Our ninth Awakening Spotlight article takes us to Louisville, Kentucky to highlight American Muay Thai and K1 fighter Lindsay Haycraft. We thought this genuine and hardworking lady was an ideal athlete for this months’ spotlight. Sadly, she officially announced her retirement at the end of May, etching in history her respectable overall record of 25-12-0. We asked her what inspires and motivates her, and she replied…
“I find inspiration in all areas of my life, but that motivates me to appreciate life, and the opportunities I have had to live my dream. But, I don’t need motivation to fight. I am a fighter and it is what I love to do”
Lindsay was born in 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio and was the youngest child of three (having both an older brother and sister). She was always a sporty youngster and had participated in gymnastics between the age of 7 and 14 years old. It was really soccer however during her teens that she was dedicated to. At high school she would develop her “train hard” ethic by starting fitness-based classes during the off-season of her soccer schedule to increase her cardio, and ultimately to make her a better soccer player.
Lindsay Haycraft vs Anke Van Gestel
She moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 2003 to attend the University of Louisville on a soccer scholarship, however she instantly missed the extra fitness classes she had been taking and decided to find something to replace it. She sought out a place that would complement her soccer, with the intention yet again to improve her performance on the field. We wonder if Lindsay hadn’t gone to Eric Haycraft’s Gym, how would her life path have manifested itself? In Lindsay’s words…
“I was lucky to have walked into Eric Haycraft’s Gym and the rest is history!”
Feelings developed quickly between Lindsay and Eric but neither were ready to acknowledge the fact in these early days due to an age difference. Lindsay was 19 at the time and Eric, 31. She was drawn to how passionate and hardworking he was in all areas of his life, not just with his Muay Thai and Kickboxing. They were inseparable as friends for a long time, but it wasn’t until 2008 they opened up to each other and started dating. Five years later on Jan 4th, 2013, they got married!
Lindsay Haycraft vs Anke Van Gestel
Lindsay is definitely not one of life’s quitters; she completed her 4 years of college soccer and simply moved seamlessly into training to become a competitive fighter. We’re glad she did! During her fighting career she has gathered a wealth of experience, working with fighters such as: Ramon Dekkers, Rob Kaman, John Wayne Parr, Germaine de Randamie, and Julie Kitchen. She tells us that she has found it a privilege to meet many other amazing fighters over the years on her trips overseas, both at gyms and events.
In 2007 she made her amateur debut, and in 2011 she transitioned to the professional circuit. Never one to shy away from opponents, during her amateur career she faced Denise Kielholtz twice, and now MMA fighter Jessamyn Duke back in 2008. At pro level she faced Denise yet again, and also battled with the likes of Aleide Lawant, Maria Pantazi and Anke Van Gestel.
Lindsay Haycraft vs Aleide Lawant
Lindsay puts all of this experience to good use! Although she doesn’t teach classes at the Haycraft gym routinely (due to her work schedule), she covers classes while Eric is out of town with other fighters. Their gym also has a novel system that relies on the more experienced members passing on their wisdom to the less experienced. This means that Lindsay has the opportunity to teach at every class and offer her insights based on her great deal of experience.
We briefly mentioned in the last paragraph Lindsay’s work schedule, so what does she do? She is a pediatric physical therapist, working with children from birth to 3 years old. A commendable occupation that she is committed to, in which she helps to develop a child’s gross motor skills.
Lindsay Haycraft vs Denise Kielholtz
We put the question to her; what are your future goals?
“I am lucky to have had the opportunity to chase my dreams in the fighting realm, and went as far as I was capable. My future goal is to continue to train, learn, and challenge myself within the parameters of the sport, and transition into the next chapter of my life. I am fully aware that this sport has a shelf life and am looking forward to continuing my career as a physical therapist and starting a family in the near future.”
…which covered our next question about her future family goals! Let’s hope we get to see many little versions of Lindsay Haycraft entering the sport in a few years!
Lindsay Haycraft. Photo Credit: Matjaž Knuplež
Looking back at her career Lindsay believes that in this sport she is everything that she is due to; her coach/husband and teammates pushing her to be better and believing in her abilities, her family of course, and all of the wonderful female opponents she has had the privilege of fighting.
We will leave you with a final thought from Lindsay…
“Be true to yourself and work your ass off and you will be able to accomplish much more than you thought was possible.”