Rookie Spotlight: Abby Liu

W680 abby1 I played tennis all 3.5 years at University of Texas and led my team to the Big 12 finals every year. Two of those years we went to the NCAA Sweet 16, and my last year at UT, I was ranked as high as 61 according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

I love tennis because when I step on the court, I feel like I'm in my element. Nothing else in the world matters. No stress. No thought about what is going to happen tomorrow or the day after. For me, it's all about being in the moment and being fully present. Every stroke of the ball, I focus on hitting a clean shot and putting everything into the shot. I wanted to match my opponent shot for shot and not relent.

I always looked forward to tennis practice in college because for me, it seemed like play time after morning classes. It was never a chore. I purely enjoyed the grind, the hustle and being pushed to be better every day. It has helped me find a fine balance in life now: teaching at SWEAT 1000 and owning my business. Teaching SWEAT is fun for me...not a chore.

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The D10 is a different kind of training than I’m used to. I like my leisure runs, when I don’t feel like I’m being chased! A lot of my motivation comes from the undeniable support from my SWEAT 1000 family. The men’s and women's teams and the camaraderie at my gym are amazing. We all lift each other up in all facets of life - in the gym and outside of it. I love the support from my clients, and I want to make them proud. I want them to look up to me as a role model and let them know that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.

I’m also driven by my mother and the strength she gives me. She fought a vigorous battle against ovarian cancer for over 10 years, and it finally took her in 2015 due to acute respiratory failure. She was a fighter.

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Lastly, I compete for the children at the Montessori School that I own. I do not have kids yet, but I witness the amount of love, affection and hope that the parents at my school give their children.

For a parent to hear that their child is plagued with cancer is traumatic and devastating. I can empathize with the parents because I have touched death. Not much could be more meaningful than knowing the money we raise through The D10 supports advanced treatments for prolonging and improving patients’ lives. I know that my mother would be proud of me for competing for this cause, and giving children and their families a shot to compete for their lives.

Support Abby and the women of SWEAT 1000 by making a donation to MD Anderson here