Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, Credit: Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau
There is really no other way to describe WBC Female Featherweight ChampionMelissa “HuracanShark” Hernandez in the ring than to say she is pure jazz.
Her fighting style is the essence of improvisation: bending the canon of what is possible in boxing with her left and deconstructing her opponents with each of her pounding rights.
The boxing maxim “kill the body and the head dies” is nothing more than a sophomoric adage as Hernandez dips and twirls her fists in a perfect prose of confusion and mind-numbing brilliance–so much so that watching her is the visual equivalent of the best mash-up that jazz could ever offer.
Supremely confident in her repertoire of boxing movements, she is pure poetry in motion: a swirling, stunning, harming, mugging, hilarious mixture of impossible postures, feints and straight-no-chaser jab, jab, jab, straight right, left hook to the body devastation.
Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Title Fight, 9/14/2012 (highlights)
I had the opportunity to see her in action recently at Gleason’s Gym. She was sparring, working three rounds with one fighter before the next fighter would move on into the ring. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her so I never did find out why she was in town–but it didn’t really matter. She was so at home, so assured that the years she’s been in Miami seemed to peel away.
The “Huracan” at work, Credit: Mischa Merz
The thing about her as a fighter is she is comfortable in her own skin; so comfortable that she can take as many risks as she needs because there is never any hesitation. It’s as if her prowess in the ring is programmed into her DNA. That is how sure she is.
Sue TL Fox ofWBANhad a recent interview with Hernandez worth checking out (link here). Hernandez is waiting for another chance to fight and has otherwise publicly challenged Argentina’s Alejandra Oliveras to put up or shut up when it comes to wanting a WBC title. Time will tell on that one, and meanwhile, Hernandez trains at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, while acting as a trainer to a group of young fighters. With any luck, we’ll get to see her in action soon.
Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich, 6/24/2011 (complete fight)
If you happened to catch Downton Abbey last night (warning, spoiler alert), you were no doubt reeling from the news of Lady Sybil’s very realistic death from eclampsia.
As many women know, pre-eclampsia is a rather miserable and dangerous complication of pregnancy that affects between 5-10% of pregnant women. The symptoms include high blood pressure and protein in the urine and can occur as early as the 20th week and as late as the days leading up to labor and delivery. Prompt treatment is an absolute necessity and if the fetus is at all viable, c-section is often the prescribed next step. Without treatment, women can develop seizures, changes in mental function, fluid in the lungs, blood disorders, severe liver disease and death.
In the case of Sybil, she began exhibiting signs at the end stage of her pregnancy and while she had been under the treatment of Dr. Clarkson, the local family doctor, her father, Lord Grantham insisted on bringing a “celebrity” doctor, Sir Philip, all the way from London to attend to the birth. Lady Grantham objected and insisted that Dr. Clarkson at least consult on Sybil’s case. Admittedly, Dr. Clarkson had misdiagnosed Matthew’s paralysis and Lavinia had died under his care, but when it came to the hours before the onset of labor when he began to suspect pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, he certainly knew his stuff and knew enough about Sybil’s state of mind to insist that she be taken to the hospital for emergency surgery.
Sir Philip, looking very droll indeed was dismissive of Dr. Clarkson’s concerns — waiving off Sybil’s obvious confused state as nothing more than normal pregnancy stuff. Lord Grantham, in his place as pater familia of course concurred, and let precious hours slip by and even as they welcomed the birth of Sybil and Thomas’ baby girl, what they did not see was Sybil’s fall into more precarious health until she finally died in the throes of her uncontrollable seizures.
That was a lot!
More to the point, decisions about women’s health portrayed as beholden to a patriarchal order with the wealthy, (white) male gentry at the top of the pyramid, still seems all to familiar circa 2013.
It was, after all, during the 2012 election cycle that we were treated to then Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s “discussion” of a woman’s “right to chose” in the case of rape:
“Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
And as late as two weeks ago, a Republican, Phil Gingrey of Georgia, an OB/GYN, in speaking about Todd Akin, said:
“What he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’”
“That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that.”
