This article will be like no other you have ever read before

By Vitali Shaposhnikov: This article will be like no other you have ever read before. It doesn’t contain any updates on previous, current or future boxing events. Nether does it provide any new and exciting information about any of boxing’s current or past fighters. Simply put, this will be interesting. This read is meant to do a few things for its readers: astonish, inspire, and of course add credit to the sport itself. At first I wasn’t sure whether I should write this piece, as the benefit of you reading it didn’t seep in yet. But now, after some time has passed, I start to see clearly the significance of it.

This story is about a boxer. Not a professional or even amateur; just a “gym rat.” I have been watching this person work with their trainer for a few months, and saying that I am impressed would be an understatement. She comes whenever possible, comes prepared and energetic, pushes herself to the limit, listens to instruction and follows it with patience and respect, is able to throw commendable combinations, is quick and crisp, and she is 71 years old! Yes, this was no misprint; she was born in August 1939 in Clayton, New Mexico.

Seeing a person like that go a few rounds on the pads and then move on to the speed bag was nothing short of bizarre. Not only bizarre, but it was also a mix of impressive, exciting and inspiring. I watched her work out for about three months, and she is very consistent in her energy levels and effort. When this little lady comes in sporting her Tapout t-shirt and Everlast boxing shoes, the images just doesn’t fit. Nevertheless, after a couple minutes, things start becoming clear. I could not resist, and decided to speak with her. I really needed to know why she decided try and proceed with boxing as her workout choice. For privacy purposes, I will just designate her as “L”

VS: If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you and where were you born?

L: I was born Aug. 18, 1939. However, that is not what my head or body tells me. I feel and act (sometimes good...sometimes bad) much younger. I was born in Clayton New Mexico.

VS: What kind of physical workout have you tried before giving boxing a chance?

L: None until I started working out with a trainer about five years ago.

VS: Why did you decide to go with boxing when there are so many other martial arts choices out there?

L: It was strictly an accident. My trainer gave me a free boxing lesson with her then boyfriend, who was a kick-boxer and gave some boxing lessons. That first day, as soon as I put on my first pair of gloves, I knew I was home. Loved it immediately and have not looked back since. I never thought of doing any other kind of martial arts or sports.

VS: What do like most about boxing?

L: The mental and physical challenge. The physical interaction with someone I enjoy working with and the pushing myself. I also enjoying the small conquests that the challenges bring. I like looking good in my clothes and liking what I see in the mirror. Boxing provides the feeling of strength and being in control: walking down the street day or night and not being afraid.

VS: What keeps you coming back? How do you see yourself advancing, and why do you keep pushing forward?

L: I am highly competitive with others and with myself. I always want more, and to be better. I want to be the best boxer I can be, regardless of what level that takes me to. I push myself forward because my life has always been about choices, well thought out choices. I choose to be young, active, healthy, and strong. This gives me all of that and the mental stimulation I continue to want and need. As I said earlier, my age is not determined by what my birth certificate says. I understand that this will not last forever, but while it does, watch out world!

VS: Do you see yourself getting bored with boxing?

L: NO! Two reasons: First, one of the smartest people I ever met told me once that really bright people do not get bored. You can put a bright person in an empty room and they will find something to do, to entertain themselves, even if it only counting the cracks in the ceiling. Second: My trainer keeps it interesting. There is so much to learn in each step, even the small ones are challenging, and I do like challenges. Also, my trainer is exacting, another thing that keeps me interested and focused. I want/need that. I don't want to be pandered to; I want to be treated as if I was really preparing for a fight, and my trainer does that!

VS: When was the first time you saw boxing on TV/Live/was told about it?

L: I always hated boxing: thought it was a brutal, bloody sport. That is until I started boxing. Then I saw the skill, patience, and head game of boxing. I now love watching it, seeing what they do, watching the moves, and watching the combinations. I have never seen a live fight. Will one day.

VS: What do your family members think about you boxing?

L: Not sure. Probably admire me and think I am crazy. However, that is what they think about most things I do!

VS: Do you think that you have gained any physical strengths/abilities from boxing, and if yes what are they?

L: No question. I feel much stronger, sure on my feet, and faster reaction time. However, it is more than physical strength, it is also mental strength.

L is not only dedicated to the sport of boxing as a whole, but is ready to learn the “art” of boxing. She wants to know all the proper movements. She is interested in getting the footwork as well as punching technique down to a fine point. If someone like that could see the beauty of boxing, that only validates boxing as a beautiful sport. L, like many other people used to see the violence in boxing as the main aspect of it, but now she understands that violence is the last thing boxing wants to display. Skill, determination, heart, humility and respect are all big pieces of the boxing pie.

Sure L will never have the opportunity to compete in the ring against others, but I think that she is already competing on a much higher level. At that age, most people have minimal physical exercise, and try to avoid any if it comes about. L is not only engaged in vigorous sport, she wants it all, and wants it now! Dipping, Bobbing, and Weaving, is part of her workout. Offense and defense both come into play when she get working on the pads. How is this anything but incredible?

L will be reading this piece, so please feel free to ask questions. I’m pretty sure she would love to talk to you.

Thanks for reading!

Article posted on 13.10.2010

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