Kate Sekules and The Boxer’s Heart: A Woman Fighting!
As Kate Sekules says of her love affair with boxing in her memoir, The Boxer’s Heart: A Woman Fighting, “I wonder myself what set this obsession in motion.” Kate never stops describing it either, from her affection for the sport on through her experiences beginning with her early forays into the gym and what it felt like the first time she stepped into the ring to fight. As she says,
“Training to box is one of the toughest physical challenges you can set yourself, and it is clean. But once you step through the ropes, a dimension rears up that is not pure at all. To compete as a runner, a swimmer, a player of tennis, golf, basketball, football-any noncombat sport-what you do is an extension of what you did in training, only more intense; but to compete as a boxer, your aims are suddenly quite distinct from those of your training sessions. You hope to inflict so much pain on your opponents that they fall over and can’t get up.”
Kate’s book is a warm, colorful homage to her years training at Gleason’s Gym — and of the women she trained along side beginning in 1992 on through the late 1990’s. Originally published in 2000, Kate has reissued her memoir with a new afterward to coincide with the historical debut of Women’s Boxing at the 2012 Olympics.
As for the ensuing 11 years, Kate notes the sport has “actually become less visible.” Something we all feel with “more female mis-matches … and more neglect of women’s bouts by mainstream media.”
What comes across, however, in Kate’s highly engaging book is truly the viewpoint of a boxer’s heart. She shows us her love of the sport, the camaraderie of her fellow boxers and an intimate perspective of the journey of a boxer. As Kate said recently in an interview with Girlboxing, “We confront through boxing the same issues every woman faces,” only in the case of a female boxer we add a touch of “rebellion perhaps and a counter to mainstream culture.”
Kate also made the point that the “book is for men and women about gender roles as much as about the sport.” Still what Kate provides is a treasure trove of details about the sport at a certain time and place — as well as an intimate portrait of Kate and her cohort of boxing friends all working hard to practice the art they love so much.
These days, Kate can be found back at Gleason’s Gym once a week — after having worked out at Chelsea Piers for a while doing their “Lunchbox” series which she swears was “amazing, he’s really, really good.” She’s also the owner of Refashioner, a marketplace for pre-owned couture.
The Boxer’s Heart: A Woman Fighting will be hitting bookstores this week — and if you happen to live in Brooklyn, be sure and stop by BookCourt on Friday, June 1st for a live reading! Details are as follows:
Reading – June 1, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
163 Court Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
To purchase Kate’s Book from Amazon.com click on the link!