Okay, so I’ve hit into two huge issues here, but if we ratchet it back a bit to say … women boxing in skirts … where are we really?
Member of the Polish National Woman’s Boxing Team in a Skirt
The AIBA “examined” the issue for a year and a half and after a huge uproar cheated their way out of the controversy last winter by stipulating that each country’s national team could “chose” whether to mandate shorts or skirts for its female athletes while their male athletes would continue to wear shorts only.
Light Heavyweight in a men’s gladiator skirt.
You might laugh at the latter, but there certainly are a lot of men boxing in skirts–albeit they are called “gladiator” skirts which makes them “male” versus the “female” kind of skirt that doesn’t actually have open slats, except of course, when they do. Hmmm…
Melissa Hernandez v. Jelena Mrdjenovich in Gladiator Skirts! Credit: Rob T Sports Photography/ Rob Trudeau
As for the female “mental” state, back in the 1950s not one, but two of my aunts (one on each side) were sent to mental institutions in their late teens for some version of “hysteria.”
Digging deeper it seems both were hipster gal’s circa 1956 who were enamored with art, smoking reefer and sex with boys (not to mention that one was a teen mom — more later): solution, off to the nut house for shock treatments for their anti-social behavior.
It’s no wonder then that when I was nine and caught site of The Snake Pit on channel 9’s Million Dollar Movie, I was truly terrified. It gave me nightmares for weeks on end, not the least of which was the thought the I could be taken away too if I acted “funny.”
Watching the fictional Grantham’s in action last night I began to ask myself, are we really so different than the tableau of shock and surprise at Lady Sybil’s sudden death.
Afterall, we live in a world where 700+ women die each day in childbirth. And no, that doesn’t necessarily happen here, but given the decisions that are made with respect to providing prenatal care to poor women, the statistics certainly give us pause.
In the United States the statistics as of 2010 are 12.7 deaths out of every 100,000 births. Among African-American women that statistic jumps to 34.8 deaths per 100,000. In New York City that translates into an appalling statistic: eight African-American women die for every Caucasian woman.
And people wonder why Obama’s Affordable Care Act is so important — get it! Reproductive and prenatal care from contraception to post-natal checkups will actually be covered for all women beginning in 2014.
Throw the problems of the Grantham’s former maid Ethel into the mix (kicked out after getting pregnant by a rich cad, turning to prostitution to keep her son fed, and finally giving him up in order for him to have a better life), including the utter meanness of her peers and we have a picture that can also rival the present. Seen Teen Mom lately?
In sum, not a very pretty picture at nearly 100 years in advance of the Downton Abbey storyline where yes, yes, yes, women in the United States have made extraordinary strides that includes, just last week, the decision to open combat roles to women in the Armed Forces, but as for things like pay equity, reproductive rights, equal protection under the law, violence against women, the medicalizing of women’s “natural” life changes, and the like, we have a long, long way to go.
Sure the laundry is done, a bit of shopping for the week, and even a trip to Staples for new winter term school supplies for my daughter, but the real stuff, the substantive stuff, the chapter that should have been completed 10 days ago remains … well, definitely undone.
So if I was going to blow off the things that needed doing, I would have hoped to have at least spent my time say … at the gym going another bunch of rounds at hyperspeed or swimming at the Y or reading something other than books about 18th Century gender politics, but I didn’t even waste it doing that.
It was time spent in a drift to nowhere: bland, blah, nothing much and before I knew it the big clock outside tolled 4:00 PM.
At that point–well, I did manage half a page on the pesky chapter–but otherwise gave up on it all and figured the best thing to do was make a nice dinner for everyone (linguine with garlic, oil & calamata olives finished with fresh parmesan, plus a romaine lettuce salad).
The family fed. Daughter back to homework and husband happily digging into a bowl of ice cream, I’ve given myself permission to drift.
And really, that was all I needed. A bit of acknowledgement. A moment to say–hey, you’re a grown-up, you work your butt off, you can take the time to do nothing if that’s what you really need.
Now that I’ve given myself that gift, I feel myself easing up a bit; not quite so steamed for not hitting my word output, nor feeling guilty for taking a peek at my Facebook page.
