Keta Meggett Went from Being a Victim to Becoming a Fierce Warrior

Lucy Flores and Keta Meggett sitting in a podcasting booth

Wrestling superhero Keta Meggett of Team Bully Buster overcame bullying in her past and is here with Jefa Status to talk about her physical and emotional healing process.

From Being a Victim to Become a Fierce Warrior

Video Transcript:

Speaker 2: (00:06)

[opening music].

Speaker 1: (00:06)

I’m Lucy Flores, host of Jefa status where we talk to boss Latinas and dig into what makes them tick, what motivates them, what pisses them off, what drives them forward. Basically the how, the what the why. This week we address the growing national problem of bullying bullies and getting bullied is not a new phenomenon, but it’s a problem that’s been getting worse in terms of viciousness and reach to digital media. Back in the day. If you got bullied, it often stayed within a few people and it worse maybe within a school or workplace, which is already bad enough. But nowadays, the shame of being bullied can often be shared with thousands and maybe millions of people if a video goes viral. We are seeing the effects of extreme bullying on young people with recent cases of eight and nine year olds tragically taking their own lives. Today we have Keta Meggett to talk about her own experience with bullying and incredible journey of healing and leadership that Keta has taken since then.

Speaker 1: (01:08)

I’m not gonna go too deep into Keta’s background because it’s better heard from her. So I’m going to give you an intro that’s a short version. Keta was physically assaulted by a group of girls as a teenager and spent a week in the hospital and months in therapy recovering from broken ribs and other severe injuries. After that, she decided to turn her situation into something positive, trained in martial arts and founded a self defense and fitness gym and program for women and kids called Team Bully Buster. In addition, Keta is a member of the Women Of Wrestling and is featured as a woman of wrestling superhero. Keta. That’s all I’m gonna say. Okay.

Speaker 1: (01:53)

Thank you that was awesome. Cause I want to hear it all from you. So much more interesting when it’s not read by someone else. Um, and I think I want some lessons before you leave. I got you girl. I got you. Okay, definitely. Yes every women should know how to protect themselves. Right, exactly. Um, but let’s start by starting at the beginning. Um, we talked about your experience being bullied, being assaulted. Um, but even before we get that, tell me, I just want to hear a little bit about you. How did you grow up? Where did you grow up? Um, you know, what was like your experience up until that moment?

Speaker 3: (02:26)

So I, I grew up in a very cultured family. My father’s African American, my mother’s from Guatemala. Um, so the two dynamics obviously very different, but, but was a really cool upbringing. Um, and uh, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley Receda specifically, and, um, had a great life up until my parents decided to get a divorce. Um, and that’s kind of when everything hit the fan. How old are the fan? I think it was about 11. Okay. Um, 10, 11. And, uh, and then that happened. Then I got bullied. Um, no, rewind, sorry. First the divorce came and then my mother got hit by a car. Oh my gosh. Um, it was horrible. She was in a coma for 39 days and they said she wouldn’t live again. And, um, and it was one of the most traumatic, horrible experiences. And her recovery was 10 years. I mean, she had probably 30 surgeries.

Speaker 3: (03:25)

Everything was crushed, her knees, her pelvis or bones, her lungs, her skull, everything. Um, so having to deal with being a mixed kid who is in the middle of a divorce, whose mother is in a hospital bed. And then I’m starting my freshman high school year. Wow, yeah that’s a lot. Lot of identity issues growing up. I didn’t really know where I fit in. I didn’t fit in necessarily all the way with the Latinas didn’t really fit in with the black girls cause I didn’t talk black enough. Um, I wasn’t, I, you know, I’m from the Valley. This is how I talk you know.

Speaker 1: (03:59)

I’m like what do you mean I don’t talk black enough? How do you sound black enough? And what was the makeup of your school? Was there a mix?

Speaker 3: (04:07)

Mainly white, but mixed. There were Asian kids. There was Latinos, there was blacks, but predominantly white. I went to school in North Ridge. Okay. Um, so, um, yeah, just never fit in. And uh, it just was my life. I never really fit in. And then it got really bad in high school, and that’s when a group of girls, um, singled me out and knew that I was the one that they could bully because I didn’t stand up for myself. I had no clue how to. Right. Um, it’s unfortunate that as a young girl growing up were never taught what to do when we’re faced with someone who’s mean to us or when someone tries to do something to us. Um, so I froze and I froze every day until it finally, they decided to just let me have it and they broke my jaw. They broke my shoulder blade, they broke four of my ribs. Um, my pancreas and my liver were pretty much obliterated and I was on enzymes for years. Um, left me with PTSD, was in therapy and counseling for ever. Um, and it was, it was, it was pretty rough once that happened.

