The Boxer's Heart: How I Fell in Love with the Ring
"I fought to shake things up, to play with the world. If I--sometime bookworm, singer in a band, Londoner, magazine editor, fiction writer, hotel and restaurant critic, softball addict, Caucasian of mixed heritage, pony-mad child, expatriate--could become a convincing pugilist, then anything under the sun is possible."
So says Kate Sekules, the author of this brilliantly candid memoir and first-ever guide to the world of women's boxing. The story of how an averagely talented athlete converted her visceral dislike of violence into a short but eventful career as a professional boxer makes irresistible reading for both fans and foes of what used to be "The Manly Art."
After growing up in London during the seventies and eighties, Sekules hit New York in 1992 and quickly happened upon something she hadn't realized she was seeking. In the mirror-lined gyms of SoHo and later at Gleason's Gym--the famous training ground of world champion boxers--she found herself in the right place at the right time to participate in the birth of a movement and an astonishing new direction for women. Sekules explains the mysteries of this most mythologized of sports and introduces the reader to trainers and fighters both famous and obscure, both male and female. With razor-sharp insight, she dissects her conflicting feelings on approaching the prize-fighting ring, drawing the reader in every step of the way.
Sekules's account unfolds with the pace and depth of a great novel, crammed with larger-than-life characters and piercing observations about matters that concern us all: the nature of masculinity and femininity; love and conflict in the ring and in relationships; trust, fear, pain, and the usesof aggression. Along the way, the author casts new light on the confused state of gender roles today, deals a death blow to issues of weight that have plagued women for decades, recounts the secret history of women in the ring, and delivers a primer on how to box--all in a fresh, conspiratorial, and highly entertaining voice.
Any woman who has grappled with anger and trust, been nagged by insecurity at the gym, or wondered what it feels like to throw a punch will identify with this witty and honest author's experience. Any man who has imagined stepping into the ring, or been baffled by the mysteries of the female, will want to add this one-of-a-kind to his shelf of sports books. It is a remarkable literary debut--with a very big heart.
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