You’ve heard who they are and why they’re fighting. But now that we’re over the halfway mark until the big night on May 18th, things have started to pick up a bit. Training is getting more intense. They’ve been punched in the face. Most have had a bloody nose here or there, their diets have changed, and boxing is becoming an everyday part of their lives. So we figured it was about time to check back in and see how things have been going. Kim Lipman has been putting in work at Sorabella Training Center and below you’ll hear about her first time sparring and more about her experience with Haymakers thus far.

We're halfway to fight night, how is your training coming along?
I've played sports all my life and nothing is as challenging as boxing. Physically it is demanding, it's ridiculously technical, and mentally sometimes it feels impossible. And yet, I'm developing a love for the sport. I understand why it is called the great equalizer. The first month, I was training like crazy... boxing lessons, boxing class, lifting, running, walking for weight loss. Literally, multiple of those in the same day. And then I sparred. And realized I was doing it all wrong. More wasn't better. I had to get smarter and do it fast if I was going to learn how to box. It took a change of perspective, and a weekly rest day, to start getting in the groove. Sparring is still hard, and every day this feels challenging, but I'm loving it. I'm starting to remember what it feels like to be an athlete again and I get to do it with the motivation of all my supporters and the people we are fighting for.

What is your weekly routine?
I wish I had a routine! My work schedule is such that I travel a lot. Most weeks I have 1-3 nights "on the road." I'm lucky in that when I am home, I have coaching that is flexible to my schedule. I don't know how I could ever do this otherwise. I'm making a point to get a weekly rest day and am mastering traveling with days worth of breakfasts and lunches. I probably look like a hobo.

How has your diet changed since training began?
I LOVE food. And quite frankly, I LOVE drinking too. I love going to beer and food events so when I say I need to pick my battles, I really mean it. I'm on a good weight loss trajectory, but need to keep on it diligently. The good news is that when I'm home, I love to cook so eating healthy takes some planning, but it's been fun to make a normal dinner into a really good meal. I've also made a habit of posting what I make on Instagram because my not so secret dream is to be on the Food Network. (Bobby Flay is ignoring my requests to be on the Next Food Network Star... but I'm going to keep being persistent)

Tell us about your first time sparring, different than expected?
I'm going to keep this one simple... what you think your body is doing, and what it is ACTUALLY doing... two different things. Plus, it's pretty much the most exhausting 2 minutes someone can imagine.

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far?
When I get frustrated, I basically want to kill an entire box of Cheez-its and then chase it with an old fashioned. I think they call that "eating your feelings." And the frustration can come from training, diet, the other part of your life (work, family, friends), anything! I'm really focusing on staying positive, working hard, and knowing what is within my control and what isn't. The reality is the only thing I can control is my own attitude, so I keep reminding myself of that when I feel like I want to take a break from it all.

What does your family think of your participation?
My parents went to the Belles event in October, so they really got to see what Haymakers is like and how grandiose it is. While I'm sure the idea of getting punched or injured is not exciting for them, they have really got behind me on this journey. My Mom is totally healthy, but had a pretty good scare about a year ago. And my Dad has an excellent prognosis, but he was diagnosed with cancer at the end of last year. They know I'm working my tail off and I want to make sure that I make them proud.

It’s amazing how many people’s lives have been touched by cancer in some way - has there been anyone that has surprised you by their story?
This question is hard, because there are so many stories. People have donated, then reached out to send me private messages about what their friends and family are going through, or went through. My uncle has gone into remission because of a new drug. A teenager in my town passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. I didn't get to meet her, but she is someone important to my trainer. The rawness of that one stung even though I never met Zoe. All I can say is this experience and humbling and truly life changing.

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training? 
When I started, I wanted to make a difference. To help. To show support to those that I care about. It almost felt tangible, like the donation money was this thing that we could contribute. As soon as that first donation and message hit, things starting evolving. I don't know how to explain it, but it's taken on a life of its own. I know I feel inspired every day and I know I want to do better. I'm competitive and wanted to win, but now, I'm more aware of the small wins-the kind words of encouragement, the empathy shown after a tough training session, people donating their time to my preparation, and of course the donations.

Donate to Kim or purchase a ticket to Rock 'N Rumble VII on May 18th here!