Speaker 1: (05:10)

And how old were you when that occurred? What are, what are you 13 when you’re a freshmen? About 13, 14. Yeah so 13 I think. So it happened your freshman year? Freshman year. Freshman high school. Wow, so at the very beginning. Yeah. They just did not waste any time. No. So from, from like, you know, how school starts in September and I think they’ve beat me up in may. Wow. And then, so, you know, before I move forward, let’s go back a little bit in terms of the identity, because I think that that’s something so real for, so especially Latinas, right? And we often talk about the spectrum of that, you know, and the fact that when we have conversations about Latina identity, we’re often not talking about the fact that, um, appearance-wise we’re all kinds of colors, right? We are kind of united in this idea, this culture of Latinidad, but we’re, Afro-Latinas, we’re white Latinas, we’re Brown Latinas, we’re indigenous Latinas. You know we’re all these different kinds of Latina. And when you don’t see other people like you and you don’t hear how they dealt with it and how they managed it, you just are kind of figuring it out on your own. And it sounds like that’s what you were trying to do, but really not succeeding at it. So like what, like, you know, how did you further kind of recede into, um, I guess like a, a bubble that made you feel like you didn’t belong during that time?

Speaker 3: (06:40)

Um, I kind of withdrew, especially with everything that was going on in my life. Um, the divorce, my mom’s accident, not feeling, you know, happy with my own, my own skin and my own hair and my own everything. Um, I just kind of withdrew honestly and, and was in a deep depression because I didn’t know where to go. Who do I talk to? Who do I even talk to about these thoughts and feelings, you know, my mom is clinging onto life or my dad who now lives in Redondo beach. Um, it was, it was tough and that, and to any girls out there that are listening or that are watching, um, you’re not alone. It’s normal and it’s okay to not know where you fit in, but just keep, find your own lane, create your own lane. I did.

Speaker 1: (07:23)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay. So this terrible thing happens. You spend how much time in the hospital and recovering.

Speaker 3: (07:31)

So, um, I was in the hospital for a week and then, um, I, I was in a sling for, I dunno, three months for my shoulder blade. Um, and then years of therapy and PTSD, I mean to the point where I couldn’t even go to the movies, like going to a theater and being in a dark place with people, um, would make my heart just start beating and I would get sweaty and my throat would get thick and I would have a full on anxiety attack. I was like, can’t go there anymore. Couldn’t go to church, couldn’t go to games, can do anything because just the fear of something happening to me and me not knowing what to do and like reliving what had already happened.

Speaker 1: (08:11)

Well, you know, I, I’ve talked openly about my incident that’s actually very similar, not with bullying, but with a violent relationship that I was in, um, where I was actually beaten up as well. Um, very violently. Um, I was only hospitalized for a day, but it’s really interesting because that’s another thing that we don’t talk about is the lingering PTSD. And the fact that as Latinas especially, we’re kind of conditioned to just be strong and to deal with it and keep going. Not talk about it. And not talk about it. And it took me years because I was, I was basically ambushed as well. Right. I was coming home from work. Um, my, I already had a protective order. All of these things in place. I don’t know who did it, but my ex told me that he, I was going, that he was going to get someone to, to hurt me.

Speaker 1: (09:06)

And he did. And um, and it was like broad daylight, so you’re just not expecting it. Right. And, and it just kinda happens. So sorry. And you’re just, yeah. And you just don’t even know other than just to try to survive. Right. You know? Um, but for years it was exactly what you described. Right. It was like sudden movement from people. I couldn’t go into a shopping, like I couldn’t, I remember being at target and not being able to walk down the aisles because they were too small and people would get too close to you. You know. That was me in a Trader Joe’s if someone

Speaker 3: (09:40)

like standing behind me. Like, Oh my God, why are you so close?

