Belles of the Brawl V: Alice Liao
Friday, July 21 2017
During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Belles of the Brawl V in Boston on October 5th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether they've had first hand experience, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Alice Liao, fighting out of Back Bay Boxing in Boston, MA.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Pleasanton, California but moved to Taipei, Taiwan when I was eight years old for my dad’s job.
Where’d you go to college?
Simmons College - go sharks!
Did you play any sports growing up?
Fun fact: my older sister and I fought constantly growing up so we weren’t allowed to play the same sports. She was clearly the more athletic one and since she was older played pretty much every sports I had wanted...but I ended up playing volleyball and fell in love with the sport.
What do you do for work?
What a loaded question for me right now! I’ve been a high school history teacher in the Wellesley Public Schools for the past several years and fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to take the past two years off as a leave of absence. During that time, I consulted for a non-profit and helped them develop and lead youth conferences around the world. It has been a whirlwind in the past two years and I am excited and reinvigorated to return to teaching in the fall.
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I started boxing on a whim-John (Back Bay Boxing Coach) and I met at a TRX class and he persuaded me to try his class out. Boxing made me realize how out of shape I was! But it also challenged me mentally and that was something different than other workouts. I fell in love with boxing because it became somewhat of a meditation for me. I had to my find my rhythm, my zone.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight?
I still ask myself that question every single day! But I signed up because the last two years my life had flipped upside down. Two years ago, my health was at its worst and I had just left my dream job. During that time, I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear more times than I can remember and now I’ve learned to conquer that fear with action. Because that is the beauty of life. Life is a lot about perception and timing…things don’t come to those who wait-they come to those who act. Every accomplishment that I’ve had thus far started with the decision to just try. So, I did. I took risks and I did things even before I knew I was ready. I did what I was afraid of, I stepped outside of my comfort zones, I took on all opportunities that came across my path, and I worked really, really hard. So when this opportunity presented itself to me, I thought, why not?! Who’s going to stop me now? So, I fight for myself, my family, my co-workers, and more importantly, for my students.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure—where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
My students are my inspiration. We don’t give our youth enough credit-they are more resilient and capable than we think. We, as a society, do not provide them with enough opportunities to show that they can be change makers in our community. It doesn’t have to be when you’re in college or when you’re an adult. Change happens now. It’s about self-discipline- what you learn in that 1 hr of training is more than you’ll ever know. You’re learning skills, life skills, discipline and above all, you’re learning about you. How you respond and how you can improve. If you apply those same skills that you’ve learned in that practice/training/game—you are learning so much more. You are a lot stronger than you think you are and you can convince yourself of anything with the right mindset. As a teacher, I practice what I preach and I hope to be that example for my students-to show them that we all fight in our own ways and that even when we don’t think we’re ready, we have to just try.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
The way to my heart is to show up with a bucket of fried chicken. Hands down! Fried chicken, chicken wings…I mean come on! If they’re grilled, it counts as protein, right??!
When you’re not throwing punches and training—what other hobbies/interests do you have?
You’ll more than likely find me walking around aimlessly in the city with my dog, Franklin. We walk for treats-ice cream (I mean water) for me and all the dog treats he shamelessly gets down Newbury St.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
No brainer-my former students. This may be a dream come true for some of them—to know that their teacher is going to get punched in the face. I think some of them may even place bets on or against me. I’m just glad this is a 21+ event and that most of them aren’t in the Boston area anymore!
Be sure to check out her fundraising page here and wish her luck! Best of luck, Alice!