Commentary

March 29, 2013

Keeping age out of the ring – Soldier perseveres as female boxer

Tags:
Gabrielle Kuholski

Spc. April Moreland steps into the ring with Staff Sgt. Quentin McCoy, coach. Moreland practices hitting the mitts McCoy is wearing.

Spc. April Moreland is not your average athlete. Not only does she compete in the male predominant sport of boxing, but she began training almost two years ago, at 29.

Moreland, a supply technician assigned to Company D, 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, 111th MI Brigade, first saw boxing as a great way to get in shape, until her coach, Andres Portela, changed that perspective.

“He saw something in me, the potential to actually compete,” Moreland said.

According to Moreland, Portela looked past her age and told her that she did have what it took to be a competitive boxer. It was not long after she started competing that she started winning.

Moreland decided to take boxing one step further by putting in her application for the All Army team and it paid off. Including the All Army Championship this year, she competed in eight competitions, winning six and losing two. Moreland and the other members of the All Army Boxing Team are currently at the USA Boxing Championship in Spokane, Wash., where they will compete tomorrow through April 6. When Moreland returns to Fort Huachuca, she will continue training for future competitions.

Before they left for the competition in Washington, Moreland and the other boxers could often be found training in Barnes Field House. On a weekday, training started with a weigh-in. Moreland’s weight class is light middleweight.

Before training, she and other boxers grease up with a gel-like substance called Albolene. According to Moreland, this helps open up a boxer’s pores to sweat efficiently. Sweating is good in boxing to keep weight down.

The boxers’ training began with calisthenics, such as jumping jacks and swinging the arms and shoulders. The boxers warmed up as a group, but then broke off to individually shadow box, meaning the boxers practiced their techniques as if they were in a real fight. Staff Sgt. Alexis Ramos, boxing coach, explains how this works like a simulation.

“It helps you visualize somebody in front of you,” Ramos said.

After shadow boxing, the gloves went on, the arms came up and the chin went down. With a large punching bag, Moreland began practicing her jabs starting with speed, then during the next set switched to focusing on power. There’s a difference in sound between the two types of punches.

The boxers did circuit training. This is when one activity is performed for a certain amount of minutes and then the activity switches to something different. Moreland spends one circuit on the heavier punching bag and two taking smaller jabs without boxing gloves against a smaller bag, called a speed bag, and a medicine ball tethered to elastic cables.

During one rotation, boxers got off the training floor and into the ring with a coach to practice with punch mitts. Ramos mentioned how this type of training improves accuracy and focus. The coaches wore the mitts as they worked one-on-one with the boxer.
Moreland sums up her overall training as a lot of cardio training: hitting at the bags, sparring, meaning a freestyle form of fighting but with enough rules to prevent injury and core training. In addition to cardio, there is conditioning training, which includes running every other day and occasionally light weight lifting.

While physical stamina is an important key to winning a boxing match, Moreland shows that mental stamina is equally important elaborating on what goes through her mind every time she competes.

“Each round is two minutes long, and it feels like the bell is never going to ring,” Moreland said. “The only thing that’s in my head is, ‘keep going April, keep going, you have the training, you have the conditioning, just keep going.’”

She also gets motivation from her coaches telling her she is a winner and to go inside the ring and win. Moreland remembers the words of Portela to keep her motivated. There were times when she thought she was too old for competition and he let her know that if she did not believe in herself, that he did, and told her to believe in her training.

“According to the boxing world, this old lady is getting in the ring with these younger females and I am winning, so he must see something in me and that keeps me going because at least if I’m seeing it, he’s seeing it and I don’t want to let him down,” she said.

Moreland has short term goals to stay in competitive boxing but in the future, has dreams of becoming a coach. She feels that she would be more effective as a coach than a boxer.

“I like boxing, but I have a way of reaching people through speaking, so I think I will be able to articulate my skills better as a coach than a fighter,” Moreland said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Presidential Proclamation — National Native American Heritage Month, 2014

NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2014 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country’s character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models...
 
 
Courtesy photos

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare a perfect bird during Thanksgiving holiday

Courtesy photos When preparing the turkey, ensure the bird is completely thawed and all utensils are clean. To avoid the spread of bacteria during the preparation process, use clean utensils and wash hands frequently. Whether h...
 
 

WARRIOR CARE MONTH 2014 — Show of Strength

Each November, the military Services commemorate our sacred obligation and enduring commitment to wounded, ill and injured Service members and their Families and caregivers. These men and women have personally contributed to the strength of the force and the strength of our Nation. Their determination and resilience in recovery inspires us all. The theme for...
 

 

VETERANS DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Veterans Day commemorates the end of World War I. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 Allied negotiators met with German officials in a railway carriage near Compiègne Forest in France, and signed an armistice that put an end to the First World War. Over time, as the war...
 
 

Red Ribbon Week held this week on Fort Huachuca

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. Although the start end dates can vary slightly depending on the organization and source, Red Ribbon Week generally takes place the last full week in October, with the weekends before and following the last full week included as appropriate celebration dates....
 
 
Commissary-Gift-Cards-02

Giving ‘gift of groceries?’ Think commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. The cards, which come in dominations of $25 and $50, can be purchased by anyone at...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin