Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Again, now that we're back on track our fundraising efforts have resumed.  We are currently putting on a raffle out of SB where you can win a personal training session with one of our many trainers! A big thank you to the trainers for donating their time!

Tickets are 1 for $10 or 3 for $20, which is a great deal considering the cost of a personal training session!  Keep an eye out for this lovely vase on the front desk.  We are super crafty!

Also, don't forget the hot tanks we're selling! We hired these professional fitness models to display them at the gym:

Also, I would like to give a shout out to Jen Osojnicki- my first sponsor!!!  

Not only is Ms. Osojnicki glamorous AND generous, she's also a talented photographer who has already been featured on this blog! Thank you, Jen!!!!!

Don't forget, if you would like to buy tickets to the event or donate to either of us, you can access the Haymaker's website HERE!!!

I bored myself then changed the subject

Now that things are basically back to normal, we've resumed our typical training schedule.  Monday was run/class/technique and we'll be back to class/sparring tonight.  Nothing too exciting to report.

On Sunday we sparred with a girl from Maine who is flying out to Ireland this week to fight the Irish Amateur Boxing Champion.  It's always fun to watch people at the peak of their training and kind of fun to get in there for some rounds with them (just a bit tough on the face sometimes...).  Good luck to Liz this weekend!

In an H4H update, it looks like my sparring will be happening this Saturday and Jess's will take place some time next week because her girl has to have stitches taken out of her face.

I am getting bored just typing this.....

Ok, change of pace.  While Jess was writing her post about boxing nicknames she found lists of the worst boxing nicknames ever, which I think is amazing.  Here are some of the ones that popped up on most lists:

Joel “Love Child” Julio
Vaughn “Shake and Bake” Bean
Johnny Risko: “The Cleveland Rubber Man”
Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan
Calvin “The Boxing Banker” Brock
Darnell “Ding a Ling Man” Wilson
Tony “The Punching Postman” Thornton
Lance “Goofi” Whitaker
Donnell “The Real Touch of Sleep” Holmes
Wayne “Pocket Rocket ” McCullough
Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder ” Wepner
“The Pink Cat” Scott Walker
Anthony "Sugar Ray Clay Jones Jr” Small
Eric "Butterbean" Esch
Jerry "Wimpy" Halstead
Benny Leonard “Ghetto Wizard”
Damn, it's too bad "Sugar Poo" is already taken.   
Right now, Jess's nickname 'round the gym is Homebrew, due to her husband's delicious and abundant home brewed beer.  This has also lately been shortened to Homey, which is also very fitting for Jess.
There have been nickname suggestions for me, but none have really stuck.  Sometime last year the girls called me Knuckles, but this worked best when I was accompanied by Sarah "Sonic."

C. Sau has major glitter skills

Julie also suggested Nora "the Norovirus" as in, "I'll make you s*t your pants"...but that's kind of a mouthful.  (Ew, that sentence was unintentionally gross).  
Anyway, I am currently taking suggestions! Let's open this up to the public!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Aaaaaand we're back!

After a confusing and scramble-y few days, it looks like Jess and I are right back where we were at this time last week.  Over the past few days it seems that a million different options have been thrown out about how to handle the loss of our two opponents.  There has been discussion of fighting each other at Haymakers, talk of fighting people with a few fights under their belt and then having us participate in a different event in April to gain experience, at one point there was an opponent for me, but not for Jess... It has all just been very confusing.

So you're saying there's a chance? Back to training for H4H!

Happily, we received notice from the H4H camp yesterday that they found new opponents for each of us!!  Yay! We don't have to fight each other!

From what we know, Jess's girl is slightly taller and weighs about the same- no problem!  My girl is apparently my carbon copy, which is weird.  I went from preparing for a tall girl who weighed much less than me, to a short girl who weight more than me, to! And she has the same style apparently.  A little bit of a mind F, but we still have six more weeks to train.

As always, these match-ups are dependent on seeing how we work against each other in a sparring event, so we're pushing to try to set up sparring for this weekend.   At this point, we just need to be told where and when to show up and we'll be good to go.

Also, to try to ensure that these girls stick around, we're going to employ a new strategy- we're going to locate these girls on Facebook and send them encouraging messages, like:

"You are doing GREAT!"
"Keep training! Don't quit! You can DO it!"
"You definitely look like you're going to kick my ass!"
"WOW! Don't let all this hard work go to waste by wimping out last minute!"