Given that my permission stamp was only made at around 7:00, I don’t really have much time left … but at least I have Downton Abbey to look forward to.
Today marked an historic day in the history of Women Warriors!
Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta announced that women will no longer be excluded from combat roles in the Armed Forces of the United States. Women will be allowed to serve in combat units as well as assume command roles. Effectively this means that we can indeed look forward to the opportunity of seeing a woman Chair of the Joint Chiefs in the not so distant future.
Practically, each of the four branches of the service, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, has been charged with assessing how best to integrate women into combat specialities. They will also develop time tables for phasing in women to these roles including such elite units as the Navy SEALS and Special Forces. In order to ensure that women have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, the assessment will include reviews of the physical requirements to assess how best to make those standards gender neutral.
Women have routinely served in front lines roles in Afghanistan and Iraq, albeit in “support” roles. Those positions have, however, not stopped these women from participating in fierce fire fights. As of this writing 152 women have died in those wars and nearly 1,000 have been wounded.
Don’t be fooled though, women have been fighting wars for millenia!
Here are a smattering of those heroines:
Artemesia of Halicarnassus (modern day Bodrum, Turkey) was an ally of the Persian King Xeres in 480 BCE. She commanded five ships and fought bravely in battle. Her exploits were recounted by Herodotus.
Joan of Arc fought along King Charles of France in his war against the British. She was eventually burned at the stake for heresy, including the crime of dressing as man. Exonerated some years later by the Roman Catholic Church, she was canonized in 1909.
Hannah Snellwas a British woman who fought as a British Marine named James Gray from 1747-1750. She participated in battles in India and was wounded a total of 11 times without ever revealing her gender.
Loreta Janeta Velasquez disguised herself and acted as a Confederate Scout named Lt. Harry T. Buford during the American Civil War. Hundreds of women in both the Union and Confederate Armies had distinguished careers as “male” soldiers.
The ultimate weakness of violence
is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate….
Returning violence for violence multiples violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Heather Hardy makes it a perfect 4-0 after defeating Canada’s own Peggy Maerz in a hard fought battle. Hardy won by unanimous decision: 40-36, 39-37, 39-37. Maerz will still fight for the Canadian flyweight title in April.
Heather Hardy Interview ahead of her January 23rd Fight at BB Kings!
Heather “The Heat” Hardy (3-0) has been hard at work training at Gleason’s Gym.
She has an upcoming fight against Canadian boxer Peggy Maerz (2-2-1) on January 23, 2013 at B. B. Kings Blues Club & Grill in New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainmentas part of the Broadway Boxing series, Hardy will box Maerz in a four-rounder.
Tickets for her upcoming bout are available from Gleason’s Gym 718-797-2872 or from Nelly Spillanes 212-792-9672.
Also on the card are Yuri Foreman (28-2, 8-KOs) making his comeback appearance against Brandon Baue(12-8, 10-KOs) and Delen Parsely (9-0, 2 KOs) fighting Tyrone Selders (8-4, 6-KOs).
Recently, Hardy agreed to an interview with Girlboxing about her upcoming fight.
Here’s what she had to say.
Heather Hardy v. Ivana Coleman, 12/8/12. Photo Credit: Jason Shaltz
Q1. Since turning pro in August you’ve racked up an impressive 3-0 record. In Peggy Maerz you’re fighting a boxer with a 2-2-1 record out of Canada. Maerz is known for her long reach and quick jabs. She also has had an impressive amateur career in Western Canada. What do you hope to show the boxing world in choosing Maerz as your next opponent.
I want to show that I’m ready, willing, and able to fight anyone that’s put in front of me. I work hard, I train hard and I fight even harder.
Q2. You’ve put a lot on the line to turn pro having made your mark on the amateur world with you Golden Gloves wins and appearance in the USA Nationals. What motivated you to turn professional when the odds are so tough against women in the sport — even after the great success of the debut of women’s boxing at the London Games in 2012?
I have faith, that one day the girls will get the same respect (and PAY) as the boys. You can’t put your heart and soul into something day in and day out and not expect to make a difference. I want to be the difference, and believe that I have the talent and work ethic to do so.
