Tracy Tate: I was born in Long Beach Ca in 1967, but lived most of my years in the high desert area. This is what I consider home. I have three siblings, but I am the dreamer of the family (a true Pisces). I have been a single parent of 3 since I was 25 years old. Now, I am 43 years old, and proud of it! My children are 25, 19 and 17 and I will be a grandma in September of 2010! All three of my children are in college and I have raised them single-handedly without a dime of child support and/or alimony. When I say single-handed, I mean that literally because I have undergone nine arm surgeries between both my right and left arms over the years. On top of that, I have always maintained 2-3 jobs at a time in order to support my kids. I give the word "multi-tasking" a whole new meaning! I am a college graduate. It took me 15 years to do it! All three of my children attended my graduation as I led the honor's class. I wanted to "walk my talk' and show my children that the only thing stopping you in life from meeting your goals and making your dream happen is you! Family is everything to me. Little did I know that GOD was preparing me by putting me through so many hard times in life. But, he needed me to be very STRONG because what I was about to do would require a lot out of me in order to accomplish my mission in life. I was BORN to do this. My mission is CAGE CANDY. I want all women to know that their "fight in life" has been noticed regardless if you are in or out the cage. No matter what, we are all fighters. More importantly, I am here to listen to YOUR story. We can Inspire each other! Cage Candy is just not a brand...it's a MOVEMENT! It's my TROPHY to all women to let them know that their fight in life, their strength, their sacrifices and their courage have been recognized by me. This is how I want to honor and capture that fighting spirit in celebration of you! This is your brand, this is your voice, this is your way of letting the world know, you are a FIGHTER and that you are helping other women to become one too. Part of our proceeds go towards our charity work and participation to help women who need our help, your help!! TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER, TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERNCE, TOGETHER OUR MOVEMENT WILL BE KNOWN.
Here it is Tracy..My FIGHT! PART 1 My name is Tisha Rodrigues, mother of three, wife, writer, fitness trainer and MMA fighter. But my personal fight started a long time ago. I was adopted at the age of 5. I endured abuse of all kinds before officially being adopted into my new family. My parents were incapable of raising me due to multiple reasons, one being alcohol addiction amongst others. My new family was the perfect Annie story in the beginning but I guess some good things must come to an end. I didn't have much of a mother daughter relationship with my adoptive mom and my adoptive father never took to the fact of me being a part of the family from the start. He was viciously mentally abusive to me for years as well as physically abusive to my mother, whom I always protected regardless. They were doing quite well financially for the first few years until he too became addicted to alcohol and drugs and we lost everything. I was reunited with my biological mother when I was 14. The events to follow were some of the most horrifying things I have been through in my life.
PART 2The reunion came about after my mother kicking me out of the house countless times and then of course denying any wrong doing on her part and telling people I ran away. My teenage years were the saddest years of my life, although no one would have known, I was popular in high school, a cheerleader and was friends with everyone. You learn to wear many masks when the pain runs this deep. I spent time in juvenile court on and off of probation and in a girls home for an entire summer, where I felt the loss off a best friend in someone I had become very close to. Her name was Krisann and she was killed in a car accident trying to run away from home after leaving the girls home with me. Something in that helped me try to better myself given the circumstances, I had already attempted suicide several times. I still found myself pregnant at 17. My mom didn't even know until I was 4 months along.. How would she? Me and my sons father split several times as he picked me up and threw me into a wall at 7 months along... My mothers response was I must have done something to provoke him?? It took me a year but I left and soon after found my husband. When we met I was still struggling with anorexia and bulimia. I have internal digestive problems ect to this day from two years of that disease that never completely goes away. It's a mental game.. I've just been lucky enough to beat it for this many years! My husband adopted in my son as his own and we started our own family. I was in the fitness industry modeling and competing for 8 years before finding my destiny in MMA. There is nothing like going in to train and no matter how much pain and hurt is in your mind or whatever may have happened through your day.. And be able to have it all cancelled out in those hours of training. It's amazing to me.. But I don't think of anything but fighting my fight when I am in there. All of my past is my fight and it's made me tougher than you could imagine.. There isn't anything I haven't gone through that could be worse then stepping in a cage and letting it all out! I wish I'd found this sport sooner. My fight is everyday.. Every second of my day.. But I always think to myself there are people out there with far worse problems then me. I'm in the midst of writing a book that will journal my life as a mommy a wife and a fighter along with everything in between. It will also reveal something Im going through everyday that only my closest friends know about. Hopefully it will touch some hearts and help other people like me.. The only ones that could truly understand it. My husband is my biggest supporter I have made some amazing friends within the MMA community and I'm on a mission to be what I'm destined to be.. Ps I have the best kids on the planet, they are unbelievable, they think I'm superhuman.. I wish I was, but I'm just me. I thank Tracy Tate for welcoming me to Team Cage Candy!! And that's it for now, when my book comes out, I hope one day soon.. Everyone will know my fight and I will be free of everything I hold inside. Tisha Rodrigues
Wow, I don't even know where to start. But, let me start here. You are an inspiration to any human.Especially us women! You fight a good fight in life period. You've inspired me. I look forward in reading your book.Please keep us posted.May god bless you. Always keep the faith for you've helped me keep it.
