Lucia Rijker

In Amsterdam one hour before I train with the greatest female boxer ever. I’m nervous but at this stage I’ve had many challenges that have made me ready to step into the ring with her.

I arrive and wait in the gym reception with my coach Dermot.
I’m allowed up to change, it’s coming close to my time, I dress and do something I always do before a big moment.

I look straight in the mirror and recognise the ability I have and that I will show no question of it. I’m good, no I’m damn good. Nothing to fear, confidence all the way. I leave that changing room like I’m stepping forward to a fight.

The gym she is using is beautiful, clean white mats and hanging bags, a ring perfectly placed by the windows. I approach her with the highest level of respect, she says hello in a soft level but her words as she talks are one of a very confident, commanding lady. Already I know this will be my toughest personal ever.

She listens to my fight story and as I’m running around warming up, Dermot shows her my recent fight. She says I’m a freak, in the best way of course!! Unless she means I enjoy beating people up.

She starts with some cool warm up drills, then the moment comes she asks me to shadow box for her, I’m feeling already her eyes analysing how I fire my punches.

How my footwork anchors on each shot, I’m feeling the time coming when she will say we have a lot of work to do. She doesn’t say the words but I know it myself.

Don’t think she’s that impressed by my boxing and fair enough because as the personal continues and she shows me how to throw a strike, I clearly understand she’s world class.

We go to the ring and it’s movement time, she brings out these foam things, I’ve seen them on tv, very excited, looks fun.
I’m sure this will help with defence, happy to do it. She throws them like rockets attached to her hands, oh holy hell and the power.

I’m slipping the fastest ever as when they land it goes right threw my brain. I’m thinking she killed Hilary Swank in Million Dollar baby and I’m going to die. I already paid my money for this weeks ago, no reason for her to keep me alive!!!

We move on to the pads, this is where I’ll impress her, she is teaching how to land the knockout, it’s not just one shot land and goodnight. It’s the multiple shots before it, the fakes and faints that set up the KO! I’m beginning to understand as she commands the ring.

She has total KO power, a few times I’m not fast enough on returning my hand to my head and I pay for it dearly with a counter of a champion, when it landed it was the first time I’d ever trained with someone that at any moment could finish me. I did not ask for a break or water. Too scared. Lol. No she is amazing and I’ll want is to be worthy of her teaching.

After the first Hour I’m begining to get the combinations better, the sun is beating down on me, my body is still sore after the fight. She has me hitting the hardest I’ve ever done, my hands are getting the KO power and she saying beautiful, yes thats it. She is really fast and I’ve got to match it. Finally I’m understanding what power I hold within my body. The music we make on the pads is one of sweet violence! I got it!!

She says to me at the end as we finish up some very important words that I needed to hear to prepare me to accept my mistakes and listen to my feelings. It’s great to hear from Lucia, that at times she went through the same. Reassures me it’s not a big problem, just another thing to work out.

We as fighters may seem like Heros, made of steel but we all need to heal. I had the toughest fight of my career and I was having a hard time finding Catherine again. She helped me mentally that day, her words sunk deep and healed me. Those words alone and getting to shake her hand was worth every penny of my winnings I used to get me to her.

Lucia is a perfect example of a Alpha Female, she found and reached the summit but pushes for another moment to conquer. Even tho she is retired she is in super shape, never stops challenging herself, physically and mentally. She’s a kind, humble and beautiful person. Goodness shines from her. The way a World Champion should always be!

I hope to return and train with her again, if I could afford it I’d do a private everyday with her. She wrote something on a pic I had gotten for her to autograph. I was shocked as she wrote the words, I’m not worthy of them but soon I’ll become that because Lucia guided me and shows me how to be a Champion.