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Mallory Rogers: Pageant Queen and Female Boxer

Her Campus Utah’s very own health and fitness writer, Mallory Rogers, was crowned Miss Panoramaland 2013 in August and still seems to find the time to box, eat healthy, attend college, write for Her Campus Utah, and prepare for the upcoming Miss Utah Competition in June.  This girl is a powerhouse and a huge inspiration!  Her Campus Utah sat down with Mallory to find out how she does it.

Her Campus (HC):  What made you want to start boxing?

Mallor Rogers (MR):  I come from a boxing family.  My grandfather boxed briefly in the Army, my father and uncles have Golden Gloves titles, and an uncle has several Ringside World Championship amateur titles.  I didn’t know it was a sport girls were allowed to participate in until I saw the movie Million Dollar Baby.  I watched it and thought to myself, “I could do that!” 

HC:  How have you been able to break the stigma that boxing is “not a girl’s sport”?

MR:  I was born into a world where women were not allowed to box, it was actually illegal until 1993.  I’ve faced a lot of sexism and unnecessary drama based around my gender, and I believe a lot of it is simply because gyms aren’t used to having women around.  The best thing I’ve done to break the stigma is to keep showing up.  It’s difficult to be taken seriously especially because it is an intense sport.  I was 15 years old when I first stepped into a boxing gym, and although I was intimidated, I knew I was meant to be there.  On day one I promised myself that I would always work twice as hard as any man and leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that I belonged.  Women are generally perceived as being the weaker sex, but the joke at my gym is, “there’s no girl’s team,” and we are expected to perform at the same level as the men.  The more women there are participating in combat sports, the less of an anomaly it will be. 

HC:  What does boxing entail for you?

MR:  Fighting competitively is a lifestyle commitment.  I often work out twice a day focusing on strength, speed, and technique.  My early morning workouts consist of lifting weights then cardio, and my evening workouts are where I focus on boxing–shadow boxing, bag work, mitt work, footwork, drills, sparring, etc.  I eat healthy most of the time but, before a fight I am very strict.  I cut out alcohol entirely at least 2 months before a fight, I measure/weigh my food, I try to drink a gallon of water a day (this is harder than you’d think!), and I take various supplements to help my body perform at an optimal level.

HC:  Do you get pretty banged up and how does that interfere with competing in pageants?

MR:  I stop sparring a few weeks before a pageant to let my bruises heal, but other than that there is little to no interference.  Injuries happen more often during training, not during fights themselves.  It’s crucial to have good coaches and teammates who watch out for you.  My team places a lot of importance on being good training partners to one another. This means we don’t try to hurt each other and we work to improve our own technique without taking advantage of partners.  I’m smaller than most so, it’s easier for me to get hurt.   I pay close attention to minor injuries, and I listen to my body so I can give it what it needs.

HC:  What is your favorite food? You are such a healthy eater, do you have splurge on anything sweet?

MR:  I love all Asian food, but Thai and Korean are my favorites!  Eating clean is not hard for me because, I don’t like greasy, heavy food.  My biggest diet obstacle is my sweet tooth!  I can literally eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.  I also love to bake for my friends and family and come up with unique and unusual dessert ideas.  When I splurge I SPLURGE!

HC:  What’s the hardest thing about boxing?

MR:  The most difficult thing about boxing is learning to deal with constant failure.  Every day I step into the gym, I fail at something.  I stumble on a punch, I don’t react quick enough and I take a hard hit, I run out of gas during sprints, or I drop my weights during my dead lift.  When you constantly push forward, you constantly hit walls. That is mentally and emotionally taxing, and this is where an athlete must decide to flop or fight.  I commit daily to positive self-talk and giving each workout everything I have to give.

HC: How often do you compete?

MR:  I fight about twice a year.  It’s nearly impossible to find boxing matches for women, especially at 112-119 lbs.  I recently trained for and competed in my first Muay Thai kickboxing fight all because, I couldn’t find a regular boxing match!  Hopefully I will step into the cage in the next year or so, making an MMA debut.

HR:  Do you have a fight name?

MR:  My entire life my Dad has called me “Baby Bear”.  I adopted this as my fight name after my 3rd fight. 

HC:  Do you have any fears or is there anything that ever gets in your way?

MR:  Any fighter who tells you they don’t experience fear is lying.  When I step into the ring there is a very real chance that I will get hurt, and this weighs heavy on me.  Being able to move past the fear comes down to being confident in my training.  This is why I push so hard, I never want to have reason to doubt myself.  Combative sports are the ultimate test of the human spirit; you have to know who you are and what you’re made of or you will get in your own way.

HC:  What does a typical week look like for you?

MR:  I typically leave the house by 6:00 -7:00 a.m. and come home around 9:00 -10:00 p.m.  Right now I am working full-time, attending school part-time, actively training, working with personal training clients, and writing the health and fitness section for Her Campus Utah.  I’m also preparing to compete in the 2014 Miss Utah Pageant which, includes community service projects, voice lessons, dress fittings, stage practice, and endless paperwork.  I don’t know who said, “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” If you truly want something, you will make it happen!

HC:  What does it feel like the moment you win?

MR:  Hearing my name called and feeling my hand raised is so rewarding.  I immediately think to myself, “all your work paid off.”  I also feel immense gratitude towards my family, coaches and teammates.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and time others have put into my training.

HC:  You are preparing for Miss Utah while you are competing in boxing, is that conflicting at all?

MR:  The only conflict is time.  As Miss Utah 2014 gets closer, boxing will be taking a back seat to pageantry.  I have to focus on building my physique for the swimwear competition, and the kind of diet I am on doesn’t support boxing.

HC:  If you had to pick one statement to describe yourself, what would it be?

MR:  My grandfather taught my dad who then taught me to say, “I’m a Rogers and I eat nails for breakfast!”  Growing up my Dad used to have me shout this positive affirmation (among others) as loud as I could on the way to school in the mornings.  When life gets tough or stressful all I have to remember is, “I’m a Rogers and I eat nails for breakfast”!

Studying Mass Communication, Outstanding Teen Director, public speaker, entrepreneurial spirit
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