From Dancing to Fighting!
With a background in competitive dance, Sally Heys was the last person her friends and family expected would step inside the octagon to compete in an amateur MMA bout. But after some unexpected events at the start of 2019 left her feeling broken, Sally decided she needed something to make her feel strong again. She watched a friend fight in the W2W Canberra finale, and she knew this was the physical challenge she needed. She signed up to do W2W Series 10 at the Warrior Training Academy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, her training gear quickly changed from leotards to rash guards, and her life was transformed!
We caught up with Sally to ask a few questions about her experience with Wimp 2 Warrior, and any advice she has for future Warriors. Congratulations Sally – you are a Warrior!
What made you sign up to do Wimp 2 Warrior?
My first introduction to W2W was when I went to watch a friend fight in Canberra. I had never heard of it and did not have much interest in MMA itself before this day. I cannot explain the feeling that overcame me while attending this event but I immediately turned to my sister and said “I have to do this!” I had a rough start to 2019 after an unexpected break up which left me feeling broken. My confidence was at its lowest and I knew I really needed a big overhaul to pick myself up and move on and to get myself out of the dark place I was in. I needed a physical challenge to make me feel strong and powerful again. I felt so inspired that I went home that night and registered for a tryout.
How did you feel about the program before you started? Were you intimidated, excited, nervous?
I was absolutely terrified! I have competed in Physi since I was 5 years old but I had never really been a gym person and was not the biggest fan of cardio. I did not think I had a violent bone in my body and most of my family and friends laughed when I told them I wanted to sign up. After the tryout I was absolutely exhausted but I felt empowered and was proud of myself for getting through what I know now was the first of many hurdles to come.
What did you get out of doing Wimp 2 Warrior, as both a mental and physical challenge?
I can honestly say that W2W changed my life. I do not even know where to begin. Physically, I had always considered myself to be fairly fit but boy was I wrong. I really learnt about my body and how to get the best out of it. I stripped my diet right back, focused on getting enough sleep to help my recovery and did not drink for the entire 6 months. I have never been happier with how my body feels. I also learnt how resilient my body is. It was battered and bruised but I felt so strong and healthy at the same time. Although the physical changes were amazing, they were nothing compared to the emotional and mental changes.
A phrase I often repeated to myself throughout the gruelling sessions was “the mind gives out before the body”. I had often thought of myself as the type of person who starts things but often does not see them through so the feeling of walking out of that cage on fight night and knowing that I gave the program my absolute all was priceless. I had so many people doubt me but I did it! When I have started the program my was confidence was at an all-time low.
I was partying to dull the pain and did not have a lot of self-belief. The girl who walked out on fight night could not have been more different. It made me feel like I could do absolutely anything I put my mind to. I felt strong, healthy, confident and excited for the future. I will never be able to thank my coaches, fellow warriors and the W2W community enough for helping me get my sparkle back and for showing me how to be the best version of myself.
Since completing Wimp 2 Warrior, how has your life changed?
My life post W2W has been fantastic! The day after my fight I had my nephews first birthday and I was so excited to eat all the yummy party food and have a wine after a very gruelling weight cut. However, after about an hour of pigging out, I felt horrible! W2W showed me how great my body could feel through diet and exercise and I can honestly say this new lifestyle is addictive. I have continued to exercise daily and have continued a healthy diet (with the odd dessert here and there). One of the greatest things I got out of W2W however is my relationship with my amazing boyfriend Jack. Being so happy within myself opened me up to this relationship and I honestly could not be happier. It will be a hard experience to top but I have walked away with a great community of friends and mentors and am so excited for what my future holds.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience with Wimp 2 Warrior?
If you have thought about Wimp to Warrior before, don’t wait. This program will change your life physically and mentally and will show you that, you can do anything you set your mind to!