That Time I Tried Extreme Pillow Fighting

That Time I Tried Extreme Pillow Fighting

UntitledNo, this is not a joke. Extreme pillow fighting is a very real thing and this week, I tried it. More accurately, I tried OUT for it at the Anchored Social Club in Toronto, which is kind of like where you’d expect a Canadian Fight Club to take place.

A friend of mine, Brandy Dawley, is the president of The Official Pillow Fight League, which is a worldwide organization that pits woman against woman in a match to the, uh, metaphorical death. Yeah. That. Ok, but really, no one dies, but my best comparison of what goes down in a pillow fight match is UFC meets Roller Derby. Anything goes as long as the pillow is the point of contact. This means that bitches get chokeholed (as long as the pillow is doing the work), punched, perform leg sweeps and MORE. It gets REAL SCURRY and I legit witnessed the world champion (yes, this is a real thing also) chokehold someone with a pillow, take them down and then straddle them victoriously until they tapped out. REALLY.

Brandy needed some women to come out to tryouts for the league since it had been on hiatus since 2011 or so and there is currently no active roster. Her and BJ (another member of Team PFL) have been trying to get things ramped up to make a comeback and they put the call out to get more women involved.

I saw the post on Brandy’s Facebook page and was like “Sure! This sounds like something I could do!” because it did… at face value. The call more or less made it seem pretty innocent and my initial thoughts about the whole thing were that it was going to be a bunch of ladies in a group beating each other up with pillows, but like, in the same manner that you would at a teenage slumber party of some sort.


After I committed myself to the tryouts, I went to The Official Pillow Fight League page and watched some of the videos there. I went from being pretty excited about it to straight up terrified.


I had a week to prepare and spent every moment of it training like I was the star of a Rocky training montage (but not actually because ew exercise). I did go to the gym, but it’s really hard to narrow down which exact exercises will help to prepare you for extreme pillow fighting. LOTS OF ARM STUFF (spoilers: it didn’t help me).

Let’s flash forward to the actual event because the rest of this story otherwise is a lot of me panicking and freaking out about stuff and having my friends all watch the video and text me “Wow, you’re gonna die. Can I have your art?” so THANKS A LOT, MORAL SUPPORT TEAM.

I’m one of those people who typically HATES being late for things. Like, I get mass anxiety thinking about being late to a thing that I’m supposed to be at by a certain time. I had originally intended to go straight from work to the event, but I wound up going home and then making my way over to the event. I got there all kinds of stupid early, which was fine because I got to meet the crew, hang out with Brandy and meet BJ.

I was already incredibly nervous about the event but as the night went on, I got more and more nervous. No amount of reassurance from the people around me (EVERYONE BUT YOU, JAMES COOPER) was enough to help talk me down. Carmen Monoxide, a world champion (that I mentioned earlier) came by and taught me a few moves along with one of my opponents, Bailey in an effort to show me that this was in fact something that I could do. This somehow made me even more, MORE nervous.

The scheduled fights kept getting pushed back and finally, 8pm rolled around and we were ready to start. We got a pep talk and settled into our fates. I would fight Monique first and then my second fight would be with Bailey. Each fight is comprised of three rounds that are two minutes each. Let me tell you, THAT SHIT IS EXHAUSTING. Swinging a pillow is SURPRISINGLY hard to do for that length of time.


It was, however, totally baller to have a bunch of dudes fanning you and doting on you in between the rounds. Basically the best doting boyfriends I’ve ever had… you know, minus the boyfriend part.

I had to wear elbow and knee pads, and a mouth guard, which I was TOTALLY FINE with. I didn’t want to knock any of my teeth into the audience as a souvenir. Of course, that didn’t stop me from being the only one to ultimately end up in the hospital because of EXTREME PILLOW FIGHTING.

If you want to have a good laugh, seriously hurt yourself at a pillow fight and explain that to the staff trying to take care of you.

IMG_7220YEAH, so during the second round of my fight with Bailey, I wound up rolling my ankle and heard a crunch. I continued to fight because there was some serious adrenaline pumping through my veins but by the time that faded, my ankle was absolutely pooched. An awesome dude (sorry awesome dude but I don’t think I got your name but thank you!!!!!) found me some ice and made me a makeshift ice pack to put on my leg and made sure I was taken care of.

Anyways though, I thiiiiiink I did pretty freaking good for my matches and was full of sarcasm (my default language) during my post-fight interviews. The PFL says I MADE IT in the league when it’s up and running fully, but I’m up in the air on whether I’ll return or not. I think my current ankle injury is heavily influencing my opinion right now though.

Ok, real talk: I swear that this night was way funnier and more amusing than this blog is leading you to believe. I’m honestly not sure why I’m currently not compelled to make it sound better. IT WAS FUN, but also legit terrifying.

THIS WAS A TERRIBLE BLOG, I AM SORRY. I WILL WRITE A BETTER ONE ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE SOON, OK? Look at me beating on poor Bailey (she destroyed me, so don’t feel too bad for her here) and the dude looking on here, which is obviously the highlight of this photo.

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