet Jaclyn!

Luncheons Grand Traverse WOMAN


Jaclyn will be speaking at our May 8th GTWoman Luncheon. Her topic, “Beautiful Badass” will bring inspiration and motivation (with more sass than usual)! The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Hagerty Center. Tickets are $35 or 2/$60 and include plated luncheon, mingling, booths and keynote speaker. For tickets or to purchase booth space, visit JACLYN WITH HER CHILDREN, ABIGAIL AND ADELYN.

May/June '19


Profile for Grand Traverse Woman Magazine

GTWoman May/June 2019 Issue