Friday, August 23 2019
Charlotte Yates stands tall at five feet three inches on a good day. Although small in stature, she has a larger than life personality. Charlotte, who prefers to be called by her nickname Caddy, is an outgoing girl from the suburbs of Boston. She is constantly trying new things; whether it’s brewing her own hard cider, paddleboarding, or new vegetarian recipes, she doesn’t often hesitate from trying something new. And when Caddy turns thirty in September, she’ll be able to add another new hobby to her list: boxing.
Caddy explains Haymakers wasn’t something on her radar or something she ever could’ve foreseen herself doing. Primarily a Polo player, Caddy had never boxed before starting her Belles journey. But she was willing to take that leap into the ring when she found out her Aunt Gail, who had already been battling breast cancer for decades, had been diagnosed with a second form of breast cancer. And just like with some things in life where the timing is inexplicable yet kismet, the news came a few weeks before sign-ups and Caddy thought, “What more perfect way to show her how much I care and how much she means to me other than fighting and getting punched in the face!”
Although Caddy has never physically fought someone, she has never shied away from getting into a fight verbally. The youngest of three with two older brothers, she’s always been able to stand up for herself. And she’s the first to admit it. “I can get real sassy and real pissy really quickly,” she said confidently. And to boot, she’s quite good at the verbal spar--which is most likely why she turned into a career.
When Caddy isn’t training to defend herself in the ring, she’s defending her clients in the courtroom. And that is unbelievably corny, yes, but it’s true. As a newly minted litigation lawyer who specializes in immigration law, Caddy fights daily. She fights for those who are deserving but unable to fight things on their own. It’s a trait Caddy has had her whole life, which is evident her being such a big animal lover. She rescued her beloved horse Tink from the slaughterhouse. In other words, there was an innocent animal who couldn’t speak for herself and Caddy stepped in to fight for her. So although Caddy says she is fighting for her Aunt Gail, it’s really because she’s always had a fighting spirit.
Caddy has always known the value of hard work—whether it’s in the barn or studying for the LSAT. And training for Belles is hard work. She confessed that she still gets physically exhausted. But most of the hard work she’s done is mental. She explained, “This is a very weird mental place to be in. Like I am so keen to do this. But here are days when I’m like, “‘I don’t want to go. I really don’t.’” She jokingly continued, “There aren’t just some days—there are a lot of days where I’m just like I feel like it. But I still frickin’ go.” She attributed a lot of her success to her coaches, the Nolan Brothers. The gym, Caddy has found, is an incredibly positive space where what she thought was an individual sport is really a group sport where everyone supports one another.
And when facetiously asked if she would ever ask the opposing counsel to “take it outside the courtroom” with her newfound boxing skills, she decisively said, “No!” But then teasingly added, “Although it would make things much easier.”
In reflecting on the helplessness a cancer diagnosis can have on family and friends, she reasoned that’s why Haymakers came into her life when it did. She’s not just donating money to a charity—she’s able to put herself in the literal ring to show her Aunt Gail she’s in the metaphorical ring with her. Just as she does with her clients in the courtroom. And just as she does when there’s an animal in need. So when connecting the dots, Haymakers was a natural fit. Because when Caddy gets “sassy” and “pissy,” as she said, it’s really when she thinks something is unfair. And what could be more unfair than cancer?
An animal lover to the n-th degree, a lawyer with a feisty attitude, and a life-long empathetic relative but who never took crap from her brothers: it’s almost as if Caddy has been preparing for this fight her whole life without knowing it. The only difference is now is when she fights, she takes Epsom salt baths after.