Monday, October 26, 2015

The Best Thing About Being a Boxer



My name is Nyisha Goodluck. I’m 21 years old, and I’m a female boxer from Atlas Cops & Kids. Almost every time when I’m on my way to the gym, strangers notice my equipment, and they always ask what’s my reason to be a fighter. 

For a long time I hung out with a lot of negative people who had little to no respect for anyone but themselves. I’ve never really fit into the “cool” groups, because I was way too shy and lacked confidence. One time the “bad guys” tried to belittle me, and I held my ground. They couldn’t beat me, so they apologized and kissed my butt until I finally agreed to be cool with them. We’d get into a lot of fights just off of bad rep, but we were all good kids dealing with our own troubles and insecurities. Being tough made me feel like an alpha; I’d fight if we pretend argued and the other person mentioned “yo’ mama.” Being tough even when I was nervous brought me a new confidence. I felt invincible. I fell in love with the feeling of being the better fighter before things even got real.

I found Cops & Kids through a friend who was an amateur boxer with his own gym. I walked into Cops & Kids with plans on staying in shape and sharp (as a Street Fighter) so that if I was tested on the block I’d be able to do damage. My first day training I met so many champs I knew that this was exactly where I wanted to be. I also realized how out of shape I was because after a day of training I puked all over the girls’ bathroom. I hated the feeling. 

The very next day I quit smoking cold turkey, and I stopped hanging out on the streets. Everything became work, gym, training. Sosa, Sarah, Quiro, and Wayne invested a year of their time building me into a real hard working fighter. 

Now I rarely hang out with my old crew, and I have never returned to my old habits. Every day I sit down when alone reflecting on everything I’ve been through in the past and thinking on where I want to be in the future. Becoming a pro fighter never crossed my mind until my coach Sarah set me up with some sparring with WBC champion Heather “The Heat” Hardy. Although I got my ass kicked, I found out my purpose. 

I won my first fight at a club show held by Gleasons Gym by a unanimous 3-0 decision. I was ready, and I didn’t really feel nervous. My mom was there, and I was more anxious and worried about looking good for her and a few supporters I had met randomly through social media. I almost had my first TKO, but my opponent Jalena Hay was extremely tough, and she fought through that beating. There was no question about it: She had earned my respect. When the referee held my hand up high and the crowd screamed in applause as if they’d known me for years, it was a feeling I wanted to embrace forever. It was completely indescribable but the best feeling in my whole life. 

As much as I enjoy the feeling of winning, being a champion is never solely based on being a winner. This was one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my amateur career. After a three-bout winning streak, I took my first loss to amateur boxer Andrea Tosto from Gleason’s Gym in the finals for the New York Boxing Tournament. I did not feel like she was the better fighter, but she outworked me and the judges were aware of that. I lost by a split decision, but I showed a tremendous amount of “good sportsmanship” and even asked to set up sparring in the future. I then took two more losses, one in the semifinals at the Ringside World Championships and another at a club show to an opponent whom I had already defeated. I became very discouraged and disappointed in myself. What I feared most was getting in the ring and losing again for the same reason: poor conditioning. 

I kept getting tired in the ring and outboxed, so I worked hard on the qualities and traits that make a boxer more effective in the ring day in and day out. I changed up my training routines. I took my strength and conditioning training to the next level. I sparred nearly every day and began running twice a day, and believe me when I mention that it took every ounce of power in me. Finally, my coach Sosa told me that it was time to get busy. I had previously been turning down fights he tried setting up for me. I dug down deep and told myself it was time. 

I had developed a new strand of confidence and took it with me into the Metro Championships. I faced the girl I had taken my first loss to and straight annihilated her. Of course, the referee made us shake hands after the bout. I tried to speak to her afterwards, and let’s just say she wasn’t as nice as I was when I first lost to her. It was then I had this strong moment of honesty with myself, and I realized God wanted me to experience those losses, because no champion is a champion if she can’t behave as one in both victory and defeat. The best thing about being a boxer is that you can never lose, you just learn.

6 comments:

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  3. This is awesome. You should be proud of yourself for being able to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and were able to face them head on. Once you are true to yourself, you will not go wrong. You may lose your way at times, but pick yourself up and keep moving.

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  4. This is awesome. You should be proud of yourself for being able to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and were able to face them head on. Once you are true to yourself, you will not go wrong. You may lose your way at times, but pick yourself up and keep moving.

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  5. You are a humble young lady .....and an inspiration ....our greatest glory isn't in never falling ....but in rising every time we fall ....wishing you all the very best for the future all the way from Scotland

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