Another feature of 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!

This week is Payal Patel! Her mantra has been with me since I read her interview for the first time. Pure inspiration and badassery with this fighter. 

Read about her below!

Photo by Lopsan

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

PP: My name is Payal P. Patel, born and raised in NJ/NY and living in Boston MA! I am a PharmD by training and work at a rare disease company committed to research and development for patients with bleeding disorders. Hobbies? Boxing and eating tacos!!!

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

PP: I got into "boxing fitness" classes a few years ago when I was living in DC. I never made anything of it until I got to EBF where I started training and learning the skills of a real boxer. I got serious about it the day I decided to turn my life around. I realized that we all go through really tough situations that are never going to go away. But what we have that is hard to see at times is the ability to control how we let that impact us and what we do with those experiences. The only thing that has taught me that and continues to teach me that is Boxing. Boxing has given me my Freedom. Freedom to follow my heart and intuition. Freedom to love, live, connect, influence and help. Freedom to be Payal.

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

PP: To be someone’s hero. To remind myself and others that it’s not who we are underneath but what we do that defines us. I signed up to take a hit, get up, move and breathe. Because that’s what heroes do to influence, help, change the world. That’s what I will be doing until that last bell rings to knock out cancer!

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

PP: By showing up. Every high, low, hit to the head or body is a reminder that I am in control- either I can let that moment fall apart, or get up, move, fix my attitude and keep fighting. Boxing is a lonely sport some say. But I have a team that keeps me in check. Together we are stronger, than we are on our own.

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

PP: Honestly, this may sound bad but I really do not have expectations of anyone or anything in life. I also never painted a picture of how this is all supposed to be. I know it's not easy and it's going to be physically and mentally challenging. But at the end of the day, when I step back and think about the bigger picture, this is not even about you or I or anyone else that's getting in the ring to punch or get punched. It's about the people we are fighting for. It's about standing up as a society to shout that there is a need for a cure or drug development beyond what we have today. We have to build the chapters of our lives so that our story is a good one. And the only way to do that is to take our struggles, perseverance and efforts and own it.

AA: What your training looks like now? 

PP: Blood, sweat, tears.

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

PP: Have the guts to be vulnerable and brave. Feel the depth of your emotions. It won't be comfortable at all in the beginning but it will give you the kind of strength and purpose in life that you have never seen in yourself. I promise you that.

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

PP: Fight because you are a good human being, because you have the physical ability to inspire and be a hero for those that can't.

AA: What is the mantra you live by? 

PP: Be resilient, committed, smile a lot and never quit!

AA: Where can we follow you and donate to? 

PP: https://www.haymakersforhope.org/profiles/payal-patel