By: Romesha Ensley
I woke up one day and knew I wanted to box. Boys can go pro starting at the age of 15, girls can’t do that. With that being said, the Olympics were my goals. With the Olympics being in 2016, I knew I wouldn’t be 18 years old yet, so instead of dropping my goals completely, I just minimized them.
The Junior World Open Ranking Tournament in Reno, Nevada, is the closest thing to the Olympics, and is the only tournament that can get me ranking points, so this is now my goal.
This year I’ve been working very hard to get ready for this tournament. I was supposed to fight at 138 pounds, but there were some problems with that. There were no females fighting at 138 pounds, which meant I would have to go down to 132 pounds. No one was fighting at 132 either, so I was forced to go down to 125. I took the opportunity.
I woke up on Christmas day at 138, (this was before I got the news about having to drop weight). It was Christmas so I was eating all day. By the end of the day I weighed 142 pounds, and that’s when I got a call from my coach saying I needed to drop to 125.
I was instantly devastated. I automatically got mentally weak before I even started, so I told my coach, “No, it’s not even worth it.” Then I sat and as I started thinking I began to get emotional because I wouldn’t be going to the tournament; I worked hard for nothing. This wasn’t okay, so there had to be another solution, right? But there wasn’t, so the only option was to lose 17 pounds in just four days. How could I lose that much weight? I was already a slim girl, so I thought.
The next day I began to workout four times a day in a sauna suit. This was tough because I’ve never worked out in one of these suits before. My body went into a panic.
I was trying to spar in this sauna suit and almost passed out, because me or my body didn’t know how to react. I didn’t let this stop me though because by after a day of working out and only having a small dinner, I woke up the next morning weighing 133 pounds.
This was progress; this motivated me. I pushed hard for the next few workouts, so I could take a break.(this was the wrong way to think though, I shouldn’t have been concerned with getting a break.)
I continued to work hard so I could get the weight off by the time we got on the road to Reno. I ended up weighing 128.9. I was upset because I thought my coaches were going to be disappointed in me, that I wasn’t on weight before we got on the road, but Coach Jones was actually proud of me.
He told me that I only had four more pounds to go and I’ve already lost so many, these last four would fall off with no problem. This made me happy, but at the same time upset because I was tired of working out so much. I was very sore and tired and I didn’t feel like myself. My coaches could see I wasn’t myself, they just said to stay focused and that it would all be worth it when I won.