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 October 10th, 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 Holman has been putting in work at BoxSmith and below you’ll hear about her first time sparring and more about his experience with Haymakers thus far.

We’re halfway to fight night, how is your training coming along?
Training is... great? Some days are definitely better than others! It's so interesting to have entered this process despising running and not being able to run much at all, and now it's one of the easier parts of training (in its lack of mental demand and routine). Honestly I am enjoying it, all of it. It's really cool to see my fitness evolving, and being more capable each week.

What is your weekly routine?
Each week I take bag/technique classes and spar at BoxSmith—I love [my coach] Jess' focus on technique! In addition to putting in work at the boxing gym, I run, strength train, and take the occasion HIIT or spin class. I'm trying to get better at adding in a lot more stretching.

How has your diet changed since training began?
My diet hasn't exactly changed since the beginning of training, but I'm definitely more comfortable with getting the necessary amounts of protein and veggies I need each day without having to stress it or think about it. Not to brag or anything, but I also feel like my knowledge of the protein powder market is really impressive at this point.

Tell us about your first-time sparring, different than expected?
I'm trying to remember my early sparring days and I don't think they were that different than expected, though a punch in the face is definitely a surprise as a beginner (still is, some days). My biggest battles in the early days were getting myself to hit someone forcefully—that's why we are here, after all—and not apologizing after hitting someone. Those tendencies didn't last long, thankfully!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far?
The hardest part of this process is being dedicated enough to work through anything—no matter how hard the day was, or how off I am feeling. It's definitely more a mental battle than physical. Self-care is another challenge, I'm learning just how extreme this sport is, and that it's important to take care of yourself amidst training.

What does your family think of your participation?
There is such a wide range of family opinions here! Ultimately, they're all pretty proud of my efforts. My mom doesn't think she can come see this all go down, but shows her support in care packages of epsom salts and protein-filled snacks and other fun comfort things. I think my dad is secretly thrilled I'm participating in such an extreme sport after attending years and years of dance concerts. My husband, sister, and bro-in-law are there as an amazing support team for endless group texts (weird new muscle/bruise pics, rants, braggy successes... I'm awful, trust me) and phone calls. Extra points to my husband, Russell, who deals with everything from the agility ladder constantly occupying our living room and my frustrated tears every now and then, and is still proud and willing to help out in any way that he can.

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?
I don't think any one specific story has surprised me, more so the quantity of stories. From chatting with my fellow Belles on Media Day to interactions on social media, everyone has a cancer story. Literally everyone. I can't wait until this isn't the case!

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
Recently I got to meet "Mighty Max", an 8-yr-old from my hometown that is battling leukemia. Max was always an inspiration to me, but meeting him (and having him sign my gloves!) put a lot into perspective, especially amidst a rough training week. Max fights daily. So can I.

Donate to Kim or purchase a ticket to Belles of the Brawl V on October 10th!