Michelle Rodriguez

GYM
YMCA

AGE
28

WEIGHT CLASS
Light Welterweight

HOMETOWN
Somerville, MA

BOXING NICKNAME
The Tweety

INSPIRATION TO PARTICIPATE
At first this was just a challenge from a coworker that has done this in the past (Varun this is all your fault!). I knew it was for charity but I wasn't aware of what charity when I signed up. I really thought I honestly wasn't going to get selected for this because I thought I would need to be matched with someone before starting. I mean what girl my size would willingly volunteer to be hit in the face (me-- well I may not be in my right mind). I heard what the charity was for after being selected and.. well I've always wanted to help people. I work for a biotech and really the reason I was drawn to that was to able to help people through science (I was specifically interested in oncology). I like being able to hear how my work may help a patient. I was a nursing student my freshman year of college and it just didn't seem to be the right fit for me. This path was my way of helping. Although it's not a direct way to help. So I figured if getting punched in the face and punching someone else back for entertainment was a way I could help and raise money to further research for pediatric oncology, I'm happy to do it. As a research/scientist, further science to help others is really important to me.  

HARDEST PART OF TRAINING
Being tired all the time. I used to work out all the time when I was a kid and now I guess I'm older and have less time to do it... but I feel so tired all the time. Now even before this I would do some type of activity 3-4 a week or more depending on what I was training for or what activities I could afford... so I was already in decent shape. It was just a huge commitment, a fun one but still a lot of work. Sparring was hard but I got over the shock eventually of being hit. (I'm still working on being better at it) What has stuck with me the most is just being tired.

MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF TRAINING
Working out. I'm a work out junkie. I'm one of those people that is so happy doing something extremely hard. I'm sure everyone around me hates me for how happy and up beat I am. I get a high from it. 

FAVORITE BOXER
Evander Holyfield

PRECONCEPTIONS OF BOXING THAT HAVE BEEN CHANGED
I didn't think much of it actually. I only really thought it would be one of those things I could just pick up and do like most sports I've played. It's not the case with this. Your mind set is completely different. You have to remain calm in order to think clearly about what you're doing. You can't always react. To be a boxer you have to be smart. Boxers are smart people. It takes an insane amount of discipline and patience.

GREATEST SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT
This was a while ago but it's one of my favorite memories... and allows me to brag about myself a bit. I got to relive the glory days every once in awhile :P

Anyways... I play in a national tournament when I was 22 for rugby sevens in Providence, RI. I was playing on this 7's team called the Falcons. This team was geared towards taking college rugby players of all levels and making them elite ruggers. It was a team that really helped me step up my rugby game... just before I stopped playing. Out of 30-50 girls I was one of 12 selected to go to this tournament with this team. I would say that was definitely the coolest achievement. At this tournament I got to play against some girls that were on the national team. They were HUGE. Just tall strong and muscular. I am tiny in comparison (to most people anyways). I intercepted a pass in bowl match game and broke away to score a try which allowed us to win the bowl. (There's the bowl match, plate match and cup match, bowl being the lowest you could possibly win... but whatever still pretty cool)

The hardest sporting achievement I've ever accomplished was competing in Reach the Beach this past year. It's a road race where 200 miles is split between a team of up to 12 people. You have no sleep because you're sleeping when you can in a van and you're running every few hours. It was absolutely insane but I had a blast. I ran 20.7 miles total. It was easily the most physically draining and mentally draining thing I've done and I've tried all sorts of sports and competitions. I'm extremely proud of myself for doing it. I must be sick because I'm doing it again. Maybe some day I'll do a marathon, if I'm ever brave enough.