Fingers crossed!!

Thanks everyone for your concern about what would happen with the event (except my mom who I'm pretty sure just feigned concern... "Oh no! Will your fight be cancelled? That is just too bad!"...Nice try mom!!)

And on that note- fundraising continues (or for me, begins!!) Don't forget to check out our fundraising pages HERE.  Note that I have $0 to my name.  Aren't you sad for me?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Were you afraid this blog was about to get boring?

Not a chance!

Admittedly, it was quiet around here for the last few days.  Originally this post was going to be about how both of us have taken this week a little easier due to a mix of family issues, illness, exhaustion, etc.  Both of us took at least one extra day off of training and cut out a lot of the additional pre and/or post-class work.  We were planning to head up to Nonantum again this Saturday for Jess's sparring session and for me to get in a little work outside of the gym.  Things were running smoothly until the shiz (do the kids still say that?) basically hit the fan on Thursday.

First, I get an email from the H4H camp saying that my opponent has dropped out.  This is the second opponent in a month!!! Out of the running!  Again, the reason was pretty unclear...she didn't feel ready, couldn't fit in the training, etc. etc.  Not to put my bitch pants back on, but this girl accepted a fight and then three weeks later bailed on me, leaving me even LESS of a chance to find an opponent this late in the game!! If she didn't think she had enough time, she should have just said no to begin with so they could find someone else.  At this point, I feel like she's left me high and dry and that sucks.  And yes, this is the world of amateur boxing, I get that- but this is a charity fundraiser!  You'd think a commitment means a commitment...but apparently not.

So, whatever, I get bailed on again.  Let's attribute this to the fact that these girls MUST have been reading this wildly popular blog and were super intimidated.  I get it.

But THEN, to make matters even worse, we got notice later Thursday night that Jess's opponent ALSO DROPPED OUT!!

Ok, so now for those of you keeping score- this is the FOURTH girl to drop out of Haymakers since the beginning...

Round 1
Jess vs Opponent
Girl 1 vs Girl 2

Round 2
Jess vs Opponent
Nora Girl 1 vs Girl 2

Round 3
Jess vs Opponent
Nora vs Girl 2 Girl 3

Round 4
Jess v Opponent
Nora v Girl 3

Grow some balls, ladies!

On the one hand, Jess and I have already accomplished one of our goals which was to prove that we can rep the girly gym.  So far, we possess two attributes that four other girls have lacked-- 1) Work ethic/willingness to stick to training and 2) a willingness to step in the ring and actually fight. Yay for us!  However, that does not resolve the issue of WHO we will be fighting!

Right now a lot of ideas are being tossed around and we KNOW the H4H camp is working hard to find both of us new opponents....  Obviously, we would like to remain a part of the event, especially since we've been working so hard and Jess has already raised over $1,000 and sold tickets!

We will be keeping you all updated as we know more, but right now this whole thing is a big mess!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Boxing Nicknames

What's your boxing nickname? Are you a Hurricane like Jaime Clampitt Hayes, Brown Sugar like Belinda Laracuente, the Real Deal like Amanda Serrano, or Slick like Alicia Ashley?

Well if you're not sure ask Julie Anne Kelly, Kid Ginger, for some advice. She has a nack for naming boxers. She's got a nickname for Jess and is playing around with a few for Nora but she found one that has already stuck for one of the smallest people at the gym...Emmeline.

 Julie has studied her behavior and has dubbed Emme "the Honey Badger". Emme is pretty laid back but I don't know if she's as laid back as the Honey Badger - watch the below and you decide.

The Honey Badger don't care

watch as she climbs in slow motion

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Our fundraising pages are now active on the Haymakers for Hope website!!!

Go here then scroll down to find our names under "Team Leaderboard."  Jess already has a whopping $25!! Go Jess! (Side note, how do some people already have $1200 raised?! Freaks!)

Obviously, if you have come to this page as a friend of Jess's or a friend of Nora's, then feel free to donate to your particular person.  If you're a Striking Beauties friend and are torn on who to contribute to, we are going to be collecting money at the gym and then divvying it up appropriately.

If you are interested in attending the event, than the money from ticket sales also goes towards our fundraising- what could be better?! You get to help "beat" cancer and also support us while we "beat" people up.  Oops, no I mean actually beat people up- that's not a metaphor.

