Saturday, February 2 2019
During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Rumble IX in Boston on May 15th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from David Purdy, fighting out of UFC Gym.
Where are you from?
Masshole; born and bred. I grew up in Attleboro and went to college in Norton. My wife and I lived in the Back Bay and South End after college (before kids). We now live with our four boys in West Roxbury.
Where’d you go to college?
I studied as an undergraduate for four years at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. before spending 4 more years in grad school at Northeastern University in Boston.
Did you play any sports growing up?
My primary sports were hockey and baseball. I also played football, basketball and soccer in middle school and high school. I played one year of college lacrosse at Wheaton. After college I added skiing and golf to my repertoire.
What do you do for work?
I'm a Portfolio Manager at an asset management company that specializes in quantitative management of institutional assets. I'm part of a team that is responsible for the oversight of various client portfolios, which includes daily analysis, research and client interactions. I travel around the world spending roughly 1/3rd of my time on the road. My background includes the study of economics, finance, computer science and physics.
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
As a kid, I used to train with the golden glove boxers as preparation for hockey season. It provided an amazing workout and some important lessons that would help me as my hockey career progressed. However, I never pictured myself boxing competitively. When my wife was diagnosed with cancer three years ago I decided to give it another try. At the time, I was working with a fitness trainer at Equinox who recommended that I add boxing to my routine. It would provide cardio, but more importantly, an outlet for stress. He was right.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
I remember sitting with the pharmacologist at Dana Farber and frantically trying to write down all the medications that Jessica would need to take over the next few months; this for pain, that one for drowsiness, this one for constipation, which is caused by that other one.... It was terrible. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. The medications were a preview of all the crap Jessica was going to have to face and there was NOTHING I could do about it. I wanted to hit something hard. I wanted to take out all my anger and frustration on something or someone. So, I went to the gym. Tyler, my coach, asked me if everything was alright? I explained the situation and he said that we should do something about it, we should sign up for Haymakers.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
I draw inspiration from those who have fought and continue to fight their own battle. Too many of my family and friends have been impacted to list them here. Yet, each one inspires me in their own way. Cancer has provided me with some of the worst lows and the most amazing highs of my life. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but am a better person for having been impacted by it. The committed Doctors, nurses and administrators of Dana Farber are the ultimate inspiration and need our support.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Privacy. Most of my battle with cancer has been waged alone. Lonely nights spent in bed worrying about Jessica and the boys. Days at work trying to hold back my feelings and focus on the task in front of me. Time at the gym hitting the bag so hard that my knuckles would bleed while tears rolled down my cheeks. I hated it and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it. Now I need to tell everyone. It scares me, but I know my experience is not unique and if opening up a little bit can help provide better resources for Dana Farber then it's worth it.
When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
My four boys keep me very busy. They are my primary "hobby" and as you can imagine take me in many different directions. Sports is a constant. My boys play baseball, soccer, basketball and ski. We love watching the Pats, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics. We love watching movies (especially Marvel) and like listening to sci-fiction books on tape during our long rides to VT for ski weekends. I'm an avid reader. My current interests are Artificial Intelligence, Civil War and Political Science. I like to do puzzles with my wife and play cribbage and chess with the boys. In the summer we play golf, fish and spend time on the beach. I'm pretty good at can jam.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Anyone that's spent any significant amount of time with me. That would include family, friends and co-workers in no particular order.
Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, David!