Speaker 1: (09:44)

Right. Like what’s gonna happen. So I would have to stand in the line sideways, I’m not going to face like just too many stuff. You laugh about it, but it’s like, it’s these things that seem so ridiculous but they’re so real. And it took me a couple of years, I never sought any professional help. Um, you know, in retrospect I wish I would have. Yeah. Cause I feel like I would have probably dealt with it a lot faster and been better and you know, at dealing with it, you know, different approaches that, that we learned, you know, to deal with it better. Um, but on occasion, and I was thinking this the other day, I live in downtown LA, so I’m constantly walking in crowds. On occasion someone will unexpectedly veer to close and I still get a little bit of that reflex, you know, that little bit of twitch. Yeah. And, um, and you know, it’s just, it’s so great to hear other women talk about the after, you know, we don’t spend enough time actually talking about, and this could happen to any one of us, right. Whether it’s in a domestic situation or a bullying situation.

Speaker 3: (10:50)

Even to touch on that. So me getting bullied in school and yes, I went to counseling right after and yes, I went to therapy right after, um, and felt like, okay, this is like helping. Right? Um, but then I found myself, uh, working and getting sexually harassed and not knowing how to handle it. Right. Um, then I found myself in an abusive relationship because I had no idea how to stand up to it. Right. So even though I went through the steps of coping and dealing with what happened to me, um, the process of being able to apply this new strength or whatever wasn’t necessarily there because it wasn’t there. Right. Um, I still didn’t have any skill. I didn’t have any confidence and I didn’t even have, um, the mentality to be able to connect that this is still happening to me. Whatever the problem was in high school, it’s still here because I haven’t dealt with that, which was me knowing my value, loving myself and setting boundaries and when they’re crossed, knowing what to do.

Speaker 3: (11:49)

But I wasn’t taught that. We’re not taught that. No at all. So then I was with a boyfriend who was horrible, like, I mean, like we literally call him Satan. And um, at that point I just knew something had to change. Like, can I cuss? Am I allowed? Yes. **** I was like **** this. Like enough, like enough, whatever. This isn’t Keta that’s not speaking up for herself. It’s still happening. Like, let’s get deep. Let’s just dig it out, **** it like, let’s get this, let’s deal with it. And that’s what I did. And I put myself in very uncomfortable situations. I started jiu jitsu, I started Moitai, I empowered myself. I started to find this new confidence within me that was like, no, no one will ever mess with me again. Like it’s not about thinking like I can fight the world and I can fight you and I can fight you, but I’m damn sure I can get away from you.

Speaker 3: (12:41)

Right. And I’m damn sure you’re not gonna like get away with it. So tell me more, a little bit about that process because I feel the exact same way, right? It’s like it’s been all of these years, whether it was that incident with domestic violence and you know, for me it took a long time to also stop feeling guilty about it because of that same thing where it was like I somehow it’s my fault, you know, that I didn’t fight them off or, or that somehow I brought it on myself or you know, it’s the sense of guilt that you feel for so long. Shame. Shame. And then also feeling weak, you know, like, like a victim and, and it took me a really long time to move beyond that and feel like a survivor. So for the thing for me was I really wanted to be victorious over that situation.

Speaker 3: (13:33)

It happened, for me it was the, it was a huge mind fuck. I had already had Team Bully Buster. I had already, I’m already Keta Rush, I already, you know what I mean? I’m already empowering people. But then on the backend, I’m now in a relationship with someone who’s so horrible to me. Oh so the relationship was even after. Yeah. Wow okay. So I was like, okay, this is weird. This is crazy. And I didn’t know how to what to do. I didn’t talk to my friends or family. It was, who I’m going to tell people this is like, I’m not telling anyone this is happening until it got so bad where I couldn’t not hide it when I get uppercutted in the stomach, you know what I mean? So, um, when that happened, I sat with myself and I sat with God and I said, help me out of this.

Speaker 3: (14:22)

If you can help me out of this, I promise you I will put my best foot forward and help every woman and child for the rest of my life. Because there was a moment when I was younger, let’s just say in my twenties, maybe even early thirties, where if I met a girl who said like, yeah, she’s in an abusive relationship that made no sense to me. I was like, what? Get out of it. Just leave him girl like leave him. Just block him on your phone. That makes no sense. Just don’t spend time with him, until I was in it. And then I was like, Oh my God. And I heard myself just leave him, just leave him. And you really physically, emotionally, spiritually feel like you cannot.

Speaker 1: (14:57)

That’s right, yeah. It is the weirdest thing. Like even now I’m like how, that’s crazy. It’s like you will not understand it unless you’re in it. And it’s also because you’re a different person now. Yes. Right. So you had done, so it sounds to me like you had done a lot of the external work, right? You had started Team Bully Busters, which we’re going to talk about in a second. Um, you were already learning martial arts and doing all these things and so physically you were doing powerful things, empowering things, but you hadn’t done the internal work yet.

