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Ronda Jean Rousey: My Fight/Your Fight Tells Judo Fighter’s Addiction Story

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Ronda Jean Rousey is no stranger to hardship.  The Olympic Judo fighter’s memoir/self-help book, “My Fight/Your Fight,” details her triumph over drug abuse and an eating disorder.  “The way I got here wasn’t perfect,” stated the fighter, who was also the first woman to bring home a bronze medal in Judo during the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008.  “It was messy, and there was a lot of s- -t along the way.”

Ronda Jean Rousey Tells All

Ronda Jean opened up about her memoir by describing it as, “very nerve-wracking.”  She co-authored it with her sibling and sports-writer Maria Burns Ortiz.  “I don’t know how people are going to take it,” Rousey admitted about her honesty in the memoir.  “But I always feel truth is the best armor.”

Rousey’s Early life

Ronda Jean Rousey didn’t have an easy start.  She was born with a condition that kept her from breathing in normal oxygen levels and she couldn’t speak until she was four years old.  By the time Rousey  turned eight, her father committed suicide in the garage of their home.  “I never wanted to be in the situation where I’ve told the story so many times that I become detached from it and don’t cry,” Rousey said when describing her father’s death as one of the most unbearable moments she’s endured.  The same year, She found out her mother, Annmaria De Mars, was a professional Judo champion from 1984.  She was inspired and became passionate about learning the sport, so she had her mother train her when she was 12 years old.  “I learned that if my toe broke, I could run on it anyway,” she explained.

Pressure, Eating Disorder, and Substance Abuse

Ronda left school at 16 years old to compete in Judo championships in Boston.  Leading up to the 2004 Olympics, she engaged in unhealthy eating practices like binging and purging.  “I used to associate feeling full with guilt,” Rousey explained.  “Because there was no advice or help if you didn’t make weight — they just yelled at you.”

Rousey became depressed, terrified of disappointment, and was consumed by indecent thoughts.  Life became hectic. She went from living at an older boyfriend’s home to tiny apartments.  She began drinking excessively, smoking, and picked up a pill habit.  While holding a job at a bar in Los Angeles, Rousey was still able to win the 2008 Olympic medal for Judo but the relationship she once held with her mother was weakening while her addiction was becoming stronger.

She put effort into training once more and by 2010, she was working at a 24 Hour Fitness.  Her comeback hadn’t arrived until she was taken on by Strikeforce and eventually by MMA Organisation.  She was most successful after a fight that only lasted 23 seconds because of her skilled Judo move.  Rousey described the thrill, “I felt a level of joy that I had never experienced before.”

Overcoming addictions can seem impossible when you’re in the middle of it, but it is possible to recover long-term.  Rousey is a prime example of an individual who struggled with pressures that pulled her down a negative path but through her life’s journey and passion for Judo, she overcame her struggles.

Are you suffering from a drug and/or alcohol problem?  Reach out for help with The Watershed today.




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