Heather Hardy & Melissa Hernandez, Gleason’s Gym, December 2012, Credit: Malissa Smith
Q3. Aside from boxing, you’re also a talented trainer with a wide range of clients with varying boxing abilities. What has your work as a trainer and mentor taught you about fighting and being successful in the ring?
It has definitely added to my success. I live boxing! I’m in the gym 15 hours a day! I see my girls walking the same path I did and I get to watch them make all the same mistakes. It’s so rewarding to be able to pass my passion onto those who share it. I love what I do.
Heather Hardy and Trainer, Devon Cormack, @ Gleason’s Gym, December 2012, Credit: Heather Hardy
Q4. In a recent interview, you described boxing as more “training on the mind.” Can you elaborate on how you prepare yourself mentally for a fight and for coping with the unexpected during a tense professional bout?
I know how to fight, so when I train it’s a matter of correcting bad habits and fixing parts of my game that aren’t quite perfect. Fine tuning, aligning my punches, stepping properly, etc. My coach always says there are only four punches, so learn how to throw each one perfect every time. You can only be the best when you make no mistakes.
Q5. You’ve made it no secret that you want to be a world champion. Given the crowded field in the bantamweight division, what is your strategy for gaining a title shot at one of the more prestigious world championship belts?
Keep winning! My plan is to stay focused and keep winning. Keep training and perfecting my game. Keep myself challenged. I’m ready for the road ahead of me. I’ve been on an uphill climb since the day I walked into this gym, since I started so late at 28.
Q6. You turned pro days after Claressa Shields won gold in the Olympics, but considered turning pro long before the Olympics. Do you see any differences in how promoters approach booking and promoting female boxing matches or does it still seem more of the same?
Unfortunately, I do not see that it has made a difference in the professional sense. I am still making considerably less than my male counterparts and doing the exact same job.
Heather Hardy v. Ivana Coleman, 12/8/12. Photo Credit: Jason Shaltz
Q7. Finally, what should we expect to see in your fight against Peggy Maerz on January 23rd at BB Kings?
Shelito Vincent takes it 59-55, 58-56 x 2 over Nydia Feliciano!!!
Per @TalkinBoxing on Twitter, Feliciano came out strong in the first round and used her height advantage well in the second. Vincent dug in though and started to really bring it in the third round. By the fourth and fifth round she was breaking Feliciano down with hard hitting and relentless pursuit. The fight was the war they anticipated with both fighters slugging it out to the end of the bell in the 6th round.
An interview with Shelito Vincent, to fight on 1/19/2013!
Shelito “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (6-0) is readying to fight her seventh bout on January 19, 2013 against boxer Nydia Feliciano (5-3-3). The six-round bout is set for the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.com ($40 & $125).
Girlboxing had the opportunity to interview Shelito ahead of her upcoming bout. Here’s what she had to say:
Q1. You’ve got a great winning streak going for you. With the seventh fight on the line, what are you looking to achieve in you fight against Nydia Feliciano, arguably your most experienced opponent to date?
Looking to achieve the W… And a shot at taking her number one ranking in US from her… Yes definitely the most experienced to date… And she is an amazing fighter… It’s going to be a great hard fight… Probably a war… The city and casino will have a great women’s fight that night… Exciting from start to finish… We both going in ready for war… The whole card is stacked and will be dope from the debuts to the main events… I’m honored to be on this card with all these amazing fighters…CES, NBC and Main Events thank you for the opportunity…
Everyone should grab their tickets and come support this great night… They are $40 an 125$ VIP…Contact myself at 860-574-5227… If in need… No one should be empty handed lol…
Shelito Vincent & Ivana Coleman, 10/18/2012, Credit: Eagle Sports Photography
Q2. You turned pro in October of 2011. Now that you are well into your second year as a professional fighter, what is your game plan for achieving a title in the crowded women’s bantamweight division?
