Name: Krista Pullen
Major: Bio Engineering and Applied Math
Hometown: New Milford, Connecticut
Describe Pink Gloves Boxing in three words.
Krista: “Empowering, challenging, and fun.”
Describe the atmosphere on any given day of training.
Krista: “I definitely think the atmosphere changes from the beginning of the class to the end of the class. It starts with students who are stressed but as the class progresses there’s a focus and a sense of achievement and I can see the stress of students being relieved.”
When did you first get involved with Pink Gloves Boxing at Stony Brook University?
Krista: “I was in the very first pink gloves boxing class, Spring of 2014, and I was a participant. At the end of the semester I was asked to take the certification test to become an instructor and I’ve been instructing since then.”
Did you have previous boxing experience?
Krista: “No” *laughs*
What was the most challenging thing for you as a Tier 1 boxer?
Krista: “The most challenging thing was remembering the punches and there were so many small components that the instructors threw at the students. Also when the instructor called out a combination of punches being able to quickly execute them was challenging.”
How did you overcome that challenge?
Krista: “I loved boxing from the very beginning so I’d practice at home and focus really hard on trying to make my form as good as it could be.”
What were your goals as a Tier 1 boxer and how did you achieve them?
Krista: “My goals were learning the punches and to find the strength inside me, not necessarily physical strength but a potential I never saw before. I wanted to feel strong. Yes, I achieved my goals but there’s always room for improvement and that’s a big part of Pink Gloves. I would go to every class with an open mind and focus even if I was stressed out. I’d leave that the stresses of the day at the door and focus on what was taught during class. Even if I were tired I’d push through it and do what the instructors expected. There were definitely days where if I had a lot of work or exams I’d sacrifice a little study time. Most would think they should skip the one class to study, however, I never regretted the time I dedicated to Pink Gloves.”
What does strength mean to you?
Krista: “To me, strength is more than a physical characteristic. I think that it has a lot to do with self confidence and believe that you can do it and you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.”
Before Pink Gloves did you see yourself as strong?
Krista: “I definitely saw a little bit of strength but I saw a new strength and I saw myself come out of my shell a little more because I’m a naturally shy person.”
Do you think you fulfill your image of strength now?
Krista: “I definitely think there’s always room for improvement. But I never thought I could feel comfortable with boxing but I definitely feel stronger as an individual and it helped me grow stronger in ways I wouldn’t expect it to.”
Overall, what did you get out of Pink Gloves Boxing?
Krista: “I got a lot from Pink Gloves Boxing but I’d say the most important is a sense of self empowerment and strength which is a huge component of it. I got a job as a co-instructor and I also realized that I was capable of more than what I had originally thought. Outside of becoming an instructor I got this sense of really strong passion for gender equality as well. There’s a lot about female empowerment built into the PG program. I am involved in the HeforShe campaign on campus so I found a passion that I wasn’t into before I did PG boxing.”
What were you able to contribute to the Pink Gloves team?
Krista: “Definitely team work because I like to support other people and that’s part of the reason why I became an instructor. There’s a really good sense of community, especially further into the semester. Everyone cheers you on and there’s a sense of support and I felt I did my best to support my peers and I tried to make some of those friendships go outside of the classroom as well and I’ve helped those friends outside of class.”
Why did you decide to become an instructor for Pink Gloves?
Krista: “Fitness, well-being, and health are some of my passions in life combined with the fact that I really enjoyed taking boxing myself. I thought it was a great way to grow since I am a shy person so I thought it was a good opportunity to take that leadership role and go outside of my normal boundaries and help others. I felt that sense of empowerment when I was a PG student and I wanted to help other girls find that potential that they couldn’t see. Also, what I really like about PG versus other fitness classes is that we are trying to teach values and skills that can be used outside of the classroom. It’s not just fitness, it’s also personal growth. We build skills that will help improve your quality of life in general.”
When you look at the room full of students in the class you’re instructing, what do you see?
Krista: “I see a diverse group of girls who all have very, very great potential and I see a family – girls that even though they are diverse, they have a lot of similarities that they haven’t necessarily realized. Regardless of fitness level when they enter the class, I see people who are capable of growth and I see a lot of potential and a lot of really great personalities that positively affect my life. I learn as much from you guys as you learn from me.”
What message about Pink Gloves Boxing do you hope other girls will receive?
Krista: “The message I want girls to receive is to always push yourself and never settle for anything less than your best because you are capable of so much more than you can imagine and you have the potential to have a large impact on the world.”