Saturday, December 13, 2014

Staying Motivated

Some days 5:30 am just feels too early. And dark. And cold. But, that is when my boy is still asleep and that's when training begins. Then it happens again at 7:00 in the evening, just as my man gets home from work so he can put our boy to bed. Twice a day, six days a week.

Some days it's just hard to get up to go sweat and pound a heavy bag until my arms feel numb. 
On these hard days I think about the Russians.

For the past few years I've been obsessed with the stories of the female Russian fighters from WWII. 800,000 women served in the Soviet armed forces during the war. They were fighter pilots, snipers, machine gunners, and tank crew members. These women were truly strong and fearless.

Out of all the stories I've read, there are two women who are really amazing to me: Marina Raskova and Lyudmila Pavlichenko.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Lyudmila was a sniper. With a confirmed 309 Nazi kills, she is regarded as the most successful female sniper ever. She was in active combat for an entire year. Since she was a sniper, enemy snipers were always on the look out for her; she killed 36 of them. The woman is a bad ass. 

Marina Raskova

Marina was a fighter pilot. She convinced Joseph Stallin to form three combat regiments for women. These regiments she commanded and flew with were responsible for over 23,000 missions and dropping over 3,000 tons of bombs. The female fighter pilots were given biplanes which were nothing more than a wooden frame covered in canvas. They were not provided with weapons, radar, or even a parachute. They became know as the "Night Witches" because they would complete their missions in the dark and they would turn off their engines just before they would attack so the Germans couldn't hear them coming. 


I know boxing isn't nearly as difficult or as scary as killing Nazis, but the courage and determination of these women inspires me like nothing else. When things feel too hard for me and I feel my body approaching the breaking point, I remember that there have been women who have survived wars, preserved their lives and protected their families, and they became truly strong people. I want to be strong too, so I get up and keep working. It's the only way.