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 9th, 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. Kristin Menconi 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?
It's crazy to look back at videos and see how far I've come (but I have so much more to learn!). The training portion has definitely become more of a staple in my life and it's only going to intensify as we get closer to fight night.

What is your weekly routine?
I currently do a bags class and spar twice a week. I'm also lifting, running, doing plyometrics, shadow boxing and a TON of burpees (I honestly would be fine not doing another burpee in my lifetime!).

How has your diet changed since training began?
I've always been a super conscious and clean eater so the diet portion of the training so far has been okay. We've definitely scaled back on the carbs though, so that was a bit of a transition.

Tell us about your first-time sparring, different than expected?
Sparring is by far the most humbling experience I have had through this training process. You can hit the bags and think you have all the footwork down but once you set in that ring, your brain goes to mush! You have to think and move quick, while dodging AND taking punches. It's good experience but not my favorite!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far?
I'm trying to be as conscious as possible about burning out. There are some days in my training when I'm putting in almost three hours (lifting, bags class and sparring) and that can be draining mentally, physically and even emotionally. Some days you are at 100 percent and some days you aren't. Rest days are so vital in just letting your body catch up and chill out.

What does your family think of your participation?
By far, my favorite quote from my Dad has been "you know if you break your nose, they will have to reset it." Well, thanks Dad! My family is nervous and supportive at the same time but they won't pass up an opportunity to remind me that boxing entails that I will be getting hit...HARD!

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?
What has been so touching is seeing the people that are donating to my page and chatting with them about how cancer has impacted their lives personally. It goes to show that you never know what's going on in someone's life and that we should all just be a little kinder to one another.

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
I've been constantly inspired throughout this process whether it's from my fellow boxers at BoxSmith, friends and family, the students that I work with, or other people that are going out there doing things bigger than themselves. Every time I feel tired or questioning whether or not I can push through, I am reminded of those who receive a cancer diagnosis that have no choice but to face it. They inspire me and keep me going.

Donate to Kristin or purchase a ticket to Belles of the Brawl VII on October 9th here!