Speaker 3: (15:30)

I needed to get with God and that’s what I did. And so for you it was religion. Yes and no it was spirituality. Like I just needed to, to, to know that I have a purpose here. Um, for the longest time too, I struggled with, I mean, being that I struggled with my identity, I definitely struggled with where do I go? What do I do? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? Um, and fast forward, I’m so grateful for everything that happened because even me getting bullied and even dating this person, like if that wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be here today. Um, I wouldn’t be able to relate to all of the beautiful women that come to me that have now been in that same situation as I was. And now I can relate. I don’t look at them like, girl, that’s crazy. Just leave him. I’m like, I understand. And I got away. And so can you, like, I can help you.

Speaker 1: (16:21)

Yeah. And it, you know, it is a process of developing empathy and it’s certainly, um, a process of changing your perspective on things, right? Because we certainly don’t want any kind of a domestic violence situation or bullying situation to happen to anyone. Right. But at the same time, in fact, what you’re teaching people is how to avoid it in many ways. Right and how to handle it if you’re faced with it. Right. But at the same time we’re all going to deal with a challenge, an obstacle, something, a tragedy, you know, like no one is immune to it. And it really is about dealing with and changing your perspective in, in why those things occur. Right. And like you’ll never be able to explain the why, but you will be able to move forward when you found a purpose because of it.

Speaker 3: (17:10)

And I kind of can’t explain the why now like I needed to go through that to be Keta Meggett , who I am today that can relate to you. You would have told me this story five, six years ago. I’d have been like, that’s crazy girl. I just would’ve been like, that’s crazy. And you stayed with them for how long? That’s crazy. Now I’m like, dude, I understand. And high five for getting out of that. You know what I mean? Like now I’m so compassionate and so empathetic towards those situations as well as the bullying. So I feel like it encompassed me and it was all from God and I needed to go through certain hurdles and certain obstacles to get to where I am today. So now I can just press forward and empower everybody that I come in contact with.

Speaker 1: (17:50)

And how long would you say that process was? So basically you were 13, 14 when this first happened, but you were already dealing with challenges at home because of what was happening. So then how many years before we get to now? Wow. A lot. Not to like giveaway your age. Yeah let’s not do that.

Speaker 3: (18:13)

No, it was, um, it’s been, it’s been a journey and it’s been an amazing journey. That’s the best part too. Like now that I’ve, like I’m on this horse and I’m riding in the lane that I created, um, I look back and I’m like, I did good. Like I’m not even, I have no shame, no, no guilt, no nothing. Like I, I came out on top of everything.

Speaker 1: (18:33)

And the reason why I ask is because I think that oftentimes we’re really impatient with ourselves and we think that we should be getting over things faster. We should be healing faster. Social media doesn’t help with that. Does not help. That’s why I spend so much time, not only because I find it really interesting, like I’m truly fascinated by every Latina who I have the privilege of meeting their journey. You know, it’s like so fascinating and empowering and inspiring. But in addition to that, it’s also for the purpose of highlighting that every single person’s journey is different and everybody works at their own pace and you, you grow at your own pace and you, you know, you develop at your own pace and oftentimes is, um, determined by the kinds of resources that you have. Right? Like perhaps my journey in healing could have been a little faster, but I didn’t think to reach out for anyone to help with my PTSD or, or, you know, think about looking for a team bully, right. Situation. So, um, so that’s why I ask, you know, cause I just think that this, this kind of stuff, like, you know, healing never happens overnight. And, and it could be 20 years, it could be 30 years or it could be a year. You know, it just, it all varies. So your process is probably not over, or do you feel like you’re kind of,

Speaker 3: (19:59)

I feel like a, I’m at a place now where I’m like, I’m just open, like God, bring it like whatever it is, whatever it’s going to be, I feel like I’m prepared for it. Or if I’m not, I will learn. Um, I’m, I’m just trusting in this life and I’m trusting God above to continue to guide me. He’s gotten me this far and it hasn’t, you know, I’m still here and I’m, I’m on top. So I feel like that’s, that’s a good thing. And I feel like, like you said earlier, perspective, the way you choose to look at your situation. I never looked at my situation as, Oh my God, why me? Woe is me. Or like, you know, I didn’t that for whatever reason, that just wasn’t in my character or in my DNA to feel that way. I was just like, this sucks.

