Episode 3 of LutaPod is out now, featuring Maelle, a young woman who has found a sanctuary of calm and motivation in combat sports, and who’s just show up attitude is an inspiration at the Fight for Peace Academy. 

LutaPod is a Fight for Peace produced podcast that provides a space for young women and girls to discuss and share their thoughts, views and experiences in sport. Each podcast features a special guest and one of the aims of the series is to positively influence how women and girls are viewed and received in sport by the wider public.

In conversation with hosts Asmaa and Athena, Maëlle takes us on a journey of her connection with sport, spanning her introduction to exercise as a means of managing anxiety through to the role sport has played in her life more recently as she navigated university and professional life. 

During the podcast, Maëlle explains that as a teenager she hated sports and a need to release stress that came with school and exams led her to start running. “I was so stressed I just went for a run and for the first time I was clear, I was peaceful, I was in the moment,” she says. As she built her confidence and cardio fitness, she found herself trying all sorts of sports from climbing to cross country running to parkour: “The more stress I had to handle, the more sports I got to manage that stress.”

The podcast episode delves deep into some of the vital issues sportswomen deal with. Maëlle gives her thoughts on training in predominantly male environments, the changes in body shape that come with sport, and the particular dietary and hormonal considerations that women and girls participating in sport face. 

“It’s difficult to know what level to go at when there is no one your size [in training],” explains Maëlle. “It’s kind of hard to know where you are at in your training because [men] never go full power on you. Sometimes they go really hard and you go oh wow I thought we were really even but when he tries to hurt me hard it can really really hurt me. It’s hard to know.” 

Maëlle highlights the importance of good coaching by talking through some of the experiences she has had – good and bad. Her current coach, Star, who is the Head Muay Thai Coach at Fight for Peace, has clearly had a big influence on Maëlle’s pathway in combat sports. Maëlle credits coach Star with understanding when to push her and when to put an arm round the shoulder, and fundamentally listening to the athlete’s needs. 

Having a woman as a coach has also helped Maëlle develop particular skills and knowledge in the sport of muay thai, from how to effectively clinch with male sparring partners, to what to eat and how to prepare for a fight.

All LutaPod episodes close with an inspirational message from the guest, and for Maëlle the key is showing up, even when you don’t feel like it. “Just show up, go to training, that is the hardest thing, honestly,” she says. “Sometimes you don’t feel like it, a lot of the time I have a really bad day and I am really tired and I just show up and that’s what eventually encourages me because I know that I feel better and I feel calmer after and I feel happier after.”

The full episode of LutaPod featuring Maëlle is out now on YouTube and Spotify, and you can catch clips of this and other episodes on the Fight for Peace Instagram channel @fightforpeace. As always, a huge well done and thank you to hosts extraordinaire Asmaa and Athena for guiding these pods with such skill and verve. You can also listen to the next episode which features Fight for Peace’s irrepressible coach Star!

You may also like…

Share This