McAuley sophomore is a real ‘knock-out’
April 1, 2011
ST. MARGARET MARY DEANERY — While most people might think of boxing as two individuals just trying to “beat each other up,” McAuley High School sophomore Cristi Farwick knows better.
Cristi Farwick, in her boxing headgear and gloves, poses for a photo with Sister of Mercy Perpetua Overbook.
Farwick recently finished her boxing season for Cincinnati High School Boxing, one of only two sanctioned high school programs in the United States (the other is in Rochester, NY). What makes Farwick’s involvement so unique is that she was the only female on the team this year. She had two intramural matches against fellow Cincinnatians who are male and one match against a male boxer from Rochester.
A member of St. James the Greater Parish in White Oak, Farwick became involved in boxing in 2009 at the encouragement of her father’s friend, Tim Back, a former professional boxer. Back has been training Farwick since then and also coaches her in another boxing organization, USA Boxing, which continues its matches even though the high school team season is over.
“I like the thinking part of boxing, trying to figure out my opponent and what skills to use to beat them,” explained Farwick, a former gymnast and current sprinter on McAuley’s track team. “I like the dedication it requires. You have to be in good shape and work very hard to achieve greatness. It takes a lot of guts and mental preparedness to get in the ring and do what all of my teammates and I do.”
Farwick said it was both fun and challenging to be the only girl on the team. “All of the guys accepted me as a teammate and friend and the fact that girls can box just as well as boys,” she said. “When sparring with them, they knew when they could push me and work to their full potential and when to take it easy. Keeping up with the guys was tough, but I pushed through and made it out with a better sense of who I am as an athlete.”
Friends and family have encouraged her involvement in boxing. “My friends joke that they don’t want to mess with me and that I’ll be the one that’ll back them up in case of trouble. My parents don’t want me to get hurt but support my dedication to the sport,” Farwick said.
Although there are other female boxers in the Cincinnati area, she noted that none joined the team this year for various reasons. She would definitely recommend the sport to other young women because of all she has gained from participating.
“It’s a great way to relieve stress and a way to train and work towards a goal versus just working out,” she said. “I’ve learned how to push myself and how far I’ll go to reach my goals. I’ve also learned what it means to be dedicated and how much hard work can actually pay off.”
“I definitely think more girls should join because we need to show that we can fight just was well as the guys,” she added. “Most sports like this are very sexist and guys automatically think that girls are weak when some of us are stronger than they are. This sport has helped me become a lot stronger, both mentally and physically. “