Also, as promised, we have at least two fundraising events brewing including a raffle for private training sessions with SB trainers that we will hopefully get up and running this week!

We need all the help we can get, so any contributions are obviously GREATLY appreciated! As a temptation, if you contribute you might get to be featured on this very popular, world-wide blog.  We have viewers from Russia, Canada, Spain, and Scotland (hi Damien!!!).

Field trip!

This morning was a regular class/run/sparring morning at SB.  Happily for Jess,  a bunch of girls came to spar that were closer to her size.  While it is helpful for us to spar each other, Jess's H4H opponent is small, maybe even smaller than her, and it is helpful for her to get work in with other people.

After our workout we took a road trip with Julie to watch some of the Haymakers sparring at Nonantum Boxing Club in Newton.  

This was originally supposed to be the day where we got to meet our opponents in the ring, but due to the previously mentioned setbacks we didn't get to fight.  We did get to meet some of the other fighters and trainers, though, and we saw some great match-ups.  There are going to be some awesome fights on May 17th!


At this point in time it looks like Jess will be sparring her opponent next Saturday back at Nonantum, and I'll tag along to spar some of the girls from that gym just to get some experience outside Striking Beauties.  It is possible that my girl will be ready to fight next week too, but if not we're going to be looking into April (yikes!).

We also found out that we're going to be interviewed by Bob Neumeier, an NBC and Comcast sports correspondent.  These interviews will air prior to our fights on the 17th...  This might be causing me more anxiety than the fight!! What to wear?!

Bob Neumeier- our brush with fame (coming soon)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't hate me- I'm Irish!

What better time to reveal my hot-tempered Irish side than St. Patrick's Day (the married Swartwout name can only mask my true Sullivan-ness)!  For my friends and family (specifically former teammates and college roommates) I'm sure that my last competitive, short-tempered, rant-y post was no shocker.  Similarly, for those who know Jess I'm sure her composed, optimistic, and forgiving post also came as no surprise.

Maybe that's why we make good training partners!

Bottom line: Jess is working her tail off and as long as she gets her fight and is happy, then so am I!

On with training!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ANOTHER CURVE BALL! (a post from Nora)

Jess and I were up at the crack o' dawn for an early morning training session with Zach, meaning that we left Striking Beauties at 9 last night and arrived back by at least 6 this morning (Jess was there sometime earlier for a run - what a nut!).  I'm beginning the post on this note because it is possible that this lack of sleep and abundance of boxing is making me grouchy.  I could also be extra irritable because I have a face full of Novocain and fresh fillings which means I can't eat anything.

BUT the worst part is that we have been thrown another curve ball- this time it's a curve ball for Jess!!!  As we mentioned earlier, an important part of Haymakers training is that we meet our opponents midway through the training for a sparring session just to be sure that we are evenly matched.  Originally, this sparring date was set for everyone as March 11th, but Jess's opponent asked to push the date back because of illness. Our camp can be flexible, so the date was moved to March 18th.

All week Jess has been training and preparing for her sparring day on Sunday, not to mention Zach rearranged his work schedule and Jess had to find a babysitter for little Honey Badger (Emmeline).

So then imagine our surprise when this afternoon Jess's opponent asked the H4H camp for another extension.
(I wish I had a confused/exasperated picture of someone saying "WHAT?!??!!" to place right here)

Now, I'm sure this girl is a lovely human being.  She's donating her time and energy into raising money for cancer.  That is wonderful. We have to step into the ring sometime!  It's ok that she's intimidated by this:

We all are!

ANOTHER CURVE BALL (a post from Jessica)

Nora is fired up!!

I was too, but my opponent is working out an injury and we'll spar as soon as possible. I was very disappointed to hear the news today but I was starting to fear I was going to lose the fight itself. We've been assured my opponent is in it for the long haul and there will be sparring in March and a fight in May. That's all I want.

I worked hard this week in preparation for sparring but I'll just carry it over into next week's training. I'm just glad I still have my fight and I can't wait to see all this hard work pay off. I get grouchy from all this training and dieting, too. I even miss my shower! The shower at the gym is nice but I miss my non-travel sized products and my own hair dryer.

Let's just keep training!


There is something truly frightening living in Striking Beauties.....

All this picture needs is a scary handprint underneath the writing...

A night in pictures

It was another usual Wednesday night training at SB, except we skipped sparring at the end of the night for an opportunity to watch Julie spar with pro boxer A. who is preparing for an upcoming fight.