"Fight Your Fight" That you do! As your little older sister, I guess Ihave a lot I could share, but then that would leave out any surprisesand since our Family is Full of Them... I guess I will keep form andkeep people guessing! lolYou have definitely been an inspiration to all who know you! As yourBig Sis... I want you to know that I am so very proud of you and youraccomplishments in this life! Nothing has ever been easy for you(exceptfor maybe education...you smarty)! It just took longer than most, butyou still beat me! :)If there was ever a "gonna show you" person in this family... It wouldbe you! CAGE CANDY and YOU are the PERFECT FIT!With all that this family, you, and your friends have gone through withdifficulties in life and the fact that you are not only an example ofperseverance and motivation, you teach and encourage others to do thesame.Well I could go on, but I guess you get the gist of what I'm saying toyou... I love you and Support You and Your CAGE CANDY concept! It's thereal deal and all should be willing to "Fight Your Fight"... I am and soare many many others!Love Always Your Little Bigger Sister,Tiffany
I'm Jessi. I was born in Bangor, ME. I still live in Bangor, I'm 15 going on 16. The coolest thing about me; I'm an mma fighter. I train at Marcus Davis's Gym in Brewer by the amazing Garth Krane(if you say Marcus's last figth you would have seen Garth at the end when Marcus was thanking many people, inculding Garth.) I wrestle at my high school, it was my first year! But now, I love wrestling so much. But, the day after christmas; we had a wrestling match an hour away from home. My very first match of the day was against a senior, state champion, and that day he had his 100th win. I got on the mat, and he had gotten me down but I got right back up and went at him, somehow he managed to grab my shoulders from behind and slammed me to the ground as hard as he could. At that moment, I heard a loud "SNAP!", my left collar bone was broken. I kept wrestling though, for another 2-3 minutes, I had no idea what happened. He ended up winning because he always had the dominate position over me.(obviously, I couldn't move my left arm / shoulder!)I walked off the mat and told my coach "Coach my shoulder really hurts." and he said, "Go see the athletic director then!" My dad came and picked me up, we went to the hospital and sure enough, it was broken. My coach, teamates, and my dad couldn't believe I didn't cry! So my season was cut short this year, but next year, I'm going to kick ass! I goal is to make it to states, I probably won't get the 100 wins because of my first season getting cut short. But I will make it to states, just watch. My dad got me into mma by teaching me how to box when I was 13-14. He was a boxer back in the day. Boxing is my favortie type of fighting. I understand it better too. I also do grappling with Garth Krane. I've gotten pretty good over the last year. I enter in grappling tournaments & wrestling tournaments for all the experince I can get, and I would like to win! My last grappling tournament wasn't good. The people who ran the tournament paired me up with a experinced 30 year old woman! I got her down, but, she ended the fight with a comora. I was devastated, I cried not in pain, but that I lost. I will NEVER do that again, crying because you lost makes you look bad. So, because I cried, I lost my next match against a guy that I could have beaten. So, the moral of the story, DON'T CRY. My dream & goal in life is to becomone a great, famous professional mixed martial arts fighter. I know I can, I know I will. Dream, Believe, Achieve is what I say! I hope lots of girls my age get into the sport. I was so happy that I got to grapple with a pro female fighter and she told me I was good! I also know Tisha Rodriquze. She's, amazing! I look up to her, as well as Gina Carano, Lisa King, Felice Herrig and many others! I work out at the gym everyday, no matter what. I will fufill my dream, no matter what it takes. So, one day. You'll see me on TV, in the ring/octagon, magazines, posters, billboards, you name it! I will be a great champion. With all the work I'm putting in now, it's almost a garuntee. So I'm Jessi, that's my story. Sill being written. ~ Jessi Lee Parent <3
From: Heather Diaz Date: Fri, Aug 27, 2010 3:44 pmTo: "Tracy@cagecandy.com"I’m Heather and I am one of the receptionists from TapouT. I never got the chance to meet you but I saw you when you were dropping off Charles birthday gifts. You left bracelets with Jessica, the other receptionist and I just wanted to say thank you. My mom was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer back in November of 09 and just recently started to not be able to handle the pain anymore. She was in the hospital for what seemed like forever. I took the bracelet to her and she loves it. Thank you very much for the gift. Hope you are doing well. Thanks again.
