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My Boxing Journey is Just Beginning

By Katie Donohue

I have been an athlete my whole life. Growing up, I played multiple sports through every season from basketball to volleyball to cross country and track to lacrosse, swimming, soccer, and more. The one sport I stuck to the longest was softball, and I was even able to walk on to a Division 1 program in college. The most important thing I learned from my softball career was that you will never just be handed a chance, you need to work your ass off to play the game.

My high school softball coach was probably one of the most influential person in my life, and what he taught me I still carry with me today. I was a starter, leading the lineup and playing the field every game through my Freshman and Sophomore years. When I became a Junior, I fell into a massive slump, brought a poor attitude to practice every day, and I didn’t play because of it. In the moment, I felt like it was unfair that I wasn’t getting playing time, and I was mad at my coach because of it. Now, I completely understand why he benched me. It was because I wasn’t putting in the effort to be in the starting lineup. I didn’t deserve a spot on the field because I didn’t want it badly enough. I learned my lesson that year, and I spent the summer working both on my game and my attitude. I understood that I wasn’t just going to be given a spot in the lineup, I needed to earn it. There wasn’t a single game I sat my senior year, and it was because I stepped it up and proved to him and to myself that I deserved it. I took that same attitude and drive with me to college when I tried out for the D1 program at Quinnipiac and made it, and I have carried it with me through my boxing career as well.

I started boxing back in college through a Kickboxing elective course I took during my senior year. At first, I didn’t take it seriously. I only signed up for the class because I thought it would be easier than some of the other options I could take. As I continued to show up week after week, I started really learning about the sport and paid closer attention to the technique behind my punches and kicks. I suddenly became hooked. I spent each class trying to get even better than my last. I would pick out competition among the other students in the class, watched how they moved, and tried to punch faster and harder than them. I was even able to spar at the end of the course, and in that moment all I wanted to do was continue to fight.

After college, I started a marketing job at a major sports company. They started bringing in boxing classes to work every Wednesday, and the instructors that came in were AWESOME. They focused on technique, defense, and conditioning exercises that would make me a stronger and faster fighter. With my competitive athlete spirit running through my veins, all I wanted to do was put in the work to get better. I learned more and more each time I went, and it quickly became my favorite thing to do. I was also lifting a few days a week, going to cardio or HIIT classes, and running, but nothing made me feel the way boxing did. I still do all of those things today, but I do them to make me a better fighter.

The other thing I’ve realized since I started boxing is that it almost forces you to think about why you’re fighting. Why was I drawn to boxing in the first place? I love the challenge and the competition behind boxing, that’s definitely a big part of it, but even more so I love what it represents. Boxing is a fight. It’s not easy, no matter what level you fight at. People fight for different reasons, and I’ve realized boxing helps me realize what I’m fighting for.

I fight to maintain and continue to improve the competitive athlete in me.

I fight to find strength in myself that I didn’t even know I had.

I fight to push myself to reach new heights in my fitness.

I fight to learn control and patience.

I fight to support my brother who is a US Marine fighting for country.

I fight for my family.

I fight for those I’ve lost.

I fight to prove to myself that I can do it.

No matter what you’re fighting for, boxing allows you to bring that feeling with you to every class, every session, every fight.

Today, I take boxing classes, box on my own, weight lift, run, and I work with a boxing trainer at a gym in Boston. Ever since I sparred back in college, I’ve had the itch to fight in the ring. I’ve made it my goal this year to challenge an opponent for my first fight. All of my training over the last few years has led me to this, and I will not quit until I can achieve this goal and the next goal and the next and the next. Just like what my high school softball coach taught me, I need to work my ass off to earn my spot in the ring.

I’ve been boxing for a few years now, but I still feel like my boxing journey is just beginning.

Want to rock a badass wardrobe like Katie?
Check out the Bia Boxing Glove, Essentials Legging, Heritage Muscle Tank, Essentials Muay Thai Shorts and Manifesto Hand Wraps!
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