January 2023 – Joanna Walsh

Well done Joanna on your Contender of the Month title!

We have loved having Joanna in at the gym the past year. She elevates our community by bringing in a determined, encouraging, spirited and welcoming attitude to new and old members alike.

Check out our Q and A with her below.

Q: What was your skill level in fitness and boxing prior to Contenders? And where is it now?

A: I started just over a year ago and at the time I was recovering from an illness and my fitness level was quite low. I’ve done lots of sports and worked out throughout my life but during 2021 I had to take a lot of time off work and exercise, so I really noticed that my cardio fitness and muscle tone had dropped a lot. I’m in a totally different position now – my body feels strong again, I’m not out of breath and tired all the time. One of the girls at work even complimented me on having nice muscle definition in my arms.

Q: What is your favourite class to take, and why?

A: I like the midday conditioning classes – perfect to get out of your head and get your heart rate up. Also helps me concentrate better in the afternoon.

Q: What advice would you give to someone just beginning their boxing journey?

A: Stick at it. It’s easy to feel like it’s too hard when you’re starting out but if you keep trying you can’t fail because failure is when you give up. 

Q: What has been your biggest take away from this sport, and time spent at Contenders?

A: It’s probably a cliche but getting back up and into it after you’ve taken a hard knock is a really good learning experience and something to carry over to life in general. 

Q: How has staying active helped you out in other areas of your life?

A: When I’m more active I have more energy for everything else – I sleep better, wake up easier, concentrate better at work, and am more up for trying other new things. It’s gives me more confidence overall too. 

Q: What challenges do you face in boxing, and how do you work through them?

A: I get mixed up between my left and my right a lot especially on some of the longer punch combinations. Haven’t worked out how to combat this yet – practice and muscle memory maybe? 

Q: What is something you want to accomplish by the end of the year?

A: This year my overall goal is to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve not quite worked out the details yet but I want to set myself some challenges that I really don’t know if I can achieve.

Q: Besides boxing, what else do you like to do?

A: I like to do all the outdoor things! My favourites are windsurfing, open water swimming, and cycling. I also read a lot of fantasy and sci fi books and I’m on a quest for the perfect cheese scone. 

Q: …And lastly, tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you?

A: Ummmm this is a difficult one. Maybe that I used to have dreadlocks down to my waist and be a bit of an emo? 

author: Contenders Training

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