pastry chef / boxer / transplant
I don't know about you, but whenever I watch a boxing movie, I always fall in love with the character outside of the ring. Seeing how he or she deals with an imperfect world and mounting responsibilities while pushing the limits of their body is herculean. The ability to push those aside to focus on a singular opponent was something I was always envious of.
The thing I forget, however, is how beautiful the process of battle can be. The sound of wrapping your hands, or the feeling of the ring floor moving slightly with each flutter of foot. As I stood in the ring with Kellie I saw both my movie idealization and the simple awe-inspiring image of a sweaty human who had done so much to get to this point. It was humbling.
"My name means warrior woman, ironically enough."
"I never thought I would be in this place, at this point. Saturday, we had a test for our colors. So you do sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups, and then you showcase skills. You show different boxing combinations, footwork and sparing. You have to show that you have a mastery. I was very very nervous about it and then, I passed obviously. Because I have this, (proudly motioning to the band on her arm).
I started coming to boxing about a year and a half ago. I kind of was just hoping to learn how to punch something just in case somebody tried to mess with me.
A year and a half later I'm still here and I'm still doing everything. Technically these colors, these bands don't mean anything in the real world. But getting to this point means a lot. I just don't think I've ever really stuck with something that long. Especially something that's kind of physically demanding.
I just have a sense of pride that I could have accomplished something so difficult. And now here I am."
"I grew up a mile from the beach. Going home and seeing the sand in the ocean, I realized I really like water. I've never really lived very far from water. So I find it very comforting. And I think my biggest worry about moving to Austin was that it's landlocked.
Home also smells like the mountains, smells of a mixture of dew, grass and pine trees right in the morning when you first wake up and it's still a little bit cold.
Home to me is kind of a conglomeration of things. I was born in Florida, but I grew in North Carolina where I went to summer camp for about 10 years. And then New York and Savannah were where I became a real adult. And so a lot of things that I learned from those places influence what home is to me."
On Jacksonville vs Austin
"Growing up in Jacksonville, there just wasn't anything there. You have the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and, even with that, there was basically nothing to do outside of going to the beach or Walmart.
In Austin, there's music, there's food, there's all kinds of stuff outside. Something I was really impressed with when I moved here.by moving here is that there so many free things to do or things that are mostly free that there's no reason to sit at home on a weekend."
"Compared to a lot of countries, we do have a lot of freedom. We are allowed to stand on the Capitol lawn and protest for women's rights, we are allowed to drive whatever color car we want. But I think a lot of corporations have bound us to their whims and ideals through advertising and marketing.
You can't turn a corner without seeing a sign advertising something. There are these new Coca-Cola signs everywhere (in Austin) with actors having a great time. They're sweaty, yet enjoying an ice cold Coke and you're like, "oh yeah I totally need a Coke."
In America, because we aren't slaves to technically a government, I think we're more slaves to our own way of life.
It's a lot like the Capitol in hunger games where you have to be a certain way and act a certain way and do a certain thing. You have to have these certain labels and certain brands and certain things in order to be accepted. And so I think, it's a little bit of a ruse that in America we have all this freedom. But if you don't, have your freedom in this specific way, then you're not really free, you're not really considered worthy."
From Jacksonville, FL
Lives in Austin, TX