2012 was an exciting year for me with many ups and downs.  I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best things I did this year and hope it encourages you in taking steps towards your athletic and life goals in 2013.

  1. Had laser eye surgery
    During my stint at Nationals I lost my place on the National Team due to a contact lends malfunction.  I lost both my contact lenses during the first round of the silver medal match. Upon moving back to Vancouver I booked to have laser correction.  Although the surgery was quite painful and the recovery has been long; there is nothing better than to wake up every day being able to see, know that when I step into the ring, my sight will never hold me back again.
  2. Hired a dietitian
    It’s always a struggle for fighters to constantly make weight, especially when it means dropping 10 – 20lbs in short amounts of time.  I was beginning to grow weary of starving myself, only to binge after a fight, and the huge weight gains and losses, which took a toll on my body.Ali Chirnoff of Nutrition at it’s Best helped me get my eating habits under control, and drop to a lean 124lbs naturally.  She provided me with the education I needed in order to make smart decisions based on my training schedule. I continue to see her periodically for recalibration and advice.
  3. Compiled a team who supports and believes in me
    In February I took up with Sam Sheppard.  Sam has proved to be not only my boxing coach, but also my #1 fan. In June, Tom Taylor joined my team as my strength and conditioning coach.  He first blew me away when he paid his own way to my Pro Debut in September.  These twi men share my dreams, my dedication and my determination. Having a team that believes in me has proven to be key in my success. I enter every fight knowing that I am fully prepared and supported.  I know that win or loose these men will stand by my side and work with me to help me improve and move forward.
  4. Quit managing a gym
    In March I left the boxing club that I was managing.  I never realized the stress and difficulty training full time while managing a boxing gym put on me.  Instead of providing me with a place to train it hindered my training.  I wasn’t able to put the focus on myself when training for a fight, as I was always busy managing the other fighters and coaches and the day-to-day operations of the club.Now that I have moved clubs I’m able to focus on my training and my goals.  This has eliminated much of stress from my life
  5. Hired a new strength and conditioning coach
    In June I left my old strength and conditioning gym and hired Tom Taylor of T3 Athletics.  Tom had a background in kickboxing and martial arts and was able to relate my workouts directly to boxing.  Tom is also very dedicated to my sport.  His main concern is my progress and success.  Since hiring someone who understands my goals and my sport my conditioning has improved tenfold.  Knowing that Tom has my back and will go to lengths to constantly improve and progress my training, I have developed my conditioning and strength and it’s given me unbelievable results in the ring, both in skill and confidence.
  6. Started stretching regularly (Trigger Point Therapy & Massage)
    At the beginning of 2012 I bought a Trigger Point Therapy kit and started getting bi-monthly massages.  Because boxing is so taxing on my body, I find that I will tighten up, seize up, and become out of alignment quite easily.  I’ve learned that by stretching everyday and rolling out, my muscles have become more responsive and longer.  My body responds quicker, and I’m able to execute movement correctly and with more force and power.To be honest I find I have to really force myself to stretch, as it a time consuming activity that doesn’t necessary always feel pro active, but the difference it’s made on my body is worth the time and effort.
  7. Eliminated stresses
    In the last 6 months it’s been pointed out to me how important it is to eliminate stress from my life and avoid stressful situations.  I’ve been coached on how even a tone or reliving a stressful situation can have an effect on my stress levels.  I’m now very conscious of how I say things, and what I say to others to avoid as much stress as possible.  I now will try to find a silver lining in every situation (even if it takes some digging), and surround myself with uplifting, positive, loving people.
  8. Focused on my needs and goals
    It’s that hardest thing to do, but as I’m told again and again, I’m the only one in the ring.  This year I learned the value of putting my need first.  If I need to take a day off, I take a day off.  If I need to cry, I cry.  If I need to be selfish, I’m selfish (to a point of not being a jerk).  In the past I was criticized for having specific goals and needs and putting the focus on myself.  In 2012, I’ve surrounded myself with people who support my goals and understand my needs and it’s made me a stronger, better athlete and person.
  9. Turned Pro
    If you read My Thoughts on My Pro Debut, you now that it was one of the very best experiences of my boxing career, maybe even my life.  I have to be honest, I do enjoy being the center of attention, and my debut put me right there; it didn’t hurt to have won my fight.  My second fight was just as enjoyable.I find that boxing at a professional level give people involved a totally different outlook.  I’m taken more seriously and admired more.  When I was an amateur boxer I always struggled with the fact that I was putting in so much effort and dedication, but because I was part of a team (and always dealing with the amateur politics) I never felt like I was getting what I needed from the sport. Now, as a professional, I feel like I can be more of an inspiration to female athletes and I can focus on the most important person in my life: me.
  10. Fell in love
    Okay, yes I fell in love with a person and that’s been great, but I’m not actually referring to that.  In 2012 I fell in love with the sport of boxing again!  At the beginning of 2012 I was tired, exhausted from the politics in amateur boxing, my training situation, and lack of success in all my situations.  When Sam, Tom and Richard came into my athletic life they helped me find the skills, confidants and enjoyment to allow me to love boxing again.  My first pro fight was such an enjoyable and fun experience that it furthered my passion for the sport.I can honestly say that now the sport is giving back to me just as much as I put into it.  I love boxing, I love the training and I love the people who are involved in my boxing career.  I am grateful every day to be involved in this sport.

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