Monday, February 25, 2013

I Feel Like I’m Even More Powerful Now

Courtney Childs, interviewed October 14, 2012, IMPACT Chicago 25th Anniversary

What brought you to IMPACT?
I was raped 4 years ago. I wanted to find a program that would help me encompass my own safety. I wanted to make myself feel safe rather than rely on other people to help me feel safe. I was looking for something very specific, I wasn’t even sure that it was out there. I wanted to practice self-defense as if it were a real scenario so that I’d have all the emotions that usually come with it. Luckily, I ran across IMPACT online. It was exactly what I was looking for.

What about IMPACT spoke to you, specifically?
I have a fear of not being able to inflict pain on other people. I liked that we got to practice hitting various muggers in IMPACT. I didn’t see any other programs that had the specialty of hitting full-force to different areas. I took the class in June 2012.

Tell me about the 3 months since your class.
I feel a lot better. I live downtown; I don’t have a car; I walk a lot. I couldn’t take public transit before.  I needed someone to ride it with me because when you’re on the train, you have to go down stairs and through dark tunnels and spaces. Sometimes you’re there with only one other person. When I walk home from work, it’s getting dark out. It made me uncomfortable. Since I graduated, I feel a lot more confident about what I can do if an attack does come at me. If someone is walking toward me and I feel like they might be a threat, I can practice it in my head, thinking of what I would do. Knowing that I’m prepared makes me feel more confident.
The experience of bonding with so many other females in class gives you this inspiration and makes you feel more confident about yourself as well.

Today was very different from class. What are your impressions?
It’s amazing. You’re not only working with other females who are new to the class, you get to see the IMPACT program in full. You’re meeting people from different graduation years who have been here since IMPACT started. You hear their stories about how it’s helped them throughout their life and what got them started. It’s truly inspiring. It encourages you to help out even more, to want to be part of it. After today, you’re hungry for more.
Today is an experience I will take with me always. Since, for some people, it’s been ten years since they’ve practiced it, hearing how they’ve kept it fresh in their minds is very helpful.

What is the most powerful moment so far today?
The first time I got back on the mat. I was nervous that I had forgotten or lost something. I got back out there and it’s all still with me. I feel like I’m even more powerful than when I first did it. My kicks are that much better in technique and my palm-heel strike is stronger. That was the best moment, the fear I had right before, then getting down on the mat and working it out. Courtney, you still have it, you’ll be able to do it if it ever happens in the future.
Courtney was interviewed by AC Racette

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