Hello, my name is Astrid Payne [sp], but they normally call me Ash. I’ve been training for five months now. I recently moved from Panama on October, so it felt really nice to just be a part of something, and meet new people and train, and have fun at the same time.

My brother was practicing Jiu-Jitsu at another academy, but we moved to Owings Mills so they recommended Crazy 88 to us, and I decided that I wanted to do Muay Thai. I didn’t have any fears before starting, but I kind of felt a little intimidated because I just didn’t want it to be like other gyms you went to and have a bunch of guys there and it just be really awkward, but pretty much that was my only fear. It ended up being the whole contrary. I made really good friends.

Sometimes, when you go to the gym, there would be guys checking you out and it’s like they were there for all of the wrong reasons. You kind of feel awkward, and you really don’t want to go anymore because you feel intimidated. It’s been pretty awesome. Everybody is really respectful, and people actually come to train.

That’s what I like about Crazy 88. Nobody comes to play. Everybody come to train, and the people you usually train with, they motivate you, and they push you harder. When you think you’re going to stop, usually, I go with Theresa and she always pushes me harder to continue and to get to the end of it.