LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman was born with scoliosis and most of life growing up she wasn't given permission by doctors to engage in contact sports.
Something Elaine Allen had a deep desire to perform. Now in her 40s, she is a martial arts disciple.
As a kid, Allen had a sack of fluid on her back that was surgically removed.
She explains scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. A deformity that prevented her from engaging in normal teen activities.
Allen said she often found it tough to watch her peers play sports. She longed to be part of a team.
"A lot of my friends at school, they played basketball, baseball and I can't play that," Allen said.
However, doctors said she couldn't play until her spine quit growing.
What followed for the next 25 years was uncharted waters. She said she had to work double time to overcome own her mind.
"For a long time, I kind of stayed away from it because you know I had that attitude that I couldn't do it," Allen said.
It wasn't until a couple of years ago when her weight went up to almost 300 pounds and she developed diabetes, that she took action to change her life.
"I've been doing the Shredz online body-building course since September and I can flex now," Allen said.
Soon Allen found her way to martial arts, falling in love with boxing and judo.
Her teacher, Alberto Rodriguez, vouches on her progress but that wasn't the case when they first started.
"Being able to communicate, that was the first challenge between me and her," Rodriguez said.
As she became more of a regular at Six Gun Martial Arts in downtown Lufkin, their communication became better and Allen became stronger in her punches.
"She loves hitting the mitts. I know that's one thing she likes to do. She'll come here and tell me can we do mitt work? And I'll tell her, yes of course we can, and we get in there and we work," Rodriguez said.