In 2013, Farinaz Lari made history when she became the first Iranian woman to win the World Kickboxing Championships. Sadly, unforeseen circumstances forced her out of the ring for several years. Despite the adversity, the 31-year-old kickboxer has continuously fought in order to excel in her field and become the badass that she is today.
After moving to Vancouver from Iran, Lari had a different set of beliefs compared to her friends and colleagues in Canada. “I didn’t even know that women had the same rights as men,” she says. “I didn’t know that I can be a top athlete having the same opportunities as men. That’s what Vancouver has given me. It gave me the confidence to believe that I can be, not the same as the men, but even better.”
Living here, Lari learned that life was better than she thought it could ever be. In September 2013, she won the World Championships and became a role model for all Iranian women everywhere. This title put her in the limelight and opened several opportunities for her. People were praising her left to right, but not everyone was genuinely happy for her success.
The following year, she attempted to apply to compete again in the World Champions, however, things took a turn for the worse.
“I got served with a letter saying that because I’m signing up for a different team without a letter from my birth country, I’m suspended for two years.”
Immediately, Lari felt that the suspension was sexist. “The first thing that came to my head was, ‘If I was a man this wouldn’t have happened,'” she says. “Men have changed teams when they immigrated to other countries and there has never been a problem.”
Two years later the suspension was over, but Lari says the Federation “came up with another excuse” and slapped her with another two-year suspension.
“But that didn’t stop me from trying. That didn’t stop me from training every day. That didn’t stop me from pushing it every day. It made me stronger. It made me angrier. I just wanted to prove that I could be better.”
Finally, after four years out of the ring, she was finally able to jump back into the sport. Upon returning, the kickboxer admits feeling “kind of frozen.” Her first fight ended up as a draw which affirmed her own beliefs that she had lost her fire. But rather than remain knocked down, she decided to pick herself up and reignite her flame.
Two weeks after the loss, she headed over to Thailand for another fight where she impressively won by knockout. “That’s when I felt that all my body was shaking,” she says. “I felt this fire inside and it was back.”
Although her journey has involved a lot of ups and downs, there is only one thing that she would have changed – not believing in herself sooner.
“It took me a long time to understand my value to appreciate what I have and accomplished, and what I can do.”
If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. I’m posting this for those who think it’s supposed to be easy. For those who say they know their body and can’t do certain things because they’ll get injured… Everything hurts. It will always hurt. On another note: -5 clusters +10 burpees -10 clusters + 10 burpees -go up to 30 clusters + 10 burpees. For time. ——- اگر شما رو به چالش نكشد، هيچ تغييرى در شما ايجاد نمى كند. اين ويديو رو براى كسايى گذاشتم، كه فكر مى كنن كارها بايد آسان باشه…. اونايى كه مى گن بدنشونو مى شناسن و اگر دردشون بگيره آسيب مى بينن. همه چيز درد داره…هميشه درد خواهد داشت… وگرنه كار نمى كنه… در راستاى اين صحبت: قسمتى از تمرين امروز. – اين حركت ٥ تا + ١٠ تا برپى – به اين حركت هر ست ٥ تا أضافه كنيد +١٠ برپى تا ٣٠ بالا بريد. #farinazlari #phoofophaaaa #fit #lovethehustle @yorkathleticsmfg #fitness #fitfam #fitlife #workout #nopainnogain #ورزش #فيتنس #respectyouruniverse #beautifultough @ryu_apparel
Her battle to get to the top was a struggle, but it was well worth it. Now, she hopes her underdog story can help inspire any dream chasers that may be doubting themselves.
“The biggest advice I would give people is that don’t listen to anybody else. If you believe something in your heart then you can achieve it. Don’t ever let anybody bring you down. Just because they can’t do it, doesn’t mean you can’t.”
If you were inspired by Lari’s story and you want to start fighting for yourself, Society Nine has everything you need to get started. The modern women’s boxing lifestyle brand supports strong, empowered women, like Lari, by providing them with the necessary gear to excel.
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