Dakota Whitworth knows how to throw a punch.
Whitworth, a senior international business major, has a tough hobby. A year ago she took up the sport of boxing and has not looked back since.
It started out as an invitation for a self-defense class that turned into a full-fledged hobby. The workout was the major draw for Whitworth. She “wanted to get into something more active,” she said. “Working out at the [JBU] gym is fine and all but can get boring.”
“My trainer asked if I wanted to go to a mixed martial arts fight because one of the guys in the gym was going,” Whitworth said. “We got floor seats.”
After watching the match, she was intrigued. Whitworth said, “That was about the time I switched into the boxing class.”
The class provides Whitworth with a whole body workout. Cardio, physical endurance, and arm strength are a large focus of the class.
The good workout comes with a price. She has taken a hit or two in the process.
It is “shocking and exciting” getting beat up a little bit, said Whitworth. “I’m not used to getting beat up on a regular basis. You have to learn how to break through that and not let the attack stop you from defending yourself.”
Whitworth took one knock that left her with a good story.
“I don’t even remember driving to the gym that day, I just remember waking up on my [boxing] partner’s couch.” she explained.
She took a hard hit that day, which resulted in a concussion. “I guess we were in the ring, and we were getting good hits that day then I got out of the ring, and I was acting loopy,” said Whitworth.
Those in the gym tried to sit Whitworth down, but she began to dance around the gym. They could tell something was not right.
“I woke up in Siloam, and all I could think was, ‘What am I doing here?’ I guess I just kept repeating how much I loved McDonalds. They bought me McDonalds, but I didn’t even finish it because I kept talking about how much I loved it,” Whitworth said with laughter.
Even a tough blow did not stop Whitworth from continuing to pursue her hobby.
Whitworth’s fiancé, Phillip Hadley, appreciates her hobby.
“She is very passionate and so this is a good way for her to take out some frustration,” he said.
Whitworth agrees. The one thing she learned from her boxing experience is “you don’t have to be mean to be a fighter.”