Sherri MacNeill was looking for a new workout regimen, but found so much more when she discovered kickboxing.
“I’ve done everything,” the 35-year-old from Murray Harbour resident explained.
The mother of two girls, aged 12 and five, said she struggled with her weight since college and was looking for a new cardio workout about three years ago.
She decided to try kickboxing and quickly found a perfect fit.
“I get bored easily,” she explained. “This was something I just loved. I got addicted to it, almost, (but) in a good way.”
MacNeill said enjoying the training session was key to stay with the program.
“It’s a great workout,” she said. “You’re not going to do your workout if you don’t enjoy it. It’s a good stress reliever.”
The benefits were apparent, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally, she said Sunday before her workout with Team PEI Kickboxing. “It was a positive in many ways for me,” said MacNeill, who added she has always had self-esteem issues. “It’s empowering. It makes you feel strong, physically and mentally.”
She started recreationally as a way to stay in a good shape, but eventually decided to train with an eye on competing.
“I never thought I’d compete. I just thought it would be a good workout,” said MacNeill, who works in the commercial brokerage division at Hyndman & Company Ltd. “The goal, just to be able to (compete) at least once, was definitely a huge step for me.”
She accomplished that objective in November.
While acknowledging it was “scary” and “very nerve-wracking,” she said it was a fun experience, despite not doing as well as she had hoped. She continued training and competed last month at the Kickboxing Canada Nationals in Burlington, Ont.
“I made it through the whole fight, all three rounds,” she said Sunday.
Due to the weather there was only one other competitor, Melissa Cargiene, in the 70-plus kg senior women’s low kick division, where kicks from the knee up are allowed but no clinch work.
“It was a tough division,” coach Mark MacKinnon said. “The girl that won got an invitation to try out for the national team.”
The team is preparing for a trip to St. John’s, N.L., April 13 where five of its athletes, including MacNeill, are expected to compete in the 12-card event.
“My goal is just to keep improving each time and maybe get that win eventually,” MacNeill said with a laugh.
The following is a recap of Team PEI Kickboxing recent trip to the Kickboxing Canada Nationals from coach Mark MacKinnon.
Aaron Wilson vs. Ryan Torrence
86-kg K1 senior men’s division, where kicks from the knee up and clinch work are allowed.
Wilson drew a very strong opponent, who would eventually go on to capture the national title. Wilson was able to keep the bout close for all three rounds using crushing kicks and strong clinch work, but the judges awarded the fight to his opponent.
Sherri MacNeill vs. Melissa Cargiene
70-plus kg senior women’s low kick division, where kicks from the knee up are allowed but no clinch work.
An evenly fought bout with MacNeill using accurate hands and superior conditioning to keep the bout close before losing by judges’ decision.
MacKinnon quote – “This event is the largest sanctioned kickboxing event in Canada drawing top talent from clubs from five provinces this year. Attending an event like this takes a huge commitment to training. Both athletes worked very hard on all aspect of their game for the past six weeks and it was evident when they stepped into the ring.”
Did you know – Team PEI Kickboxing is the only Island kickboxing club operating under Kickboxing PEI and Kickboxing Canada, the provincial and national organizations governing the sport.