Thank you for visiting my page, I am always overwhelmed by the support I receive.

 

My life revolves around my sport and the 4 loves of my life. These guys are my world, my wonderful husband Chris then there's Mischief, the queen of the house (photo 2), followed by the second man of the house, Buddy (photo 3) and the fluffy princess Leia (photo 4). I love nothing more than having a good hard training session at the gym and then coming home to this lot!

 

Dystonia: I’ve had Dystonia since I was 10 years old. I was one of the lucky ones, I was diagnosed quickly due to a family history of the disease.  It’s considered rare, many people are misdiagnosed and are sent to psychiatrists (luckily not very common these days!) or are never diagnosed at all.  In addition to this I have a prolapsed disc at L5 which causes me Sciatica and back pain, I also have 8 paralysed toes after a botched operation. In spite of these things and the pain,

I am determined to make a positive role model for women, girls and disabled people around the world by using my Sports Science knowledge to demonstrate the power and therapeutic effects of sports and exercise.

I had to get myself super fit to have neurosurgery when I was just 16, I took up Kickboxing and fell in love with Martial Arts. It was such a positive outlet for my frustration and anger at my situation at that age, it also brought me lifelong friends. During this time I dabbled in competing and also attended college and university in Sports Science.  It was then I found that my condition actually gave me advantage in strength and I started Powerlifting. After a back injury unrelated to sport I had to leave that and rebuild my body to cope with my back.  During this time I had always been eager to get back into Martial Arts, so I started MMA and felt that rush and empowerment once again.  My back injury took a big toll on my self-confidence and MMA was drip feeding me confidence, I couldn’t get enough.  It was daunting walking into a Dojo for such a demanding sport, knowing I was disabled and permanently injured, it was definitely one of the better decisions in my life!  Once the lads got used to me and knew I wasn’t going anywhere (and I wouldn’t break!), I earnt their respect and they helped me overcome things I couldn’t do or things I found difficult, they encouraged me. I love my boys!

 

When I had the operation on my feet, I was gutted, I felt like this could be it and it could have been.  Unknowingly to me, all along I had been learning BJJ, so when Grapplers Heart was announced I had rebuild my body for the third time to compete. I had too, I had to be there, this was my goal to overcome my injury, it was my motivation.

 

When Impact Gym sponsored me, I was blown away, then Scramble came on board and all my other sponsors. This year has been incredible.  From contemplating whether I had ‘had my day’, to being sponsored by incredible people, being up for awards, being on TV and radio.  It’s been hard work, blood, sweat and lots of tears but I am reaching my goal of being able to say I have had an influence on society. Disabled people can participate in any sport they want too, there should be no boundaries, no segregation, no judgement and especially no assumptions.  If it’s a sport you fancy, please try it, you might be surprised how much respect and support you earn, best of all, it might empower you to be more confident. Just try, that’s all I did…..

 

I’m not denying I’m lucky, I’m so, so very lucky to have so many awesome sponsors my husband and awesome friends who help me with fundraising. It wouldn’t be possible for me to compete without each and every one of you.  I have an amazing community. Thank you xxx

http://www.dystonia.org.uk

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© Gina Hopkins 2015