The Ringside World Tournament provides competition for the greatest number of amateur Boxers in the world. Within this tournament are the largest Female and Master tournaments in the world. 62 Divisions, 6 rings, 4 days, 7 sessions, over 1,000 bouts, 262 Champions – It’s more than a tournament, it’s a rite of passage.
For more info about The Ringside World Tournament, visit www.ringside.com/ringside/tournaments
For me, Boxing is much more than just a Sport. I strive for flow – those rare moments when my mind is quiet, my body is relaxed, and my spirit is engaged. When these 3 elements are one, I find peace, a wholeness and freedom that is addictive. This is what I seek through competition.
” Si vis pacem, para bellum – If you want peace, prepare for war “
So this competition wasn’t about who was going to be in front of me, it was about protecting mind, body and spirit to perform optimally.
Simple enough, yet so complex. Shit happens, and achieving ‘peace’ becomes a challenge. I had forgotten my mouthguard, there were fuck ups the first, and third day at weigh-ins, some ASS Boxer told me “This is America, y’all Canadians need to go home” – yeah, that happened. What I realize through reflection, was none of that was ‘real’. All these little things were simply tests to my focus. Luckily, my Life Coach had emailed me before leaving advising me to prepare for all that I mentioned, and she suggested exercises to help keep me calm, and focused on my objective – to perform optimally throughout the tournament.
The day before competition, I had a Skype meeting with my friend, Nutritionist, and Sponsor, Kyle Byron of KB Nutrition. I was sick, jet lagged, and out of sorts when we landed in Missouri. Kyle made some recommendations, I followed the majority of them, but there was one I didn’t follow that would come back to bite me in the ass later. Kyle had recommended I take Creatine to help with recovery, and I was so paranoid abut retaining water, I didn’t heed his advice.
Day 1 of Competition – 5am wake up, run, sauna, 7am weigh in – well it ended up being a 10:30am weigh in due to an error at Ringside. Later that night, around 9:30pm I fought a lovely woman from Thunder Bay. I won, and was advanced to fight the following day. Got home late, got to sleep around 1:30am. Long day, luckily got a short nap in. Even though I had won, I wasn’t happy with my performance. I felt that I was still very nervous, thinking too much, and held back as I liked my opponent. I noted how I felt, and knew I could adjust the following day.
Day 2 of competition – 5am wake up, run, sauna, 7am weigh-in – and yeah! It ran smoothly 🙂 Couldn’t get to sleep during the day. Instead, watched Classic Boxing and Superhero movies. Was much more relaxed this day, and in my zone, and had a fantastic fight later that evening (around 9:30pm). Winning against a lady from Manitoba, and scoring a standing 8 in the third round. I was myself in the ring, and was happy with my performance. On to the Semi-Finals!
Day 3 of competition – 5am wake up – Oh God, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. Body aches, and chest congestion, I knew the long days, and short sleeps had caught up to me – and my Nutritionist’s advice haunted me…I should have taken the Creatine. But the show goes on. Run, sauna, back to the room to get a call from my Coach ” No need to get ready for weigh ins, I’m not scheduled to fight today”. Could I finally be getting a break? THANK THE GODS I was so happy at the idea of rest, my body relaxed, I got bundled up, and headed to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. We ordered, and as the waitress put the plate of food down in front me, my cell phone rang. It was an Official from Ringside, she let me know there was an error, not to eat anything, and get down to weigh ins ASAP. -FML- So off we raced to the venue, teased by bacon and home fries, made weight and came back to the hotel.
This last day of competition was by far the hardest. I couldn’t get to sleep during the day, even though that was what I needed the most. Later that night, I watched my team mate, and Shero get robbed of a win (never leave it to the judges)and now I was exhausted both physically and spiritually. I let doubt get into my mind, and feel now, that I lost before I had even stepped into the ring. My opponent, a tough lady from Illinois was the stronger Fighter that night. I won the first round, fighting my fight, but she came hard during the second, and had her way with me – she fought her fight beautifully for the win.
I really questioned myself for loving Boxing that night, as I stood there hurt, and exhausted while they raised my opponents hand. The ring Doctor, while examining my bloody nose said “Oh sweetheart, you are way to gorgeous to be Boxing. You should be in front of a camera somewhere…” – I know it wasn’t said with malice, maybe I reminded him of someone he cared about – a daughter, grand daughter etc. he wasn’t trying to be mean….
Well, if you think I’m ‘too pretty’ for Boxing, you don’t know shit about me, or shit about Boxing.
I am a beautiful Boxer. When in my zone, if you understood the freedom and peace I experience in those moments, you would never question my place within the Sport. I am exceptional – a Fighter, a Boxer, AND a Coach, I am a force of Nature. The Ringside experience didn’t go as we had hoped, but I learned many lessons, met kindred spirits, and have grown not only as an athlete, but as a person. I understand my mistakes, and am eager to get back into the lab to address them. Work will be done on the elements the make my game: mind, body and spirit. Even though I was hurt, and questioned my love of the sport, the good out weighs the bad, the moments of clarity and peace out weigh the times of doubt, and I have lots of room to improve – Boxing is worth the pain, and the work to me, that is how I know I love it, and am worthy of its gifts.
So Kansas City – THANK YOU, I will be back next year as an open class competitor, lighter weight class, with better rest and recovery plans in place. Thank you for helping me grow, challenging me, and forcing me to step my game up.
Going to enjoy the rest of Summer, and be back to training in a couple weeks. I want to thank everyone who gave their support, encouragement and love. I want to thank my sponsors – YES! As an amateur, novice Boxer I HAVE SPONSORS – Businesses who believe in me, and my quest to get to the 2015 PanAm Games – Sanagan’s Meatlocker, Ascenta, Bower Boxing, Beatdown Sports, and KB Nutrition – Without their support, the trip would not be possible.
Thank you to generous friends and family – Life Coach, Krista Scott Dixon, and the entire Dykstra Clan. Thank you to Bang Fitness and Sully’s Boxing gym for giving me places to train, closer to home outside of my home gym, Undisputed MMA.
Thank you to my Coaches – Archie Luz, who has invested some much in my development both as an athlete, and as a Coach. Krista Scott-Dixon for helping me find clarity, and a special thank you to my Strength and Conditioning Coach, Partner, Calm, and Rock – Ron Dykstra. This man was literally in my corner, and helps bring out the best in me. Thank you to my team mates who made the time to train and spar with me, and my clients who would train along side me as I prepared for this tournament. I am truly blessed to have such a powerful, and loving Community.
Life is a dream, off to practice my ‘Dim Mak’ 😉