Before I joined 8 Limbs I had never heard of Muaythai, and never thrown a punch in my life. I had always exercised, but out of a sense of obligation, or as a way to punish myself for what I ate or how my body looked. I went to gyms but stayed away from weight rooms, because I didn’t feel like I belonged there. When I visited 8 Limbs for the first time, I saw something I had never seen before: a room full of all different types of bodies, women, and other queer and trans athletes (!) smashing pads, making noise, and most importantly – SMILING. Now, nearly 3 years later, my practice of Muaythai is centered in joy, feeling strong, and celebrating what my body CAN do. Every time that I practice Muaythai, it is an act of love and care for myself, and my mental health. Every time that I practice, I am surrounded by friends and community. Every time that I practice, I am challenged and I am safe – thanks to the home Kate and Charlie have so intentionally built at 8 Limbs. Plus, now I can throw a pretty darn good punch.