It is the story of the last 15 years of my life. Of how I got into women’s boxing. Which has taught me to live fearlessly, and now live life with transparency. This is how I became know as Lita “Badass” Button.
When I was 21 years old, I was struggling with depression. I had suffered with depression on and off since my teens, along with low self-esteem, self confidence and self doubt in accomplishing any of the goals that I had wanted in my life.
When I was 22 I found myself in an unhealthy relationship and pregnant. I chose to be a soul parent because of the relationship showing signs of abusive tendencies. I felt extremely lost, alone and angry at myself and the situation. However, my gut told me that being a soul support parent was the healthiest thing to do for my unborn child.
When I was 23, three major events happened that year of my life.
The 1st event:
At 6 months pregnant, I watched a live motivational talk. Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, shared his story about spending 22 years in prison for the wrongful conviction of 3 murders. His motivational message was “Dare to Dream”. I remember clearly every part of his talk and what his message meant to me. As I sat there, 6 months pregnant and feeling very alone and unsure about my future, I thought, if this man could spend 22 yrs of his life in almost complete isolation and still have hope and “Dare to Dream”, damn it, so can I, with the situation that I am in. This gave me so much motivation to believe the best would happen to my life.
The 2nd event: My son was born.
The 3rd event:
The custody court case for my son. My son’s “father” never once showed up to court through the process. I think my lawyer sensed how much this bothered me. She said “Lita, the best thing that you can do in your circumstance, is succeed”. I really took this advice to heart and vowed to be the best mother possible.
When I was 24, life threw a wrench into what already felt like a difficult circumstance.
The first year of my son’s life, he began having “funny bruises”. Because of this I actually had Children’s Aid come to my door and investigate. Thankfully, because I had done nothing wrong, 3 days after visiting us, they closed the case. Yet, it left me so upset with wondering what was happening to my son. A few months after this, I moved home to have help from my parents. At the same time, my son’s paediatrician referred us to Sick Children’s hospital. They told me that my son had Hemophilia, a life long Blood Disorder. I was already feeling alone, afraid and trying to figure out how to be a parent, and now I was feeling angry that life had thrown this in the mix. And VERY UNSURE of how to deal with it all!
In that first year of my son’s diagnosis, a lot of hours where spent in the local hospital. Needless to say I began coping in unhealthy ways (aka drinking a little too much in the evenings). One evening this unhealthy coping mechanism erupted. Out, after the bar with friends on a weekend, I got into an altercation over a cab with three other girls (when I was in college from the age of 18-20, I learned how to kick box & had a few fights). Needless to say, the girls left with the cab and not very happy about the outcome! LOL. I laugh now, but at the time this altercation left me feeling, even more angry, alone and scared. The What ifs entered my mind. What if a cop had seen me? What if something had happened that was detrimental? What would have happened if my son was left without his only parent? I knew something needed to change and my emotions had to be channeled somewhere useful.
When I was 25, I stepped into a local kickboxing gym (for those of you that are not familiar with the fight scene in Ontario, in 2005 Amateur Kickboxing was illegal). However, a boxing club was training in the same space and the coach, Scott Eccles, approached me. He knew, I used to kick box and said “Lita, you will get way more fights and experience as an Olympic Style Boxer, than as a kick boxer”. Because I had been into competitive sports most of my life, I was super pumped for the competitive challenge and opportunities.
And in 11 years of boxing, I have had 45 amateur fights and 2 professional fights. The one year that was most memorable was when I was 34 & I had won my 6th provincial title. A group of my friends, family and clients had came to watch me fight. Shortly after this fight, I was communicating with my one client, who had come to my fight. He kept going, ok BAB, yes BAB. Finally, I go, why are you calling me BAB? He goes, “you don’t know? Badass Button”. I laughed and “go, oh cool”.
Being a Badass is not just about being able to punch someone in the face. It is about the mentality that goes with it. Being a Badass, is about fighting for what you want in life. Fighting through all the obstacles that are in your way, to get what you want.
Throughout all those fights and training times, I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles to be able to compete: Financially (I still do as a soul support mother), emotionally, psychologically (for those of you that have seen the trailer for the new movie Apollo, a spin off of the Rocky Series, there is a scene where Rocky goes to Apollo, the greatest opponent you have to face, is not the one in the ring, but the one you see in the mirror. Soooo TRUE!) and sexism. Sexism, both in gyms, within family and in society (which I am proud to say is now changing). Boxing was the last Olympic sport to add women. Not until 2012, was women’s boxing allowed into the Olympic Games.
Yet, I would not have changed any of those obstacles. Obstacles to be able to fight and box, have taught me to have; DRIVE, DEDICATION, DESIRE, DETERMINATION & DISCIPLINE to accomplish anything that I dream about & want in life.
And that is the story of how my fighting name was born. It is my #1 passion to empower and coach others the “Badass” mentality. One day, when I look back on life, I want to say, that I was able to help & coach as many people as possible in becoming the healthiest, happiest and strongest version of themselves.
Remember, YOU CAN! YOU WILL! YOU ARE! YOU’RE AWESOME!!!
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