Speaker 3: (20:43)

I don’t want to deal with it. So I put it over there and I never told for a good 10 to 12 years about that situation. Not until I was getting ready for a role where I played a pregnant crack head who was homeless. So I had to be very dark and I’m a very bright person. Right. Um, don’t mind the sweatshirt brightness, but me, it’s um, so the director during one of our character development meetings was saying I needed to dim my light. And so he’s like, we need to touch, we need to dig deep and you need to be able to access things when you’re on stage that can dim your light, right? You cannot have any shine about you, like you have the part where we got to demo all of it. And I was like, okay. So he was like, have you ever been raped?

Speaker 3: (21:26)

I was like, Oh my God. No. And he was like, molested. I was like, thank God. No. Right. Oh my gosh that’s very dark. But getting into it right? And I was like, he was like, have you ever been abused or abusive relationship? I was like, hell no. Of course. Um, and then I told him, he was like, have you ever been in a fight or beat up? Or like even with a sibling like a time. And I was like, I got bullied in school for a whole year until they put me in the hospital and it was horrible. And I told them the whole story and I started crying. And uh, it was the first time that I had talked about it in 12 years. Wow. Um, and then there was still such an emotional charge to it and then he was like, pause, sidebar.

Speaker 3: (22:06)

You need to do something with your story. You have something here. Like people need to hear this. You need to do something with it. Okay. Now back to your care. Okay. So when he said that it planted the seed and I started praying and I was like, God, what do I do with this story? Because to me it’s a really shitty story, right? Who do, I don’t want to tell this story, um, over and over and over again and cry every time. Right. Um, so I just started praying about it and that it just came to my spirit. If, if you could help you, then what would you do to help that girl? Younger Keta, what would you do? What did she need to know? And I was like, right, what do kids need to know? Kids need to know that they need to love themselves. Kids need to be confident, they need to know how to protect themselves. That confidence comes from that period.

Speaker 1: (22:54)

So let’s talk a little bit about Team Bully Busters. Um, first I want to read the description, um, that I found on the website for Bully Busters. It says Team Bully Buster is the first gym for women and children to get empowered. I don’t know if I put this for emphasis or if it’s actually an all caps on your website. It’s probably all caps. But I like it. Thank you. Cause it’s an empowered, um, also known as the empowerment place. We teach women and children how to protect themselves, how to be confident, brave and smart. And I just love that. I love it because it’s not just focused on what we said earlier, it’s not just focused on the strength and the physical aspect of it. And I can beat anybody up or at the very least I can defend myself. But it’s also about that internal work of being brave and confident.

Speaker 1: (23:47)

I just love that so much. It’s the two pieces that are necessary, right. To make that hole. Absolutely. So how does that work? How do you, you know, you have young people nowadays who are being bullied not just physically but online. Um, they are, uh, being included in sexting and shame campaigns. I mean, there’s so many ways in which young people not only are being directly bullied, but also pressured by social media. Right. And their self esteem and their confidence is compared to, you know, the latest fake Kardashian posts. I mean, this, this made up life that everybody had. Keeping up with the Jonesses. Right on Instagram and everything else. So how do you like fundamentally start with that? Because it’s so easy to tell a young person, look, it’s going to be okay. There’s people who understand you,

Speaker 3: (24:47)

you know. You can say all those things. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (24:50)

It gets better thing, which is necessary. It is. Like we need to keep telling people that. But when you’re in it and when you’re young and when you don’t feel like you have people who either are available to you or that you even see that look like you. Because for Latinas and the culture that we live in and the stigma, you know, around actually getting help, et cetera, like it’s so complicated. So where do you start?

Speaker 3: (25:16)

Um, for us, for me, for Team Bully Buster, the thing that I think is so important is, um, setting a goal or a challenge for a student and seeing them overcome it and, and their eyes open and then they’re so receptive. But you have to let that happen and, or make it happen, which I make it happen. Right? Um, for instance, I have this little girl who, um, was getting bullied. She, she actually is white, but she looks mixed. Like she’s way curlier hair than me, like very kinky hair, freckles, so cute. Um, super skinny, like not an ounce of muscle. Um, and parents signed her up, want her to be able to protect herself. She’s starting high school. Um, and she’s skinny, tiny little girl who’s definitely going to get bullied, curly hair, freckles everywhere, like just, you know, got a target on her.

