Hope NYC VI: Jackie Rung
Wednesday, August 30 2017
During the coming months, we're highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Hope NYC in New York City on November 16th. 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 Jackie Rung, fighting out of Gotham Gym in New York City.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey—a quiet suburb an hour from the city. Proud Jersey girl ...most of the time ????
Where did you go to college?
I have a B.Sc in Finance from Rutgers University.
Did you play any sports growing up?
Haha, ok I’ll bite—I was a nerdy kid. My parents did try though; they signed me up for everything—soccer, tennis, swimming, gymnastics—all in which I exhibited zero talents (sorry Mum… it's about the journey, right?)
What do you do for work?
I'm an analyst at a private investment firm in New York.
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
Brace yourself… I'm not a career fighter (gasp)! I don't box to earn a living.
But for all this—oh, Boxing—Boxing is the choice I make every day to walk through a fire that I could just walk around. Plenty indulge this as a casual hobby and never make it into the ring. But those with that intense, raw love for the craft—we appreciate the honesty and tenacity it takes after you’ve taken one straight to the face, to bite back your ego and refocus on the plan.
Where many would throw in the towel and say ‘no thanks, not for me’—a beating doesn’t take me out of the fight. Instead, it makes the chase that much more relentless; feeds this obsessive desire to become better. It has me slipping and rolling between bites at the dinner table; keeps me lying awake at night throwing combinations at the ceiling. Every time my head snaps back, every time the air is knocked from my chest—every single failure in this series of small failures has me running back to the gym with a hunger more gripping than yesterdays.
Boxing is my body possessed and my soul on absolute fire. Through the physical pain and mental adversity, it is a reminder that I am alive, struggling, and ENDURING. I always knew I would fight, I just didn't know when.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight?
I didn't chance upon this opportunity, I've been waiting to fight for Haymakers. Checking the site, stalking my inbox, bugging my trainers—dreaming, itching, waiting to fight. The Haymakers for Hope mission and fighting for the cure are things I believe in and connect with deeply, now more than ever. I signed up to fight because in this healthy, able body—it is my absolute duty to fight.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure – where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
It’s strange; my whole life I’d always viewed cancer as a threat very distant from me. Then last summer for the first time, it got right up in my face. My dad, the man I adore most in this world, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer—and then in the winter with a second form of cancer. But where it would’ve been easy and understandable for him to retreat to self-pity and thoughts of mortality, instead he pressed on. Over nine months of treatment and through his last days with us, there was never a doubt in his mind that he was going to beat this.
Profoundly blessed to have been raised by this man, to share his name—from the father, through the daughter—we continue the fight. On November 16th I’m going to look up and pass you the W—hold this, Dad—this one’s for you.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
Definitely sweets. I’m not talking about “occasionally I enjoy a doughnut” or “I love cake on my birthday” type of sweets. I’m talking about, I’m on a first-name basis with all sugar vendors in a four block radius, and when they don’t see me for a few days they get worried…
When you’re not throwing punches and training - what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Boxing occupies 99% of my conscious thought. Dead serious. Sometimes in the winter I allocate 1% to snowboarding.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Hm, definitely a few of my colleagues...
Be sure to check out her fundraising page here and wish her luck! Best of luck, Jackie!