The game plan is always the same… Work harder than anyone else… And always give it our all… Of course timing has to be right too… I’ll be the first to tell you… I lack the experience these other woman had… I was 11-4 as an amateur; I won the National Golden Gloves in 2011… Then turned pro and had 6 fights… Most women have an extensive amateur background… I’m pleased with the pace I’ve been moving… Jan 19th will be the next test…
Shelito Vincent and her team @ Manfredo Boxing and Fitness
Q3. Peter Manfredo has been training you for some time, how has his mentoring helped you in the ring and how are you both working towards getting you to the next level?
Peter has made me a monster… I look at tapes from my debut and Ammy fighs and compare them to now, and the transformation is miraculous… I owe that man a lot… He gave me a chance and we haven’t let each other down… He gives me a hundred so u’ll never see me give him any less than 150… He’s like the father I didn’t have growing up… He’s there for me even outside the ring too…. Everyone needs a Lil’ Manfredo’s guidance in their lives lol… Great, great man and I’m lucky enough to call my friend…
Shelito Vincent, November 29, 2012, Credit: CrossFace Productions
Q4. Your story continues to be one of triumph over adversity. Now that you have comfortably made the transition to professional boxing, what do you see as the challenges that are most important for you to overcome?
The biggest thing I struggle with is my own mind… I still struggle with bouts of
depression… But that’s also what keeps me motivated an keep moving forward In my career and in life… The fight is often therapeutic…
Q5. The fight card you’ll be on is set to broadcast on NBC’s Sport Network. While your fight might not make it to the broadcast, what is your sense of when women’s bouts will begin to routinely appear on air again? Have you seen any changes since Claressa Shields brought home the gold this past August or is it more of the “same ‘ole, same ‘ole?
I‘m not sure…but it needs to happen…MMA does so much for their women… People will tune in… An I myself sell more then any male in this area… And Every time I do better… People do want to see it… Plus women are so exciting to watch… We go so hard trying to prove we belong here….I have people that fly in from other states when I fight and I don’t even know them… All we can do is cross our fingers and hope we can get some time… I think it will happen though…
Q6. You are starting to train young fighters yourself. What do you try to instill in your girls coming up and what they can accomplish in the sport and in life?
Hard work and dedication will get you anywhere and all you need… You just have to have the will and drive… And in life nothing can keep you down… Dark clouds eventually separate… Weathering the storm is the hard part… But no matter how gloomy things get there is always a turn around as long as your desire to shine through is there… Never let anyone or anything keep you down… Always talk and let it out… Locking away pain and harboring depression is so hard and draining… Feels amazing once you air it out…
Q7. What’s next for you after Saturday night’s fight?
March 15th Twin River…. But only focused about getting through this fight right now…
I’ve always loved the speed bag. Coming at the end of a workout, it feels like a well-earned respite from the grunts and groans of hard hitting on pads, bags and bodies.
One can go slow, fast and everywhere in between as that classic patterned da-da-da-da-da-da-da roams through one’s head, the feet perhaps in syncopated rhythm, perhaps not, as the right and left hands make the speed bag sing.
Once mastered, however, there is always that push towards the next level. In my case I’ve been thinking a lot about elbow strikes and telling myself that it’s good range-of-motion therapy for my shoulder has spurred me on to actually try.
For my first outing I chose a pattern of alternating a four-count between my left and my right hitting slowly with the following pattern: right, right, right, right elbow, left, left, left, left elbow.
I tried it during the last 30 seconds of my third round on the speed bag, and for the fourth round attempted the elbow strike pattern for most of it. I have to say I hit it right on the elbow a few times, but mostly struck the forearm. Still, the range-of-motion was pretty tough on the right side — and as therapy alone, it certainly was something.
Coming home, I thought I’d check out some videos on YouTube and offer a smattering as inspiration!
Meant as a motivator for the under achieving couch potato that lurks in all of us, it can cut like a rapier.
Still, it can have its place — if the underlying, “you are such a slug” is left out it and the words are more action than anything else, without the accompanying censoring glare!
For the one who says it though, there can also be nothing but the best of intentions. All of us knows of someone who hours out of cancer treatment skips her way to the gym for a good workout and though she may excuse herself for a moment to puke her guts out in the bathroom, she none the less returns to the weight room with a freshly glistening brow, worse for wear perhaps, but no less game.
