***Originally posted on 10/19/17. UPDATED 12/14/18: Tune in to UFC Fight Pass on 12/14/18 to see our Float Fam Member Jamie Colleen do her thing in the ring! She is on the main card, and while fights start at 9pm ET, we do not know exactly when she will get in the ring. Please help us cheer her on! A survivor for domestic violence, read all about her journey in the blog below.
In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight one of our Float Fam members, who has blazed an extraordinary path of survival and healing. Jamie Colleen is a Mother, an MMA Champ, and a survivor of domestic violence. She is an inspiration to all of us, as she has been relentless in her pursuit to prevail over what seemed like a hopeless situation. She is now working with other survivors, to help them feel empowered to overcome their own struggles. Read our interview with Jamie, below, to learn more about her journey, healing and her new project, "Reclaim Your Power."
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Jamie Colleen, 31, mother of a 7 year old daughter - Selena, and I have been living in Philly for 9 years.
I am a professional MMA Fighter, personal trainer, and a spokesperson/advocate for Women Against Abuse.
I was born and raised in West Virginia, where I was a competitive athlete most of my adolescence.
In my junior year of high school my mom and I moved to SC. At the age of 19 I found Marital Arts. I quickly realized it was a passion and I wanted to see how far I could take it. I went on to compete in amateur boxing, Muay Thai and MMA.
I then became pregnant with my daughter after my family moved to Cincinnati to start a business - fresh pasta and a bakery.
A job offer took my ex and I to Philadelphia. Two years after my daughter was born, I made my professional mma debut.
I am now 4-1 as a professional. I was the first ever Women’s bout for UFC Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and former Straw-weight Champion for King of the Cage.
We know you've recently sustained an injury, how has that affected your training and how have you been working to heal?
I am currently rehabbing from re-injuring my knee after my last fight back in August. I had ACL reconstruction back in February, but then re-tore it in my last fight. My training consists of lots of strength straining, pad work and Jiu Jitsu.
Also, I started floating at Halcyon more than a year ago and I has changed my recovery immensely. Float therapy has allowed my body (especially my knee) to recover freely without feeling any pain whatsoever. The sensory deprivation tank is also hugely beneficial for recharging my mind, as well. I can’t stress enough how important it is for athletes to also focus on recovering mentally. Floating allows my mind to recharge and let go of any negative energy, stress or frustrations that I may have been feeling on and off the mats.
A lot of us learned a ton about your journey from UFC Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Your strength is admirable! For those who don't know your story, could you please share about your past struggles, your path to healing and the work you are doing to help others?
I recently partnered up with Women Against Abuse - a nonprofit organization that offers services and resources for women and children who are suffering from domestic violence.
As a survivor of domestic violence and former client of this organization as well as a former resident of one of their Safe Havens; I decided to start Reclaim Your Power - a self defense and fitness boot camp, in order to promote self confidence, empowerment, and a sense community.
Self~care is such an important part of healing and moving forward, so this is an amazing way to help the clients to get through their situation while feeling like the strong and empowered women that they are! Above all, we have a blast while doing it!
I cannot express enough the magnitude of the impact Reclaim Your Power is having! I am more than grateful to WAA for allowing me to share my talent and stories with others while instilling hope . Without a doubt this is one of my greatest accomplishments and I look forward to what the future brings!
**Help is available! Call the citywide, 24-hour Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (1-866-723-3014) anytime for crisis intervention, safety planning, resources and referrals. All calls are free, confidential and anonymous.
Hotline counselors can help connect you with free services in the Philadelphia area, including emergency housing, legal services, behavioral health services and more!
Bilingual counselors are available on the line for non-English speaking individuals**
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