It doesn’t matter how many times we fall. All that matters is that we have the strength to keep going after a defeat.
To start off, let’s go a bit back into the past; what happened to the idea of performing on Dancing with the Stars?
Pure coincidence conceived the entire idea, and was a result of a reporter asking me what television programme I would most like to be on. As a little girl, I used to dance as part of a dance troop, and I have fond memories of those days.
I’ll admit it, I like dancing; especially in front of the mirror at home. 🙂 I have a very important challenge coming in May where I will be competing for the World Championship, so I must put these kinds of programmes on the backburner.
Successful people are versatile, so your announcement of going into show business didn’t come as a shock to most people, but is dancing the only aspect that is of interest to you? Or maybe something else? A band or film role?
I do not recall ever announcing that I was starting a career in show business, but it is true that I sometimes make appearances at various events or shows. This is primarily driven by the will to reach a larger audience; to the fans. I would like to gain more attention for boxing as a sport, as well as to knock out the stereotype that a woman who competes in combat sports must look like a man. The most common assumption is: big, burly, with a broken nose. Boxing is a great workout which tones the entire body, so I would go as far as to recommend it in its recreational version for all women, to better their physical condition. It’s also worth mentioning that the skills gained in the training arena can be very useful for self-defence. I do play the piano in my free time, but my skills would hardly allow me to start a band. Though I would love to perform in a movie and see how good I do as an actress.
Perhaps your interest in fashion doesn’t end with having a great way of expressing yourself outside the ring; have you tried your hand at fashion design? Or maybe just for yourself? The ability to read another person in the ring allows someone to be able to create clothes tailored to the individual.
Of course, appearances are important, but I don’t spend a few hours a day in front of a mirror picking what I’ll wear. I don’t blindly follow fashion trends. I play with fashion because I like it. I believe that what you wear is a tool of building your image and self-expression. Colours, styles, it all adds up in the end to self-expression.
But I don’t see myself in fashion design, except maybe sportswear, because with a little help I managed to make a shirt for my fans. Some personal accents such as a crown and the motto “stay strong”, which are in fact tattoos which adorn my body, were imprinted on it.
What is your remedy for personal crisis? You had to have tried out quite a few methods as you don’t reach the top without falling at least a few times along the way.
It doesn’t matter how many times we fall. All that matters is that we have the strength to keep going after a defeat. During my career as a boxer, the hardest thing to do was to start fighting during professional boxing galas, because the promoters simply didn’t want to put a woman in the ring. My formula for success is threadbare – pick a goal, work hard, and never give up. Don’t give up on your dreams just because they take time to make a reality. The time will go by either way…
How about your dreams in life and your career?
I systematically bring about my dreams. I have a way of writing down my goals, because a dream that is written down and stated ceases being a dream and instead becomes a goal. I privately dream of traveling the world. Professionally, I would like to win the World Championship, and, due to my defending this title for a very long time, remain undefeated.
You don’t bring up either gender equality or discrimination, you simply act. Do you ever look back and reflect on how important your career is to a still-developing society?
I do occasionally bring up discrimination because let’s be honest, boxing is a male-dominated domain. Looking back when I first started training as an amateur boxer 11 years ago, I recall primarily men reacting with complete surprise to how passionate I was about the sport. That is when the questions started, as well as the fears; “what do you want with boxing?”, “Aren’t you worried about breaking your nose and ruining your face?”, “You’ll look like a man and lose your feminine side.”, “A female boxer? Don’t be ridiculous…who would watch that”. As it turned out, I didn’t get my nose broken, I dazzle with femininity after trainings, and my matches are aired on TV with a great deal of popularity.
After 4 years, I noticed a real change of how society perceives women in martial arts. In general, gender stopped being a major factor when assigning social roles. The traditional roles of men and women have evolved. The stereotypes of what is masculine and feminine are constantly changing. As of late I rarely meet an individual who would be shocked by the fact that I fight in the ring.
What was your biggest personal challenge?
Giving up sweets for three months 🙂
Passion changes your perspective on the world. I’m sure you take notice of fights when outside the ring – what is your take on what you can see thanks to your experience, which others would not, even if it were pointed out for them?
I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION, it’s too vague. Please be more specific.
Is what you said earlier not one of the primary motivations for your commitment to charity functions?
Individuals who are public figures should get involved in charitable causes because through their image they can shed more light on the cause and reach a larger audience. Helping others is easy, you just need to want to and to get rid of any sort of selfishness. I believe that helping others gives life a deeper meaning, and allows us to feel as if we are a more valuable member of society.
What is your creed and who are your mentors?
Albert Einstein once said, ‚There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle’. Every day is a blank slate, which brings with it new opportunities, possibilities, and experiences. You should seize every day, and make every minute count. A while back, my father was my mentor, who amongst other things, imparted the love of sports on me. I have never quite tried to emulate other people, and so I have no idol.
Do you have any words of wisdom for everyone?
Listen to those who keep telling you that you won’t make it and that your dreams are impossible. And then just do it and prove them wrong. ■