Sparring with the best
I played more of my junior footy against boys and have done most of my boxing sparring against boys, too. That’s just the nature of boxing, especially.
There’s not many girls doing it. And the ones you’re going to fight, well, you don’t want to be training with them!
I prefer to train with guys, anyway, because they’re bigger and stronger and a bit more of a challenge. The guys I’m talking about are Australian title holders, professionals, who really know what they’re doing.
These are opportunities I didn’t necessarily think footy would bring me. But it’s happened because of that moment. Good things have come from it. It’s helped me move ahead.
I really value that experience, to train with them. Guys like Faris Chevalier, who was my first boxing coach in Brisbane, we do a lot of training and sparring together and he doesn’t hold back.
Faris makes sure I work hard – and never lets me win, either. But that’s OK. I’ll beat him one day! Every time I get him, I get really excited and then he gets me while I’m standing there excited that I got him.
Tej Singh is another guy I train with at my current gym, Murphy’s in Melbourne. So it’s not just old mates from the park that I’m training with. It’s really competitive and I’ve never stopped when I’ve sparred with them.
I’m a fulltime athlete. Work for me is fighting and playing footy, so I dedicate as much time as necessary to succeed in both.
Doing other jobs, like appearances and public speaking, have added a really enjoyable and important aspect to my routine.
I love meeting people, being able to give people someone to listen to who’s a bit left-field, not just a classic feelgood story.
What I went through had every chance to be a negative thing. But I had the chance to turn it around, which is what I did.
I like to talk about the way I did that, rather than the fact that I was subjected to whatever I was subjected to. I talk about the opportunities that came from it.
I did a magazine shoot with Stellar, which was on the front cover. The article then talked about the incident and what’s come of it. Same with Vogue and Bazaar magazines.
Recently I was at a Marie Clare glass ceiling event, which was for strong women in business, sport and the arts.
These are opportunities I’m relishing and didn’t necessarily think footy would bring me. But it’s happened because of that moment. Good things have come from it. It’s helped me move ahead.