This brings me to the point.
What if we change that around a bit to an if you can do it, so can I, sensibility. The competitive aside (which motivates in its own way), we are all in this together. Certainly that’s the way it feels at Gleason’s Gym where each and every person sweating and grunting their way through a work out is cheering the hard work of their fellow gym rats.
We also all have our stories; those things that thwart our best intentions and no less tangible than a friend’s cancer, shoulder surgery, ACL tear, too many obligations hitting into limited time or the feeling of inertia that comes when you haven’t hit the gym in a while and need to push yourself out of bed to get there again.
I know for myself, I’ve had all sorts of things that I’ve used to not go to the gym some of which leave me with no choice but to stay home and others of which are more of the mental variety.
Having recently started back on a schedule after recovering from shoulder surgery, I can attest to the myriad of feelings that go into missing the gym and returning. If you’ve been a regular, it’s like missing family, plus that intangible sense of identity that comes of regular practice. During my rehab, I’d find myself going to Gleason’s for an hour on a Saturday, not to box but to do my exercises. Still, it was a bittersweet feeling. I wasn’t boxing, I was stretching and even though I was there, it was hard to feel a part of it.
Ultimately, though, it shouldn’t matter. Any work done is work accomplished, and while it might not be at the peak of the performance you are capable of, you’ve made the effort.
So, while you might go through periods when you are confronted with your decided lack of superhuman capability, give yourself a break and be aware of what being superhuman really means.
If you are say, 58 years old, I can assure you that your hand speed will NEVER match that of an in shape 20-year-old, but when it comes to heart, you might well get to wear your Superwoman T-shirt to the cheers of everyone who sees you!
One of my oldest pals is fond of saying, there are no dress rehearsals ‘cause the only life you have is this one. That might get an argument from some New Agers, Buddhists and Hindus who figure you can cycle through again — for the majority of us though, this is it.
In other words, you really do only have one shot so why not give it your all, whatever that means for you and realize that by following through, your example is making it possible for someone else to say … if you can do it, so can I!
We hit a bag, a trainer’s pads, a body and it is associated with sound. There is the solid “thwack” of a body shot, the rapid fire of the speedbag and bounding double and triple pounds of the double-ended bag.
We all know when a shot is true too. It carries a special kind of “on the button” sound as it sinks in. There’s an effortless quality as well when all of the mechanics of the body align for the perfect moment of when the hand encased in it’s padded glove hits the target.
Watching effortless boxing, effortless sound is to watch its practitioners at the top of their game.
So too with tap dancers and musicians who float through space with sonorous movement in their feet or with incomparable musical licks that delight us with their fanciful runs through the scales.
I’ve thought a lot about sound lately here are a few monsters …
Coach Rick Technical Mitt Work with female boxers.
Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing to Begin the Beguine from Broadway Melody of 1940.
The amazing Tony Williams (RIP) started his career with Miles Davis as a 17-year-old. The video has two stop your heart drum solos.
Tenor saxophone madness! Saxophone summit webcast from Birdlandin 1999 with Michael Brecker (RIP), David Liebmanand Joe Lovano with a cover of John Coltrane’sImpressions. Plus, check out Billy Hart’s drumming. Incomperable.
When will“they” come up with a cure for the “common cold”!
I mean really, PAA-LEEEZZZZZZZ.
First with the throat tickle, then the sneezing, sneezing, sneezing before the big guns hit, you know the ones, aches on your ache, fever, chills and the weirdest dreams ever!
It puts in mind that we head off full in our stride only to get a minor twist in the ankle or other such upset along the way.
And yes, it does mean putting a stop to the momentum of that walk or in my case, shadow boxing around the living room, work on my latest chapter and a trip to the office today … but its being minor is the main point.
The minor hiccups will pass and then it’s full throttle again through life’s wide open vista of possibilities!
Meanwhile, have a happy January 2nd, 2013! (Cough, cough, cough)
As a young woman, New Year’s seemed loaded with the hazards of the dating life, expectations met and lost, and the specter of a fresh start, though not unburdened with the seeds of doubt regarding those pesky New Year’s resolutions.
