Amber's Journey From Boxer To Back Country

Amber's Journey From Boxer To Back Country

 

I am 43 years old and I have been a Registered Nurse for 21 years. Age has never stopped me from taking on challenges. The harder the better; must be the fighter in me (as you will learn). 

I started boxing at 27 years old. An opportunity was suggested to try boxing - I decided to try it out. I loved it! It wasn't only the physical part of it I loved. I loved the sense of community, belonging. I felt mentally stronger. I started to gain self-esteem and confidence. My coach helped me find my full potential and supported me throughout my boxing journey.

Regardless of my age, work, and home life, and even people telling me that I was too old or I wasn't good enough, I trained hard everyday. I even trained 2 to 3 times a day. Over time, I became a 2007 and 2008 Canadian National Boxing Champion. I was on the Canadian Women's National Boxing team for 2 years. Best experience of my life. In 2008, I represented Canada at the Women's World Boxing Championship in Nigbo City, China. I was considered the oldest boxer at the World's. Old? Who said 34 was old? I didn't! I won a bronze medal and was ranked top 3rd boxer in the world.It was one of my most memorable experiences: standing on the podium, looking proudly at the Canadian flag, I had no thoughts, it was all heart. Time had stopped, this was a true sense of being in the moment.

And also (not everyone can say this), I had the opportunity to spar Justin Trudeau! Amazing what can happen when you take an opportunity and make it yours! I had faced many challenges from nearly being denied boxing at the Worlds' because of age or being constantly put down because I was not a "natural". Regardless of this negativity, I persevered. I rose to my own best potential and worked hard to achieve my goals. 

Unfortunately, at the time I was boxing, women's boxing was not recognized as an Olympic sport until 2012 and I was beyond the age limit of 34. This however, did not stop me from persuing another sport. In 2010, I started running Ultramarathons. My first race was the Canadian Death Race. I decided to take on this race as a relay team. I ran 60+km at the race. I loved it so much, I knew this was my calling. I did not know much about ultramarathons, so, I researched, planned, trained and learned many lessons. Over the years, I have learned from each finish and DNF. All were positive. It made me a strong runner. 

I am not the fastest nor am I an elite. I am my own potential and if I place first in a race, I consider it a bonus! Of course, planning, training and determination helps. For example, I was involved in a car crash in February 2016. Out of three 100 mile races I finished 2 and I placed first woman at the Halliburton 100miler in 2016. I have ran multiple races starting at 50km to 200miles and I have done 3 self supported stage races - Fire and Ice 250km in Iceland, Grand2Grand 273 in Arizona/Uhta and Annapurna 200km in Nepal.

I will be running the Tahoe 200mile race on Sept 7, 2018. 


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