Mommy's Going Boxing: From the Road to the Ring
Tuesday, July 2 2013
Three years ago, I became a runner. I have always played sports, worked out, been active and competitive; however once Lucy, my third child, came along, the solitude of the road held more appeal to me than a crowded class at the gym, or sweating it out next to someone on the elliptical. Running was the only time that I had to myself, to be alone with my thoughts. Okay, I wasn’t totally alone; Rihanna, LL Cool J, The Black Keys, and a few others hit the road with me. But for the most part, it was just me, myself, and I. I quickly transitioned from being a casual runner to being a competitive runner; from 5K to 10K to half and then finally full marathons - there was always a bigger goal, always a personal record to set. And every time I set out for another run, every time I sat down to lace up my sneakers, one of my kids would call out to me, “Mommy, are you going running?” Yes guys, Mommy’s going running. Around the same time that I became a runner, I also picked up boxing. Nothing competitive, just a class for fun and fitness. Boxing class was a great workout, a social workout, and it also prevented me from becoming one of those runners who does nothing else but run (no offense to those runners who do nothing else but run. More power to you. And your legs.). After a little over a year of boxing for fun, I decided that it was time take it to the next level. It appears that I am incapable of doing anything just “for fun.” A good friend of mine, Julie Marobella, suggested I start working with her trainer, Marc Gargaro, over at Nonantum Boxing Club (http://www.nonantumboxingclub.com/). In the fall of 2012 I started up with Marc. When I began working with him, he asked me if I was interested in fighting. “Nah,” I told him. “I just want to get better at the sport.” I’m sure you can guess where this is going. After several months of private lessons with Marc, taking classes, surrounding myself with active amateur fighters at the gym, I got the bug. In the early winter, I put my name in to be considered for the May 2013 Haymakers for Hope (http://haymakersforhope.org/) event at the House of Blues in Boston. I had met Julie Kelly at Nonantum several months earlier, and was inspired by her story and the organization that she and Andrew Myerson had started. Unfortunately, cancer is a disease that hits very close to home for me. I have witnessed many family members and close friends bravely battle this disease, some coming out on top, others struggling for years but eventually being overtaken. Like fair skin and light eyes, cancer seems to be passed down through the generations of my family. Whatever I can do to raise money and awareness, to maybe prevent my children from having to witness the struggles of their loved ones with this terrible disease, whatever I can do, I am willing to do. Although I didn’t get a match for the spring event, I continued on in my journey to become a better boxer. Seeing Marc once a week, heading to the gym every Wednesday and Sunday to spar with some fantastic women, fighting in a few exhibitions; I was determined to grow as a fighter, to get myself to the skill level where if an opportunity for a fight arose, I would be ready. Then, Monday, June 10, 2013, I received the e-mail that would set me down my current path: Dear Felicia, Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I am informing you that we have found you a fight for our 2013 Boston Women's event. We are very excited to welcome you to the Haymakers for Hope family. My journey continues. Now, every Wednesday night when my kids are sitting down to dinner and I am heading out the door, every Sunday when I grab a cup of coffee and go, either Will, Charlie, or Lucy invariably call out to me, “Mommy, are you going boxing?” Yes, guys. Mommy’s going boxing.