A world away from that earlier version of myself – the one in the 1970s garb (OMG!!!), dancing the hustle to Donna Summer at the Salty Dog in the East 80’s on one New Year’s eve or another with my bestie, Jamie, and an assortment of leisure-suited guys – I can say with some assurance that there are some helpful do’s in the resolution game!
Do # 1: Let the KISS theory suffice (as in keep it simple …)
That means instead of promising yourself an elaborate hours long daily workout that involves multiple machines, ab-routines PLUS a LOT of rounds of boxing/running/fill in you’re your own workout poison, how about just promising yourself that you will commit to a regular exercise program with reasonable goals that you can attain as in … January: I will run (fill in the number) miles per week … et al…
Do # 2: Think grand, but not TOO grand.
Okay, you have a book you always wanted to write or a new part of the garden to plant or a terrific new glazing technique to try that involves multiple steps and using weird chemicals, or figure this is the year to run that marathon you always promised yourself.
That all sounds great, but first off remember Do # 1.
Is it attainable?
Do you have the time?
And most importantly, do you feel ready to take on the challenge? (As in, if you have a tricky knee, a marathon may not be in the cards.)
If you do feel as if you have the “stuff” to do it, then in the words of my favorite Captain (as in Picard) … “make it so.”
If not – perhaps a weekly blog will help you “rev” up your writing or consider adding tomatoes this year, or try walking first with your knee brace before taking on light jogging.
Remember that you get a lot of self-“brownie” points for trying, but face your own “Wrath of Khan” if you underestimate the obstacles after having put all that self-capital into believing you would complete the task.
Do #3: When in doubt, do it with a friend.
This one is a good one, especially for exercise goals, weight-loss and other “we can do it” attainables that lend themselves to a little friendly competition, not to mention the buddy-system to drag your butt out of bed for those early morning routines – or fun stuff like learning to tap dance, salsa or fox trot, or even putting together your own group to learn Italian, or better yet a fight-club of your own for weekly sparring!
The point is, doing it with a friend (or two or three, or more) gives you camaraderie plus a lot of inspiration for those outer months past the first blush or two when rising for yet another early morning run is about the last thing you want to do.
Do #4: Do what feels right for YOU.
This one’s a tricky.
Say you really could lose a few pounds, but the truth is it’s not in the cards right now. Well have the guts to say, nope, not now. The same thing with adding days to your workout schedule at the gym or even giving your mother a call every Sunday morning.
The point is to be aware of what is and is not attainable or desirable for yourself before you launch into things that you just can’t handle.
Better to take on fun things like catching up on your British police procedurals (Prime Suspect – all seven seasons – is on Netflix), than to burden yourself with daily yoga or insight meditation when you’re just not ready for it.
The same goes to being nicer to people you don’t like and all the other things we add to our lists.
The point is to make it work for you. After all, you don’t have to be a New Year’s resolution overachiever!
So think through the sorts of things that have meaning to you not to what has meaning to others and if this is your year to run a marathon, then have at it. Otherwise, content yourself with cutting back on caffeine after 4:00 PM or doing Sun Salutations on Saturday mornings instead of burdening yourself with the whole enchilada, so to speak.
Do #5: Sometimes grand is good!
Okay, yes, this does fly in the face of Do #2, but there’s nothing wrong with going for it either!
So if you are up for it — take the challenge!
That could mean boxing in the Golden Gloves or fighting for a WBA female title!
Whatever it is give it your best and if it means going full-throttle than by all means do!
You deserve whatever goal you think you can achieve no matter how large or how small.
I’m not saying that risk is everything – but without it, we lose our creative edge, which I figure is what we’re all about anyway.
Put it this way, whether it’s finishing the book on time (hint to self), working through the ills of your body to come back into the game or readying yourself to go for the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games … there is no better time than today to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way.
Whatever you resolutions, I’d like to wish my Girlboxing pals all the best in 2013 with the sincere hope that whatever it is you do – this is your year!!!