Speaker 3: (26:03)

Yeah kind of seems like it’s a target. So, yeah. So, um, she came in very shy, very timid. I mean, even punching was just like, you know, and so for me, I was like, all right, I’m not even gonna go there with her. Um, I want her, she needs to achieve something for her to, to open up. So, and that’s just me knowing that, like I don’t, I don’t know where that came from, but that’s just my instinct. Yeah. So we started with box jumps started really low. Uh, well actually I started high and she couldn’t do it. Started low, worked our way up to it. Two months later she jumping over that box into a perfect squat, like now punching, kicking, everything comes to every class. So it’s really cool. The way our program works, it’s, it’s an unlimited membership and every day is something different. So like Mondays is boxing, Tuesdays is Moitai or Tuesdays is jujitsu, Wednesday is Moitai, Thursdays is MMA and jujitsu.

Speaker 3: (26:55)

Fridays is strength and conditioning. So every day there’s something for you to learn. Right. Um, and, uh, her Christmas card to me this past Christmas was the most amazing card I had ever received. She said, I literally changed her life. Um, I helped her have so much confidence. Um, she now sees how, um, what it’s like to set goals and accomplish them and now she’s ready to set so many goals. She couldn’t believe that she achieved it. She really looked at this box like, I am never gonna jump on that thing and literally is two of them now. Like it’s amazing. That makes a lot of sense. So just the, the appropriate coaching, the depositing into them that how great they are, how amazing they are, how smart they are, how strong they are, how courageous they already are for being here, how brave they are. And we have a very team community. Uh, whenever a new kid comes in, it’s, you know, they never feel left out ever. Like I ask em, how did you feel today? Oh my God, it was so great. Everyone came up and said hello and introduce themselves. Like it’s amazing. It’s the empowerment place. So from the roota to the toota, you’re going to get it. You’re going to, you’re going to get empowered mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Speaker 1: (28:08)

Yeah. Sounds to me like, um, it’s about proving that you can, you gotta prove to yourself that you can .Right. For you to believe yourself. Right exactly.

Speaker 3: (28:17)

Me leaving that situation, me being victorious over getting bullied, let me know. Oh, okay, I got this. You know what I mean?

Speaker 1: (28:26)

So I know, I think like a really great message from this for young people is that the fact that they’re getting through every single day and the fact that those days turns into weeks and turns into months and you’re making it and you’re surviving. And yes, it does get better, but that in and of itself is proving that you are, that you are made of something that you don’t even know. Absolutely. Right. Yes. And so it’s like a matter of drawing that out and, yeah. Okay. That makes, that makes so much sense. You know, I always think about how we can use these messages because, you know, the, the, the, I think the biggest problem is that there’s so much need out there. Right. There’s, there’s only one, Keta, I know, there’s only one Lucy. I know. The point of this show is to try to bring these messages to the masses. Um, but in terms of

Speaker 4: (29:17)

You know I want to go to Team Bully Buster, like I want to be empowered. You better come. Like so inspired. I’m like, I want to go. I want to jump a box. Yeah. Although I kind of don’t, but we’ll do other things. You will girl I promise. Um, but you know, it’s like,

Speaker 1: (29:32)

but not everybody has access to Keta, not everyone has access to like, you know, these programs and resources, et cetera. And so I always try to think, how do we at the very least leave some of our, some of our wisdom, some of our learnings, some of our experiences so that any young person who might be listening to this, you know, who can’t go to your class, um, can at least reflect and, and can say to themselves, well, she managed to get through it. She looked inside, she was able to pull out her confidence. Like every last one of us has the ability absolutely to, to do that in, in whatever way makes sense for them. Yeah.

Speaker 3: (30:16)

Right. Yeah, absolutely. For me, I, I, because I didn’t fit in, um, that goes with employment too. Even at every job. I never really fit in and, and I, I just didn’t ever. Are we good on time? I don’t know.

Speaker 4: (30:29)

Okay. We did not set our timers. So I have no idea. Are we good on time? I think another five minutes or so. Okay okay. Producer just says another five minutes. Sure sure. Okay. Although I could definitely keep doing this for at least another half hour. I know right?

Speaker 3: (30:48)

What I was going to say, Oh, w so, um, speaking of girls and, and, and, and kids in maybe areas that can’t, please do me a favor. Find a martial arts school. Tell them your situation, see if they’ll see if they’ll let you come in and, and just, you know, come in on that type of strength. I allow that there are kids who come that can’t afford it, but because you need to be here, you’re going to be here. Oh, it’s so great. I feel like honesty is the best policy and a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Amen. It’s on my wall. You can turn anything negative into something positive. I did it. I love that. So I did it. And I’m fruit of that. You can too. And there’s, I didn’t grow up rich. I didn’t have these resources, whatever. I just made it happen because I didn’t fit in and I was tired of trying to fit in.

