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.


 
 

 
Cyber-Security-Scout-Article-06OCT2014

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

U.S. Army graphic by Lawrence Boyd “You Are the First Line of Defense.” That is the message those who are responsible for the defense of the Army’s networks wants to get out to the rest of the Army during National Cyber S...
 
 

Depression awareness showcased during month of October

Stand To! In observance of October as National Depression Awareness Month, the U.S. Army will join several organizations across America to inform the public about the signs and symptoms of depression. The public will learn the importance of seeking treatment and will be provided information about the availability of free online anonymous behavioral health screenings....
 
 

Robin Williams — could someone have helped?

I haven’t been able to talk about it until now, but I was really angry that Robin Williams committed suicide. I have been a fan of Williams since the Mork and Mindy days and always admired how much he had going for him. I knew he had problems, but somehow never considered that suicide could...
 

 
DoD

DOD recognizes commitment to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department Wednesday honored exceptional groups and individuals from each military component who contributed an innovative idea or approach to positively impact sexual assault prevention and response programs. The Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award recognizes Service members and DOD Civilians whose work in support of service members has been particularly notew...
 
 

Trick-or-treat hours set for Fort Huachuca Oct. 31

Fort Huachuca Halloween trick-or-treating will take place Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m. for children under 14. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Standard access requirements for the installation remain in effect. This includes the requirement that everyone 16 and over entering the installation provide a valid picture identification and...
 
 

VA processes more than 1.3 million veterans’ claims in FY14

WASHINGTON — More than 1.3 million veterans received decisions on their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and pension claims in fiscal year 2014 — the highest number in VA’s history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking production by more than 150,000 claims. This second year of record-breaking production comes as VA continues to transform the...
 




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