1. to change in condition, nature, or character; metamorphose
PT Anderson’s transformation through boxing started about three years ago. She was coming off an illness that hit her pretty hard, and Cappy’s was the first place she turned when it came time to hit back. The work she did there led to a new understanding of herself, and now she wants to use that knowledge to help others.
PT grew up as the oldest of eight children. She is a natural teacher, so it’s no surprise she’ll be transitioning from competitive boxing into a coaching role for the CBC this summer. She admits it was a difficult decision, not being a direct part of her team anymore, but she’s excited about the different ways she’ll be able to interact with them. “There’s definitely emotion to it, because of the relationships with my teammates. But I had a pow-wow with them, told them to their faces I’m not going anywhere, just looking forward to doing it in new ways.”
At the heart of it, PT understands the deeper philosophy behind boxing, that it’s about so much more than how to throw a jab or do a slip. “It’s about the layers underneath. The ring is a metaphor for life; when someone hits you, you have a reaction, and boxing focuses on going deeper into those feelings, to explore the larger emotional range.” When PT first returned to boxing after her illness, she got into sparring, and found that it was really beneficial to her healing. “Life had hit me a lot recently, and sparring was a concrete way to explore that. I could get it out, deal with it, sit with it, at least see it – it allowed me to name things I couldn’t name before.”
Part of what PT could now name was an awareness about what it means to live a boxer’s lifestyle. Those words are used a lot at the gym, but PT has a greater understanding now of what it means to strive for that level. “A boxer in the ring is so many things; they’re collected in a variety of situations. They’re good at reading people and body language, communicating back, being grounded, and always looking to grow to the next level.”
Part of Cappy’s philosophy is about training the whole boxer, not just in fighting techniques, but treating the person from a holistic perspective. PT adds, “Boxing, sparring specifically, puts you in a situation where a lot of emotions come up, and there are step by step drills to calm yourself down – we work on getting into the back plane, finding your feet, and inviting those emotions in, instead of running from them or frantically trying to read what’s going on. You can box anywhere – in a closet or on Mars – it’s a pretty powerful tool to have at your disposal.”
PT will incorporate this philosophy into her coaching approach, with her own experiences as a guide. “I really want to continue that safe space where people can explore emotions, the physical sensations in the body, visualize the places they want to go, the places they don’t want to go – I want to be a continued part of the project, and put my own spin on it, my own story.”
For more information on how to get involved at Cappy’s, or to schedule with a coach contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Verginia is a Seattle-based writer whose work is found in the courageous jungle of independent magazines and numerous online publications. Her current projects include Tanglewilde (a travel blog), as well as The Associate Voice, a subset of ArtsFund.