#BADASSFIGHTER : Leigh Cassidy

After seeing so many girls crushing my boxing classes and seeing so many women at the gym just completely owning it and looking badass AF in the ring, I thought I wanted to know more about why the choose to fight. Literally. 

Around the same time, Jordan (behind the marketing team at Haymakers) reached to me to work on something together, feature the badass women that fight everyday for others, and that have taken the challenge to fight on this year's Belles of the Brawl V! I couldn't resist but to say HECK YES! I mean, wouldn't you love to know who is fighting and why? Believe me, they are the cutest babes in town, but you don't want to mess with them. 

I'm always inspired by anyone that goes out there following their dream, gets up early to hustle, and keep promises to themselves. This babes are not exception, and they are breaking standards along the way. 10 women willing to give up their time and effort to train everyday, to fight against another women, and raise money to KO Cancer? YES YES and more YES! they are truly inspiration to me! Keep reading every week, because I'm sharing with you all of them!

photo by Lopsan

I am so happy to share our first fighter: Leigh Cassidy! Read more about her below!

AA: Tell us about yourself! where are you from, where do you live, what do you do, hobbies... 

LC: My name is Leigh Cassidy, I’m 29 and am the mother of an 8-month-old adorable dog named Toby who I talk way too much about. I live in South Boston, but grew up in a small North Shore town called Swampscott. By day I’m a B2B Marketing Manager at a tech company in Cambridge, and by night I’m a pop culture junkie who loves cheese, reality TV, the snack at smiles back (goldfish), good wine, ice coffee year-round, Billy Joel and a good dance party. As someone who avoids conflict like the plague, I’ve never really imagined myself fighting, but I am excited to bring the skills I’ve learned over the past few months to the ring in October.

AA: How long have you done boxing for? and why you started? 

LC: I took my first boxing class about 4 years ago. It took me approximately 3 weeks into my Class Pass membership to finally muster up the courage to sign up (and attend) my first boxfiit class at Everybody Fights. Since then I’ve been hooked!

AA: When and why you decided to fight on Haymakers for hope? 

LC: I attended my first Belles event 3 years ago and LOVED it! I don’t know if it was the energy of the fighters, the roar of the crowd, or the fact that the event raises money to help fight a disease I HATE, but I’ve always wanted to participate and I’m feeling hashtag blessed to be fighting this year. My inspiration to fight comes from my mom who is a three-time cancer survivor, and from my friend Rita who lost her battle with cancer this past summer. I’ve yet to meet someone that cancer hasn’t affected in some way, and I look forward to the day I meet someone it hasn’t. It’s time to make cancer something of the past. I figure if my mom can beat cancer three times, I can handle three rounds in the ring (fingers crossed).

AA: I've heard that training can be pretty intense, how do you deal with the hard times? 

LC: Training is exhausting. It takes a lot out of you both mentally and physically. When I get really frustrated I usually go home and cry - never at the gym but the tears tend to come once I get to my car. Then, I force myself to take a step back and remember why I'm doing this - to knock out cancer, and then my frustrations with training, and the disappointment I might be feeling at that moment don't seem so frustrating anymore.

AA: Did you have any expectations of the training, and what are you expecting of the fight? 

LC: I had no idea what to expect from training. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know it would be as hard has it is. I am physically pushing myself more than I ever have in my life. As for the fight, I'm really hoping to get out there and do my best.. and winning wouldn't hurt either :)

AA: What your training looks like now? 

LC: I take a morning class 6 days a week (train X strength, road classes etc.), train with my trainer Jay 3 days a week for 45 minutes, do mitt work a few mornings a week and try to run at least 2 miles a day 4 days a week. I've recently started doing a circuit workout too that mixes in weights which totally kiss my @$$!

AA: Being a fighter can be super intimidating for women, what tip would you give to new boxers? 

LC: Get up, and get moving -- The people you see confidently shadow boxing at the gym were once just as nervous as you were to get in the ring.

AA: If you could give one tip to anyone out there thinking in fighting at haymakers for hope, what would you tell them? 

LC: As hard as you think training will be, it's going to be harder. However good of shape you think you're in, you can be better. As far as you think you can push yourself, you can go further. But in the end, it's worth all the blood, sweat and tears (literally!).

AA: What is the mantra you live by? 

LC: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

AA: Where can we follow you and donate to? 

LC: https://www.haymakersforhope.org/profiles/leigh-cassidy