I'm not the best on talking about myself but I'm 35, livin in Moorpark, CA aka SoCal. I was born and adopted in Fayetteville NC, my dad was Air Force so we moved to CA when I was a kid. As a kid I was involved in a number of sports from t-ball, track, soccer just to name a few. I also got into field hockey and played for close to 11 yrs. In high school I got into basketball, football, wrestling and Tae Kwon Do. I was entered into a few tourneys were I ended up taking 1st couple times over black belts, that to me was awesome. After high school I went to college to get my degree in Criminal Justice, I haven't finished yet. Got married at 24 and moved to NV. In my late 20's I was married then divorced, moved back to CA where I proceeded to try and get hired with sheriffs dept. While I was going through the process I was a fitness manager at Sports Authority however in Dec 04 I screwed up my back. Since then I have had 2 surgeries, got 7 screws, 2 rods and 2 cages in my lower back. My doc said I wasn't gonna be able to do much physical stuff anymore. Well I proved him wrong. Started training, doing kickboxing, some mma stuff and have had 2 pro fights. I love this sport and not going to let anything keep me down. It's just hard to do it alone.
Here is a little of my story Part 1JILL VALENZUELA: I was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1976, raised in Rockland Massachusetts.. I have two amazing siblings, an older sister Karen & an older brother Brian. I am lucky & blessed to say that I grew up in a loving home with loving parents. But growing up as a kid, I was very shy. And even today there are times I struggle with being internally shy. My parents put me into sports (soccer, basketball & track n field). From that point on I became an Athlete. I excelled in soccer & track (basketball was a different story lol). But for as long as I can remember, internally I was VERY INSECURE. I always felt ugly, dumb, stupid & not good enough. There are times today that I still struggle through these feelings, BUT the difference today is I don’t let those negative feelings stop me from doing anything anymore.... I always had a difficult time with academics... School for me never came easy, it was HARD. I always had a feeling of embarrassment & depression. I felt socially awkward. The only time I didn't feel any of those feelings was when I was playing sports. I took my SAT's to try and get in college. Needless to say, my score was ridiculously low. I got a 500 on my SAT's. Yes I honestly only got a 500. I probably spelled my name wrong lol. I was denied in 99% of the colleges I applied too. But thankfully the soccer coach at one of the colleges was able to get me in. I excelled in soccer there and I ran track, but once again due to my academics I dropped out of college. I was in a long term relationship that was not the best relationship to be in.. It was unsafe and not healthy. There was abuse on both end of the relationship. Not just him, but I abused as well... I started to drink, ALOT... I started experimenting in drugs. Then came addiction. My relationship ended with my boyfriend and I spiraled down in the world of addiction. I couldn’t stop drinking & I couldn’t stop doing drugs. I LOST everything & everyone, more importantly I lost myself. I was stealing from my family, pawning my mom’s jewelry, kicked out of the house & living on the streets. I did some unthinkable things. I was in & out of detoxes numerous times. Then came the overdose that stopped my heart and killed me. But by the grace of god, the EMT's were able to get my heart to start beating again. Right then and there my parents went to the courts and had me committed. I was sent to prison by the judge, from prison I went to a long term sober house full of women with addiction. That was where I started to finally get clean; I was on the road to sobriety.
Part 2 I met an amazing man in the US Coast Guard, my husband today. He made me the happiest person alive. He is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. We got married and had a beautiful baby girl named Trinity. We got stationed in Hawaii. Unfortunately my husband was gone all the time & out to sea all the time. I felt like (and was) a single parent. I fell of the wagon and started the world of addiction all over again..!! I thought I hit my rock bottom when I overdosed, but nope, I didn't. I hit my rock bottom out in Hawaii. I am still so devastated on the events that took place when I hit my rock bottom, so devastated that at this moment I cannot write about what happened. It is too devastating to me. Maybe one day I will overcome my rock bottom and will be able to share that story. But I just can't at this moment in my life.... My amazing husband never left my side. He stayed with me and helped me get clean & sober again. I’m one lucky woman. I will celebrate 7 years of sobriety coming up this Halloween 2011. We transferred from Hawaii to Maine. That is where my husband found "The Academy" in Portland Maine under Jay Jack & Amanda Buckner. As I played soccer next door to "The Academy", my husband joined "The Academy"... My husband pushed me to try it out and so I did. That is when I found my new (healthier) addiction. Everything about "The Academy" I became addicted too. It was all positive. My husband & The Academy have got me where I am today... And that is Happy. We once again have transferred from Maine to Florida where I continue my training at "Fighters Alley" in Melbourne Florida under Cesar Barraza. To all women out there that struggle in the world of addiction or mental disorders. Believe in yourself, you can overcome anything and everything. Don't EVER let anyone tell u you can't do anything. With heart & determination, there's no stopping you. I PROMISE... "FIGHT YOUR FIGHT". Thank you Cage Candy for welcoming me into your family. JILL VALENZUELA