We are in the home stretch of this boxing adventure. In some ways it feels like we just started, but in other ways is has been a very long haul – and not just for the boxers. The coaches and staff at ITC Boxing Fitness have been working flat out along with us. They have been so awesome that I’m going to save a whole post just to thank them. I asked friend and co-owner of ITC, Sheila Molloy, if she would talk a bit about their experience through all of this. Sheila was the person who
conned coaxed invited me to join and I’m truly thankful to be a part of this amazing experience. This is how The Clean Fight journey looked through their eyes.
As coaches and owners of a boxing facility, it goes without saying that we love boxing. It is one of the most challenging sports, requiring an extraordinary blend of speed, strength and endurance. To withstand the inevitable pain, injury, and fatigue, a boxer must also possess a mind that is as tough as their body.
So when we were asked to take 14 women, who have never boxed, from ground zero to their first bout in just 86 days, our answer, after a very, very long pause was, “uh…ok…but they are going to have to work very hard”.
And work hard they have.
They have trained 5 to 6 days each week. They have endured huge learning curves and countless obstacles. They have re-arranged their lives, and have dealt with injuries, mental setbacks, work-life issues, colds, flus and in one case, pneumonia.
In 86 days, no, actually in 74 days, no, let’s take it down to brass tacks – the coaches and manager have had less than 100 hours to teach 14 women how to box, help them overcome mental and physical challenges, teach them rules and etiquette, and ensure their medicals, applications, passbooks, and all their gear is ‘comfortable’ and in order. This is our first time doing this and our learning curve has been formidable.
And these women are not average people.
They all come with about 28.3% more “gung-ho” and “perfectionism” genes. So they have a lot of questions and want to break things down for a complete understanding. Communication needs to be early and thorough, and coaching needs to be very organized and specific. They are intelligent, driven, eager and all of them are very successful in their chosen careers.
And that’s not intimidating at all.
The team at ITC has worked hard. Our coaches have been their sparring partners, each going up to 21 rounds, 3 days a week. Coaches Mark Riggs and Patrick Molloy both put in extra time teaching, giving feedback and working individually with each boxer to get them physically, technically, and mentally prepared. We communicate, inform, inspire and organize to allow the boxers to focus on their training and fundraising.
And so we are tired, sore and overwhelmed with the sheer pace of everything.
We started our side of this journey focussed on getting these women to a place where they could box safely and well enough to feel pride in their accomplishment – to show off their new skills. In the mean time, we have gotten to know 14 incredible women who are managing through an extremely difficult mental and physical journey so people they don’t even know can live cleaner and better lives. They have energized us as coaches and have inspired us as individuals.
And we are proud of every one of them.
We have just 9 days before all our work comes to its intended conclusion. We know that once the extra hours of coaching and organizing is done, there will be a significant amount of free time again, but an equally large gap in our lives.
If you have not given yet, please do now. There are still a few women who have not made their $5000 and all of them deserve to be in the ring on November 28th.