Before every fight, Meagan always sat alone in the locker room for a time before going out to the ring. This was her process. This was how she got her mind ready. She could be in the best physical shape of her life, like she was right now, but her mindset was everything. She understood that. She respected that. And she learned a lot about herself throughout the years of her young life, like how much she loved music. No one ever seemed to understand, or care, but music ran through her bloodstream. It could calm her when she was stressed, make her happy when she was feeling blue, or enhance her anger and channel it into a starving motivation to win… The latter was what she needed right now.
First things first, though. What Meagan liked to do before listening to a few songs on her Spotify to “pump her up” was to give herself a mental rundown of everything that pissed her off that she could think of. Mostly, she thought about all the people that had angered her, left scars on her memory that she couldn’t erase. The bullying she had to endure while she was in school… Man, that grated on her nerves almost more than anything. Most recently, her supervisor at the grocery store – ex- supervisor, more appropriately – had humiliated her in front of all her coworkers, not to mention dozens of shoppers she didn’t even know, on her last day there. Yeah… That guy. He was still fresh in her mind. Dick… That was his name, and, really, how fitting. The more she thought about Dick, the angrier she got, so she kept focusing on him. For fifteen minutes, she sat on the cold cement bench, staring at the wall and seeing nothing but her former boss’s arrogant face, and what he did to her, until she growled and stood up quickly. She smacked the locker in front of her – her locker – with the palm of her hand multiple times without stopping. Then she screamed. Heavily, she sat back down. Now, she was ready to listen to some music. She took out her phone. There was still fifteen minutes, give or take, left until showtime.
This was about to be the fight of her life – the womens’ light heavyweight championship of the MMA, one that could be the difference between her getting into the UFC world, and continuing being a nobody. For her three songs, she chose: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor; “Take It Outside” by Brantley Gilbert; and her newest personal favorite, “Catch Hell” by Adam Calhoun and Katie Noel. Meagan’s favorite part of the last song was one that spoke directly to the strong, young woman:
“Two times, hit ‘em two times,
Castin’ out these demons like I’m castin’ out a line
I ain’t lyin’ fist fight me. Hoowee, like a girl…”
Once she was finished listening to her songs, she was satisfied that she was mentally ready to enter the ring. Now or never, she told herself. You got this.
A loud knock at the door of the locker room signaled that her manager, Damien was ready to lead her out to battle. Damien Gray was more than just her manager. He was the man who gave her her first real start, who saved her from herself, and the only true friend she had left in the whole wide world. “Ready for you, girl,” she heard him holler from the other side of the door. Calmly, slowly, and deliberately, Meagan stood up, put her phone back into her duffle, locked up her locker, and walked out to meet Damien.