Striking Beauties' own Jen Osojnicki, a professional photographer, took some great shots of the evening: 
A. warming up with my gloves! Woo!
Julie getting wrapped up
Enviable abs
Enviable slipping
A very tender moment between Zach and Julie
Enjoying the action- way to be a party pooper, Val!
You do NOT look like you're wearing a toupee in this picture
But you DO look like you're wearing a toupee in this picture
Post-spar chat
Overall, this was a great sparring session to watch and we learned a lot.  Plus, we were all extremely thankful that we didn't have to get into the ring with either of these two!! These girls are nasty (in an amazing way).  Thank you so much, Jen, for letting us use your pictures on this site! Everyone should check out Jen Osojnicki photography here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Swag and sparring

Tonight the charming Myerson boys (co-founders of H4H) graced us with their presence at SB and brought swag- super comfy Haymakers T-shirts!  Just one of the many perks that comes along with being a celebrity boxer (ha!).

As part of the training process, the Myersons and Julie have been traveling to all of the different gyms to document the progress of the fighters.  Most of the gyms are in the Boston area, so it was nice that Andrew and David came all the way out to the 'burbs to check us out.  They stuck around for class and sparring and took approximately one million pictures.

Having strangers watch you and take pictures + unseasonably warm temperatures = SUPER sweaty and tired ladies.  Be prepared for some soggy action shots hitting Facebook in the very near future!

To impress our guests, Zach was wearing his Monday best.  In an attempt to get him to show off his outfit, he nearly began stripping....Thankfully, I stopped this video just in time.

In terms of the workout tonight -- running, class, and some sparring with Dena.  Plus we got coveted Julie time.  Win!

Julie describing her upcoming holiday plans
(hint: they involve drinking)

What people think boxers do

I just found this funny. Enjoy.

My favorite is "What my mom thinks I do"
But now that she knows I'm actually signed up for a fight, I think THIS is what my mom thinks I do:

And, unfortunately, this is what I really do:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Damn you, time change!

So, today's epic sparring session ended up being a total dud. Out of the list of about 6 fighters slated to come, no one showed!!! Some were sick, others were coming from really far away, but I swear some people simply forgot about the time change.  In the end we just fit in a few rounds of light technique/sparring and shadow boxing after class.  In hindsight, it was probably good to give our bodies a bit of a rest and we'll get some rounds in tomorrow night.

Also on the plus side, it gave us some time to brainstorm about fundraising events and we have some ideas in the works.  Keep checking back for more information about how you can participate/donate to the cause! In the meantime, there are really sexy Haymakers 4 Hope tank tops available for sale at Striking Beauties for $10 and all money goes to our fundraising efforts.  There are also Livestrong-type rubbery bracelets available for $1, and that's cool if you buy one, but c'mon... we know you can do better than that.  Unless you plan on buying 4,000 of them in which case, THANK YOU!

Check out pics of the merch above and feel free to contact Nora, Jess, or Dena if you'd like to buy a tank or bracelet!

If you're interested in how these tanks will look in action, check out these modeling shots.  It was cute- we wore them on the same day.  Twinsies!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pear Shape Bag

So, I've taken some (good natured) heat for not knowing the name of "the small, heavy bag that swings around"....Apparently, this bag is known as the Slip Bag (ok, duh) or the Maize Bag.  Julie was telling us about how this was one of Mike Tyson's favorite training tools.  In a search for some Mike Tyson footage, I found this:

I think this video is kind of redundant because that's basically what I looked like doing it, but whatever.

Here is a really old video of Mike Tyson which is pretty cool, too:

Killer montage at the beginning.  I would love to make something like that for me and Jess, since I think that's basically how we both feel right now!

Just as an update to training- today was "train on your own" time so I believe Jess had a long run day and I did trainer Jess's conditioning class and then Pilates (non-stop planks!).

Tomorrow morning back to some boxing and what sounds like a big morning of sparring with some Golden Gloves champs!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jess wanted to name this post: "I knew Nora would be the talker"....interpret that how you will.

Wednesday nights are perhaps the most exciting nights at SB.  Like Monday, we each put in a little work on our own (running, class) and then take Zach's boxing class.  Wednesday night classes are always packed to the gills, but most SB regulars are in attendance and there is usually some singing from Kris, dancing from Val, and sass-talk from Eva Lou to keep things moving.

