JUST DREAM HIGHER LADIES!
The Punch and Defense, Boxing demands your mind. In conversation with Two Ladies, Miss. Minu Gurung and Miss. Susma Tamang, who has been a constant messenger of ‘follow your dream’ converses about the reality of Boxing.
Minu Gurung, Thirty-four years old Army lady has explored the field of Boxing for the last fourteen years. The National and International achievements of her are such an inspiration for so many of us and her determination to continue contributing regardless of challenges, challenges us to think deeply about our goals.
Susma Tamang, a nineteen years old girl, has followed her passion for boxing and has traveled miles at such a young age. Just three years into the field and she has grown tremendously at the National and International platforms. Balancing between college and Boxing, she is on the way to success.
- How did you get into boxing?
Minu: My boxing journey started when I joined Army. I have always loved action movies and have a little bit aggressive attitude too (laughs). I was into karate before I got into Army. I remember, there was no woman in the boxing category and the two of us found our interest. Gradually, I build up the skills and learned the qualities needed that led to where I am today. The thing that kept my boxing abilities elevated was the internal competition within the Army. I was just 20 when it all started and after almost fourteen years, a long journey has been walked in.
Susma: My sister is also into boxing. I have seen her forever wearing boxing gear and doing what she likes. I think in some or the other way, it influenced me heavily and made me join a gym to learn boxing at the age of sixteen. I remember getting lots of complaints regarding fights and punch that I would have with my friends. The free time I had after SLC was allotted for boxing and I kept improving in a short time.
- How much does fear of getting injured affect you?
Minu: Obviously! Especially, when I was younger, I would get conscious about my face and getting injured. Today, I am more used to it and don’t care much about the face now. Every game that ever exists does have some sort of injury risk and that is a fact. If I am to talk about the boxing game, we all know how physical it gets. The power contact game always threatens injury. We see boxers getting paralyzed, knocked out, and fractured one too many times seems and sounds scary.
However, training hours teach us the defense technique and they keep us safe for 1-2 weeks before the game day. Our body gets mobilized similarly, the diet plan followed keeps us healthy, and the training keeps us on guard with the skills to avoid injuries.
Susma: And also, after some time in the boxing field, you don’t care about how you look but how you perform and feel about your body. So many of my friends who are modeling are also interested in and learning boxing. For me, the passion I have for boxing wins the fear of getting injured. My mom is there to complain about me having black and blue eyes and a broken nose (laughs). These days, quality boxing gear keeps us quite safe and less at risk of injury.
There is a weight category. Therefore, the opponent does not seem intimidating in terms of weight.
3. There must be many challenges that you have faced as a woman boxer. Mention a few, please.
Minu: If you are asking in terms of gender discrimination, I have not faced so. But yes, the physical challenges of a woman such as the Menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations affect the training hours. Taking a rest and taking slow always helps.
I would rather speak about the challenges that I have faced as a player. I have been on international platforms and have interacted with the players, and naturally, I happen to compare the facilities given to the players. I tell you, the condition of Nepal when it comes to games, in general, is sad. every match that I participated in makes me realize how back warded we are and how much it is for us to grow. A very short notice given to us with a little amount of time left puts us under pressure to train better.
Susma: Exactly! There is no single woman coach in Nepal. I had been to Poland for an international match and the team they have is incredible. Each country has a physiotherapist and psychiatrist whereas Nepal can only afford one coach who has to look after everything. As Minu di said, we get a call when we are all about our life doing things. The time limitation leaves no room for proper training. Readying passport, looking after diet, training, everything gets very hectic.
But now, that I have joined college, I think it will be demanding a lot of time management. Given the choice of course (Arts), I will be able to manage.
4. Despite those challenges threatening you mentally, how have you managed to keep yourself motivated?
Minu: My biggest source of inspiration is my family. They have supported me throughout my career. I believe in myself, in hard work, and my love for boxing. I think, when you enjoy the things you do, you naturally get inspired and motivated. I cannot forget to remember the Army Academy that constantly pushes me to do better.
Not at all! Three- fours ago, I might have faced a little bit of pressure but now I think my family is convinced that I do not dream of getting married but to win in the boxing tournament. I do not feel a need for marriage. Let’s see what happens in the future.
Susma: I am the biggest motivation for myself. I think the passion and the drive I have for getting into the boxing field are more than enough to make me stay and strive to do better and learn more. There are days of lows, but I watch my boxing videos and that reminds me of the reason I started boxing. I believe, no matter what, I will be able to continue to give my best in boxing.
5. How do people react when you say you are a boxer? How does that make you feel?
Minu: For me, I think because I belong to the Army world, people find it easier to assume based on the way I look and talk. If you notice, the walking and talking style of an Army woman is far different from that of a civil woman. We may not sound very polite and sweet, to be honest! (smiles) So, if they do not know me as a boxer, they ask if I am involved in any kind of game. Hearing me say that I am a boxer incites them and immediately ask about my level in boxing. So many of them praise us and say that we are a jewel of the country which makes me feel very proud and happy.
Susma: I have realized people treat me a little better when I tell them that I am a boxer. When I walk around my home, they say that they have seen me in the newspaper and praise my work. I have noticed, shopkeepers around my home prioritize me in the crowd, and in general, they pay more attention. The congratulations and the praise motivate me, even more, to do better in the boxing field.
6. You have won many matches. Now as a winner of many matches, do you ever feel pressured to do more?
Minu: Obviously, the pressure is up there. Every match puts me under pressure to win and maintain the level I have earned through many years. for that, I try and keep up with the training, look after my physical and mental health, and just give my whole into the match. Hard work, consistency, and discipline, all take an equal amount of credit to keep up with the expectation.
A few years ago, we would be very concerned about training as there was no proper boxing setting. During the rainy season, we would worry about the gym drowning in the water. Now, Satdobato has a proper Boxing training setting.
Susma: Of course, there is pressure to keep up with the achievements and to do better in every match. I have played quite a few matches which I am proud of, yet I lack satisfaction. I feel that I have a big space for growing and bettering my skills and boxing qualities. On top of that, the dream does not limit to just national games but to play internationally and make a mark in this field. I think, that dream also keeps me on guard.
7. How is it to have a very clearly chosen profession, and do you think you will continue boxing (say 10 years from now)?
Susma: (Giggles) The only thing that I know and love is Boxing. I am not into studying well. to have boxing as a part of my future makes me feel very driven to wake up to push myself harder every day. With full certainty, I see myself in the boxing field my whole life. Nationally, internationally, and globally, I intend to experience and learn more about boxing.
Minu: I am thirty-four now. Due to the age limit in the boxing field, I may not be able to continue to be a part of boxing competitions but one thing I know is that I will be contributing in anyways possible. I see myself as a boxing coach if not a player.
8. Getting involved in this field, what lessons have you been able to learn in your personal life?
Minu: I am a normal person who pursued my dreams and has achieved success. that is one thing I have learned to follow fearlessly what you want. discipline, hard work, and consistency will take you to the height of your dreams.
Susma: I think, I have learned to self-motivate and be more disciple in things that I do. Success and failures, both work wonders to take you where you should be.
9. Do you have any suggestions for the women out there dreaming to become a boxer?
Minu: Do not lose hope and follow your dreams!
Susma: Find your passion and just go for it! Do not hold back because of the fear of failure.
SUSMA TAMANG achievements
MINU GURUNG achievements