Proving that one is never too old to start anything.
Despite having had two knee replacements and arthritis, Jean McKenzie Baldwin goes into what her coach calls “beast mode” when in training.
This Scottish grandma’s first official match was in October 2019 against another female fighter.
Watch the video of this inspiring woman below.
Video credit: Rumble
She said: “I can’t explain how good it makes you feel. It’s so invigorating.
“Even though I’m full of arthritis I feel absolutely great.”
Jean, from Smisby, Derbys, lost her husband Peter in 2013. She took up kickboxing at the suggestion of her son to help her deal with her grief.
She said: “When I lost Peter I didn’t want to speak to anybody, I didn’t want to do anything.
“It took me quite a few years to get my confidence back.
“My son suggested I take up a sport and I went along to a gym nearby and saw these people kickboxing and I just thought ‘why not give it a try’.”
Nowadays, the grandma-of-three trains three to four times a week at a gym nearby in Swadlincote, Derbys.
She added: “My husband was one in a million and would certainly have approved of me getting in the ring. I would have said: ‘Good on you, girl. Go for it.’
“The grieving never really stops, but you’ve just to get out there. Stop sitting in the house all day long.
“Even though you have got all the wrinkles and grey hair, you will feel 20 years younger when I’m in the ring. I’m called The Beast which I think is hilarious.
“I’ve got my first bout coming up, it’s just for charity but I’m taking it very seriously.
“I’m going to go up against a woman in her 60’s and I’m determined that I’m going to be the one that’s going to come out of it.
“It’s about speed and accuracy and watching out for your opponent’s weaknesses while defending yourself from kicks.
“I become totally focused in the ring and I just give it my all. It’s a wonderful feeling.
“I get my energy from willpower and more than anything pride.”
Jamie Fearn, Jean’s coach and co-owner of Martial Sports Gym, said: “I say she goes into ‘Beast Mode.’ She’s so nice, but she does not stop.
“If I say to her, ‘don’t do this it’s too hard for you’ she’ll say ‘no, I’m going to do it.'”
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