Throwing a punch at limitations

Fiona tried boxing for the first time over three years ago, and now she can’t imagine life without it. She recommends anyone with a disability to get into an exercise routine they love – and has some great tips about how to get fit and healthy.

Every week Fiona meets her trainer Marcus at Bondi Gym to kick, punch and elbow every last frustration out of her body. Boxing has been a great way for her to keep strong and active both physically and mentally.

“The reason why I like boxing is because it’s a way of de-stressing, getting your frustrations out,” says Fiona.

“At first it felt weird, because it was something I’d never done before,” says Fiona. “And when you learn something for the first time you feel off balance, and it feels like it doesn’t feel natural because you’re learning.”

But gradually she got better, and with each training session her confidence grew.

“When you learn something new it takes a while,” she explains.

“Boxing might not be right for somebody else. So you need to find an activity that you enjoy doing that you can do at your pace.”

Fiona and her trainer

Having an intellectual disability hasn’t stopped Fiona from achieving her goal to get more fit and healthy.

“Yes, I do have a disability, but I don’t let it get in the way of what I want to do. What I want to achieve,” she says. 

Fiona never thought she would be able to box, but over time she has learnt how to balance, how to be more coordinated, and “throw pretty wild punches.”

Fiona throwing a punch

 “You know I do have some limitations of what I can and can’t do… I have the odd weeks where I just couldn’t be stuffed,” she says. 

“But it’s about having fun and trying something new. And if it doesn’t work you adapt and you adjust.”

Fiona now has regular fitness routine – including boxing, weights and cardio – and encourages other people to find a sport that is right for them.

Fiona takes a break in front of a wall with the gym's colourful logo

“Get into a routine. Do what you’ve gotta do. Train hard. Work hard. Have fun,” Fiona says.

“Boxing makes me feel like I can do anything.”

Fiona rests after her training session

Fiona’s five tips for getting healthy

  1. Look at the different exercise classes your local community centre offers and try a few out to see which one’s right for you.

  2. Start out any new fitness routine slowly and give yourself time to learn how to do things correctly with the instructor or trainer.

  3. Stick to a routine to help you stick to your goal, even when you’re not feeling motivated.

  4. Hire a personal trainer to work out a fitness regime specific to your own needs and goals.

  5. Eat a balanced diet to compliment your new fitness routine.

Published 6 June 2018

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