Speaker 3: (31:36)

Even when I worked real estate, it’s like I’m a loan officer and I’m wearing heels and slacks and sitting at my desk like, why do I have to dress like this? No one’s seeing me. I was so uncomfortable and I was just tired of being uncomfortable. Like I wanted to be at a job where it’s warm, where I can wear workout clothes or leggings or whatever I want, but don’t want to do my hair. I don’t want to do my hair. Right. But I still want to be able to like live and like pay my bills and do whatever and because that’s what I wanted. I manifested it. I own my own gym. I am my own boss. You’re not going to tell me what to wear. I play my own music. I have the temperature where I want it. You know what I mean? Like I created the life that I wanted and anybody can, you just have to believe that you can. If you can dream it, you can become it and then you can achieve it. A thousand percent.

Speaker 1: (32:21)

So two things I want to talk about in our limited time, one cause we haven’t really touched on it is the Women Of Wrestling. Okay. So, um, first off, how did you get involved? So that is a really cool story. Short one. Super short story. Cause I wanna know how you got involved and I want to then talk about this idea of women. We talked about this before we started recording women, especially women of color being portrayed as, as the hero as like the strong person and not the accessory, which is how we often see, especially in the wrestling world, right? Yes absolutely. Like the women are always just kind of like, they’re just the accessories. They’re the arm candy. Absolutely. They’re the ones that walk around the ring and whatever. Like the supporting characters. Yes. Okay. How did you get in it? So long story short, I was already acting. I was sent to an audition for a show that I thought was Heroes. Remember that scifi show? Oh I do, yeah. I don’t know what network it was on, but I thought it was for that.

Speaker 3: (33:21)

I walk in, sign in. They call my name. I’d go in the back room and there’s a wrestling ring with girls your size, throwing girls my size and I was like, I’m your size. And I was like, hell no. What the hell? Like I got out, I called my agent and I was like, what did you just send me on, they’re wrestling? And he’s like, it’s super heroes. And I was like, no, it’s not heroes. It’s wow. Women of wrestling superhero, what I’m out of here. Cross my name out, hands on the doorknob. David McLean comes up to me and he’s like, where are you going? You didn’t even audition yet. And I was like, totally wrong place. I’m not like, I got beat up, you know, 15 years ago. I’ve never touched anyone. I don’t want to be hit again. Yeah. Like since then. So he was like, we might as well stay. We’re in LA, it’s 5:00 PM and it’s Friday.

Speaker 3: (34:06)

You’re going to be in the exact same place in 20 minutes and in 30 and 40. Takes you 2 hours to get anywhere. So I said, all right, I’ll just stay and watch. I watched. I was like, yeah, no, I’m good. But the last girl that got in the ring was 110 pounds. How tall are you? Five. Eight. She picked up a girl that was like five, 10, probably 180 pounds. Picked her up. Suplex or boom. I was like, how did she do that? Right. That was cool. I was like, I want to know how to do that, but I don’t, but I don’t want to do it yet. Let me have a waiver. So I took the waiver, I called my dad, I was like, I had an audition today. It was pretty cool. It was for wrestling and he was like, wrestling you? And I was like, yeah, it was weird. But uh, and I was like, it seems cool.

Speaker 3: (34:48)

It’s, it’s a new show. It’s going to be on TV. Um, I don’t know. And so I had sent him, I took a picture, sent it to him and he’s like, it’s interesting. Um, he was like, don’t, don’t, don’t knock it, try it. What if this is something that can be therapeutic for you to like help with any like, physical residual PTSD that you have? And I was like, all right. So I went through the whole audition process, three months of training, now I’m in there wrestling, blah, blah, blah. They booked me. They’re like, Hey, you got the role. But then again, we don’t, what are you, what’s your character? What do we do with you? Right. Because what are you. Cause right we’ve never seen you before. Because I’m guatemalan and black? Um, and they were like, okay, we have no idea what kind of character, you know, if you ever wanted to be a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Speaker 3: (35:30)

And I was like, I don’t know. I never thought about that. Let me go back to the joint. So I called my dad, go home, and I, and I tell him what’s going on and he’s like, this is cool. He’s like, send me things that you, if you had to be remembered for the rest of your life, what would you want to be remembered for? I was like empowering people, standing up for people that have been bullied, um, protecting people, all these things. I sent him all this, he came back, he’s like, you’re the Bully Buster. I was like I am the Bully Buster! I love it.