Wednesday also includes sparring after class, which is starting to regain popularity now that a few of us are actually fighting.  Last night, we did some round robin sparring with Shelly.  Julie did not join us this time because she's too busy being a human punching bag for everyone in the greater Boston area who has a fight coming up!!

Anyway, on to what you really want to see.  Pictures of us either looking awesome or looking foolish...

Up first, a short clip of Jess and Shelly sparring....verdict: AWESOME!

Look at Jess's excellent head movement and slipping! That relentless rope work is paying off!

Next up, Me and Jess mid-spar...verdict: AWKWARD! I look like a giant.  I am indeed taller, but I think this photo is some kind of optical illusion...

Round 3... Me and Jess again....verdict: (buzzer noise) Awkward again, sorry Nora.  Although at first glance this looks cool, at second glance you will notice that Jess is approximately 15 feet away from me and does not have giant orangutan arms, thus making this move unnecessary.

Round 4... Me and Jess...verdict: FOOLISH! I am running away like a little girl:

Ok, I'll add one last shot just to make myself look moderately competent.  It's not that impressive or action-y, but my hands are up and I am in the center of the ring.  Good enough.

Here is another of Jess with Shelly:

Good stance and ready to throw down.  Nice.

Well, another exciting Wednesday down.  Check back next week to see evidence of Margie's first sparring session! Yes!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quiet times

Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually a little quieter here on the ol' blog because those are the days we typically train on our own. This usually consists of a longer run (probably about 5-6 miles) and maybe some skill work/shadow boxing. One of these two days also typically ends up being our one rest day depending on the week's schedule. Have you ever felt guilty about not making it to the gym? We have found the solution! Start going 6 days a week for about an hour and a half to two hours each time. By that seventh day you will be so gloriously happy to not step foot into a place of exercise that you will not have even a fleeting pang of guilt. It's THAT easy my friends!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A quick but interesting article about female fighters preparing for the US Boxing trials!

And to keep our lady readers happy, a gratuitous photo of Zach:

Monday, Monday

This Monday consisted of at least a two hour workout for both of us.  In addition to our regular Monday evening class with Zach, Jess also took an early morning class at SB and I went for a run.  After class we worked some technique with Zach and our moral support (and talented videographer), Val.  Today's technique work was....slipping! What felt like hours upon hours of slipping.  Here is Jess looking like a beast working the rope:

We also used this funny little bag that I'm sure has a name, I just don't know it.  Here I am looking really awkward using this silly thing:

Oh, were you hoping to see the video where this surprisingly heavy bag hit me in the forehead? Sorry.  Not happening.

Also, take a look at Val dropping it low!

These pictures are surprisingly similar to the dance moves Val busts out during class.  Maybe that's why she's better at slipping than I am!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Curve Ball

Tonight I got a call from one of the Haymakers representatives saying that my opponent has dropped out of the fight!  Luckily they were able to find another girl to take her place, which is pretty fortunate considering we're almost halfway through the training period.  My new opponent weighs more than I do, so I'm going to have to maintain weight and prepare to fight a bigger girl rather than dropping weight to fight someone smaller.... but at least I still have a match!

I'll take the rest of tonight to think positive, thankful thoughts about this new girl who agreed to step in so late in the game, but then beginning tomorrow it will be time to focus on kicking her butt (Keeping it PG - this is a family blog!).  Thanks new girl!


Saturday morning sweat

One of the big advantages we have training out of Striking Beauties is working with Jaime Clampitt, a world champion pro boxer.  To read more about Jaime, check out her bio on the Women's Boxing Archive Network here.  It's extensive, but it basically sums up how awesome she is without us having to list it all out here on the blog (also, how pretty is she?! What is with all these gorgeous girls also being amazing fighters?!).  If you want to get a taste of her in action watch this clip from her impressive win over Mia St. John in 2007:

Jaime vs. Mia St. John

Jaime is incredibly knowledgeable about the sport (obviously) and has a great talent for doling out advice to each of us based on our natural styles.  Working with her is so valuable and we jump at any opportunity to fit in a session with her!

This weekend we made the trek to Providence, along with Shelly, to work out at Balletto's and get in a little technique work with the champ...

Jess working on the bag

Jess working on the bag while Shelly works one-on-one with Jaime

Poor quality (or artsy?) shot of Shelly working with Jaime

One more step in the right direction!  Hopefully we'll get some more time in with her soon!