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Friday
Sep132019

Baxter Humby, "The One-Armed Bandit"

When I was in my 20's, I wasn’t as "in" to yoga and physical fitness as I am now. I much preferred dancing my calories away in a nightclub or at a music festival. In my early 30’s, after marriage but before my kid, I was introduced to kickboxing by a neighbor friend of mine. It was then that I would meet Baxter Humby, "The One-Armed Bandit" and my kickboxing instructor for many years to come. The class met twice a week at the YMCA and I rarely missed it. It was awesome! I was hooked! The thrill of punching and kicking with all my heart and soul to the sound of Shakira and Wyclef Jean’s “Hips Don’t Lie” was invigorating and I was good at it.  All those years of dancing supplied me with a round-house and side kick to be proud of. I was in the best shape of my life. 

It was around that same time my Husband and I were invited to his best friend's wedding in Cabo San Lucas. On the first morning of our trip, while my Husband left for rehearsal to fulfill his duties as "Best Man" I was free to do whatever I wanted. I decided to go for a run on the beach. It was meant to be a good thing, a time to clear my head and enjoy the views from the ocean shore. The unfortunate truth is I was attacked that day. Alone, far away from anyone to hear my cries, I was left to defend my attacker. In nothing more than a bikini and a pair of sunglasses, I fought for my life as we struggled violently on the sand.

I fought like hell and got away that day. It took me a long time to get over the trauma that came with the attack. Eventually I found writing as a way to heal and release the experience. I had only one regret as I painstackingly wrote the story, reliving every detail, every sense until eventually it became a distant reflection of me. My regret was that I never mentioned my training with Baxter. I was reminded in edits that the story was not about my training or my physical fitness, rather my will to survive and perservere. When I finally shared the story, any mention of kickboxing and Baxter was left out.

I never thought I would have to use the kickboxing training I received to defend myself in real life, but in hindsight I truly believe the stamina and strength I needed were a direct result of the classes with Baxter. As I processed everything, I always knew I would find a way to honor Baxter's story. My way of saying "Thanks". So when "The Palisades Magazine" agreed to have me write a story on him, I was thrilled! Baxter has an amazing story of perserverence and never giving up. I hope you'll enjoy hearing about his amazing life! 

In Gratitude, 

Baxter Humby, "The One-Armed Bandit"

 

READ THE FULL PDF FILE OF THE PALISADES MAGAZINE

BAXTER'S STORY STARTS ON PAGE 18.

 

CLICK ON THE COVER BELOW TO LINK TO ACCESS THE FULL MAGAZINE


 

 

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