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Fighting For A Cure: One Woman's Journey To The Ring

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

Check out this month's Client Spotlight, showcasing Maria Scippa! Maria is currently training for her big Haymakers for Hope fight coming up in October at the House of Blues in Boston.

Read about Maria and her journey here:

Name: Maria Scippa

Age: 33

Occupation: Social Worker/ Graduate Student

How long have you trained with Coach Dawn: I have been working with Dawn for almost two years.

What was your initial goal when signing up for coaching?

When I first decided to use Dawn for coaching, my reasons were to look better, if I am being honest. I knew I had an unhealthy and inconsistent relationship with food, but I did not know this was something that could change. I simply wanted guidance on how to look and feel better about my body and not obsess about every food that I put in my body.

What are you currently training for?

I am training for a charity boxing fight that supports cancer research. Haymakers for Hope is an incredible organization that is literally fighting for the cure for Cancer. Every October, 32 women get in the ring while they have spent the last four months training, fundraising and fighting for the big night! My weight class is 120. Three months ago, when my training started I weighed in at 135.

Why is this important to you?

I have been boxing for fitness for the past 6 years at Firicano Boxing Center in Stoneham, MA. I fell in love with this place from Day 1. I have always wanted to get in the ring and Haymakers provided that opportunity while raising money for a great cause. Along with my love for fitness and nutrition, I love to help others. I am so grateful for the opportunity to combine these passions. I, like many others, have experienced heartache from losing those I love to this awful disease. What I have been doing is nothing compared to the battles I have seen people fight when diagnosed with cancer. Lastly, I spend much time finding ways to become mentally stronger. I often try to put myself in the shoes of those who face tremendous challenges and wonder where they find their strength to persevere. These past months have humbled me, strengthened me and allowed me to push past limits I have set on myself in the past. I am fighting for something bigger than I can explain, but if I were to try, I would say it is for inner strength for anyone and anything someone may be facing. We have what it takes if we dig deep enough.

Take us through a week in the life of a boxer:

Oh boy… I may get tired just writing this! I am up at 4am most days to fit in my training, workouts, preparation and all the other "adult” responsibilities. 3-4 mornings a week are spent doing road work. I run between 3-5 miles on those days, of course listening to the rocky soundtrack! I have worked my schedule around my incredible trainer Michael Firicano who trains me 6 days/week sparring with the other fighters he trains. A typical session is three 3-minute rounds of jump rope, three 3 minute rounds of shadow boxing, followed by some hardcore sparring rounds. After my training session, I take one or two of the conditioning classes to increase my endurance, strength and stamina in the ring. These classes include hitting the bags, bodyweight exercises, plyometrics and lots of other high intensity exercises. I follow Dawn’s nutrition plan and I am fueling my body about every 3 hours (which means I eat in my car a lot) I try to get to bed by 11, but that doesn’t always happen. Pretty much something hurts every day, but I just keep showing up!

What has been the biggest obstacle for you and how did you get through it?

My biggest challenge is my brain! I am someone who overthinks everything, which helps me in some areas of my life but not with training and nutrition. Both Dawn and Michael have told me in their unique ways to stop thinking and just follow the plan. When I follow their impeccable guidance, I do really well, and when I don’t, I pay the price.

What are 3 things you have gained/learned from your coaching/training programs?

Wow, I have gained so much. Dawn was the first person to help me transform my body, maintain this new weight and change my lifestyle for the better. Being a client of Dawn’s for this time has prepared me for this challenge in so many ways. My top three things would be trust, accountability and self-respect. I came into this knowing how important it was to fuel my body the right way which was a huge benefit, but what I didn’t know was the level of discipline and trust I would need to take my body to the next level. I have also learned how important accountability and honesty is If I really want to see changes. I emailed Dawn about a month ago and told her about some cheating I was doing. She very kindly said “don’t do that” in so many words and said to “earn my treat meal.” Something clicked and I haven’t looked back. I am amazed at not only the results but the changes I am having about myself and what I can do if I stay focused! Lastly, I would say love and respect for my body. I am grateful for what it can do and show that gratitude by how I treat myself. I no longer waste time with negative self-talk or doubting my abilities.

What advice can you give someone that is just starting out with fitness and nutrition or that is contemplating trying to live a healthier lifestyle?

I can honestly say that deciding to work with Dawn has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I talk about her to anyone who will listen. My advice would be don’t compare, trust the process and start wherever you are. It is a process. It is about learning what works for your body, lifestyle and goals. I keep moving the finish line and my goals get bigger, but when I first started with Dawn, I weighed over 140 lbs., I had terrible eating habits and low self-esteem. She has helped me to create a better version of myself through her passion and commitment to her clients. I never thought I could sustain this lifestyle and be happy because of how much I LOVE food, but following this plan and changing the way I prepare, eat and train allow me to enjoy all the other areas of my life so much more!

When and where will your fight be and is there a website link to donate for your fight?

My fight is on October 5th at the House of Blues in Boston. I appreciate any and all support whether it is cheering me on through social media, seeing your face in the crowd or helping me reach my fundraising goal to keep fighting cancer. All this support goes to the cause and I think that is awesome!! You can follow my journey (weight loss, donations, and my bio on my page):

From now until Maria's fight, $10 from each program purchased will be donated in your name to her fight!

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