22 Mar

Transforming from Victim to Victor

Victim to Victor, The warrior Parent Project

A personal Account of my "WHy" Victim to Victor

A Cannon Event can be described as an event or occurrence that alters your experience or way of life in big or small ways, something that can shape you and or your destiny.  Like many of us my own journey, while founded in health and fitness, was catapulted by the need to feel safe. Choosing to share this vulnerability with my audience is not something I am accustomed to as my personal cannon event left me feeling anything but the opposite of protected. Thus I began to find ways to protect myself and those I love. 

This occurrence I am about to share with you was indeed my cannon event that started my health and wellness journey. Furthermore, it was what made me initially feel like a victim, but what eventually made me the victor I choose to be today. 

 

Victim to Victor, Transforming

Transforming Your Triggers

*Trigger Warning* Moving Forward

It was a 4th of July weekend. I was 11 years old. My mom wanted to take my sister and I to a large, outdoor concert at a casino. My abuela and abuelo drove us and the plan was to have a fun night out, listen to some tunes, dance it up, and watch the fireworks. Being eleven years old and wanting to stay home- none of this family time sounded fun to me and I let everyone know by branding my signature shitty attitude as most kids do when they don’t get their way. 

By the time we got through the grueling LA traffic to our destination my attitude had worsened and I wanted to sulk in peace. So I begrudgingly followed my family about 20 yards behind while we walked through the massive crowd. I remember my mom walking followed closely by my abuela while my sister swayed in the middle about 10 yards in front of me. I was walking with my head down in irritation, unable to think about anything else except my own irritation that I was forced to venture out when I clearly wanted to stay home. 

It was at that moment, lost in my own self wallowing, that someone grabbed me around my neck, head locked and started to drag me towards the venue’s exit. 

At first I thought it was my abuelo messing with me because he knew I didn’t want to be there and he was trying to cheer me up. But my abuelo had a very familiar smell of Aqua Velva that was not on the person who grabbed me. 

I was able to turn my head enough to look and see an unfamiliar man with a white t-shirt and gold chain. Before I could make sense of up or down and process what was happening the man began asking me if I wanted money.  ”You want some money kid?” He repeated, “You want some money, come on!” as he continued to drag me by my neck towards the exit.

Every fiber of my instinctual DNA to survive turned on. I didn’t think about it- I only acted. I stomped his foot as hard as I could, extended my arm as far as it would stretch and elbowed him forcefully in the stomach. I managed to peel myself free from the untrained headlock and split. I spun around and screamed at my sister to run. Luckily, her response was a full sprint. Reminiscing about this objectively, it was fortunate she didn’t pause to look to see what was going on. That it was a gift that she could hear the fear and seriousness in my voice. God only knows how those precious seconds could have turned the tables into the strange man’s favor. To put it bluntly-  We got lucky. Somehow we were reunited with our family. 

What could have been tragic circumstances taught me two things. First, that the only person I could rely on in this life was myself. Second, in order to defend myself, I must be hard to kill/ hard to take. No one else was going to do this for me. I needed to do this for myself. 

As an eleven year old this became a core principle for howI went through the rest of my life.

(As I’ve aged and matured I see that this is not completely true, but a form of self-perseverance and a trauma response formed from this day. But this is an important account to be told as it is the beginning of my journey and the first step in my personal victim-victor mindset shift.)

The day after the incident some extended  family had come by the house to check in. But more than that they wanted to know what happened. I had to repeat the unprocessed and fresh traumatic event over and over to oblige the adults. Each time for what felt like an eternity answering their endless and incessant questions.

 

Cannon event

We can all benefit from making micro-movements in our thinking and actions away from a victim mindset towards Victor.

After this marathon of questions I needed a mental break. As an 11 year old this meant TV and the couch. In some form of divine intervention and being right where I was supposed to be- a Rocky Marathon was playing. Rocky IV was on. the one where he avenges his close friend Apollo Creed by putting a beating on the Russian. A battle of david and goliath where the bill was a 300 lb Russian Monster vs a 200 lb Italian. This seemed eerily fitting since I was a young boy who just escaped being taken by a much larger adult. 

 

I sat. I watched. I related. 

 

During one of the infamous Rocky montages where running in the snow, doing leg lifts, dragon flags, and training in a sub-optimal environment in the sub-zero Russian snow something clicked. I realized, at just eleven years of age, that the time to start becoming a Victor was now. I couldn’t see it then, but that experience the day before had shifted my future and set me on the track to the full and ever-evolving life I have now. A similar disposition to how I run my days as an adult started right then and there. I just decided to start. I grabbed my air walk skate shoes that my abuela had gotten me from Payless earlier that week and took off on my first run with, “Eye of The Tiger,” fueling my footsteps. Next was push ups, leg lifts, and while I tried and failed miserably when it came to copying sylvester stalone doing the dragon flags I did what is important to most victims in their early stages of shifting their mindset-  I fuckin started. 

 

From that day forward I knew that I would never let what happened to me, ever happen to myself or anyone I love ever again. I would become fit, I would become able, I would become hard to take, hard to kill. And that’s exactly what I have done most days since. 

 

Little did I know that that was the first day of the rest of my new life. It is odd to look back and make the connection between my attempted kidnapping to the fitness empire I am building now. Those two things generally do not correlate, but the idea here is that of victim to victor. 

 

Regardless of the specifications of your trauma and setbacks, we can all benefit from making micro-movements in our thinking and actions away from a victim mindset towards Victor.

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