Speaker 1: (35:59)

So I pitched it to the producers.

Speaker 3: (36:01)

They loved it. Um, and I was Keta Rush because I ran track my whole life. So I’m super fast. Um, so I’m Keta Rush the Bully Buster. I love it. Which led into everything else and then, you know. So great. So the most amazing thing about wow Women of Wrestling, um, that’s on Access TV now, um, is that we are an all female cast and we’re all, um, either villains or superheroes and we go head to head and we, you know, knock it out and it’s awesome.

Speaker 1: (36:31)

I totally have to check it out. Women empowered. Is it also available? Like can I watch any online. You can watch the pervious seaons. They’re accessible on demand, somewhere. Yes.

Speaker 3: (36:40)

On demand and on the WOW website. And then a season three starts this September. And then, um, our new, we start airing Saturday nights now. We used to be on Friday nights at 8:00 PM. Now we’re Saturday nights. So it’s like a whole night of wrestling.

Speaker 1: (36:55)

I’m always available Friday and Saturday night to 8 so. Me too. I’m resting. Right i’m always looking for new things to watch. Watch it. I don’t know if I should admit that publicly I’m like at home every single weekend, just watching wrestling. Yeah it’s really cool. Every show is

Speaker 3: (37:11)

awesome. You get to see girls just go out there and be dramatic, amazing, tremendous athletes and they get to put everything out there and leave it in the ring.

Speaker 1: (37:20)

So great. Okay, super quick. I think this is really important so I want to mention it because you don’t just have young girls and women in your gym. You also have young boys. So in men. Yeah. So one of the things that I try to really underscore is how we need to also change the narrative and change the frame by which we talk about the fact that that women do have to take extra precautions and we’re trained to um, you know, not be alone in certain environments. And if you walk to your car, there’s the age old, I don’t even know if this works. And nowadays the way keys are construct did don’t do this? But you know, back in the day when you used to have it between your, right that’s probably not like, it probably doesn’t work at all, but like it kind of makes you feel a little better. I’m going to kick you before I do all of that. Exactly. But the whole idea there is that it’s incumbent on the woman. It’s, it’s like our burden to keep ourselves safe as opposed to raising our young boys and raising our men to stop freaking assaulting us. Right, right. And to respect women. Yeah. So how is that dynamic end up working out in your,

Speaker 3: (38:37)

um, in your gym, given that you do talk a lot about, you know, protecting yourself, but then also developing that confidence within yourself? I think. From the boy’s perspective. The answer would be because I’m a woman and I’m teaching, I’m a minority woman who’s teaching boys how to protect themselves and stand up for themselves. End of story. Right. They have nothing but respect. Every little boy that comes in, every little girl that comes in, hi coach Keta. Oh my God, they love me so much because what they receive from me, the food, it’s such good food. It’s filled with vitamins. It’s, it’s like amazing. It’s, and they now have this toolbox where they stand up for other people where they don’t want to see anyone get hurt because they know that happened to their coach. You know what I mean? I feel like, um, it’s just, it’s just, it just, it’s just a revolving progressive thing of goodness.

Speaker 3: (39:29)

We’re making good people and sending them off into the world. Which is we need more of that. We need boys who are going to open the door for a girl and also stand up for her and not take out their phone. We also need girls who are going to have each other’s backs, even if they don’t know each other, have her back. If you see her getting bullied, help her. Right. You know what I mean? So we, we, I mean this is just planted every day, so there’s nothing but just amazing growth happening. It’s so great. Well, that is the perfect place to end. Thank you so much. Thank you. This has been so amazing. Where can people find you so they can find you? My Instagram is the @theprettyflower or @teambullybuster. Check me out. Check out the company. Okay. You can go onto Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, check out Team Bully Buster. Um, read our reviews. They’re all amazing. It’s good. And if anyone happens to find themselves in the LA area, where exactly is the gym? Studio City, California. Yes, Okay. And we will be sure to make sure that all of the information for Keta is included in the episode information, et cetera. Follow her. If you’re in the LA area, check out her classes. I will

Speaker 4: (40:41)

definitely do so. You better come. We ran out of time. Bring Maria. So she didn’t show me any moves. Yes definitely taking Maria our producer. It’s gonna be like a whole LATV thing.

Speaker 3: (40:50)

Um, Keta, that this has been amazing. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 2: (41:02)

[closing music].

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