COVID-19, may have forced us inside of our homes, but Boxing Insider Radio is still here to keep you up to date with what’s going on in the boxing world. For this weeks episode, former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy calls in to give us some details on how she has been dealing with her new reality. To tune into the show simply subscribe to Boxing Insider Radio on Spotify, iTunes or on Boxinginsider.com.
Even during what most would consider the most boring times of their lives, former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy finds ways to be active. She is constantly on FaceTime with her friends and family, zoom sessions with clients also keep her occupied. She also continues to stay in shape during a period where mostly everyone else is lounging around eating potato chips and laying on the couch. And her teenage daughter also keeps her busy as well.
Throughout all of her daily activities, Hardy flashes her one of a kind smile. The same one that used to brighten up every and any room she walks into. But now, due to COVID-19, it simply illuminates her living room and bedroom.
If you took a close at Hardy, you will notice that previously mentioned smile. But if you glared a bit longer, you’ll see the cracks in that happy mask that she places on her face everyday and take notice of the same issues she is having like everyone else.
“It’s really challenging,” said Hardy on Boxing Insider Radio. “I just did my first kids class recently so I think that we’re all adjusting to this. I’m learning that you can’t have too many people in the room because then it becomes super challenging to correct everyone and make sure that no one gets hurt. Boxing virtually is one of those things where the only thing you can do is shadow box so that’s challenging. But it’s like everything else in life. We adjust, we adapt and figure out a way to the other side.”
Adapting is something that Hardy has grown accustomed to doing over the years. It’s the reason why even at 38, she’s still at the top of her game in the boxing ring. It’s also the reason why she has been able to seamlessly transition from the boxing ring to the cold steely gates that are associated with MMA. But still, even with her successfully altering her everyday life, Hardy isn’t expecting it to last forever.
“No, I’ll be honest. It’s like saying do you think the people that figured out how to cook dinner every night aren’t going to go back to the restaurants. Or the people who are cutting their own hair, are they going to go back to the barber? I think everybody is really anxious to get life back. The gym more than anything because it’s so much more than just working out. It’s about being around a community of people.”
Being able to line yourself up in the barber chair at home is a talent not too many possess, but it could never replace the fun and curse filled debates that are associated with the barbershop. They are all missed. The barbershops, boxing gyms, coffee shops etc. And while she would love to get back to her normal lifestyle and her well needed paychecks, her life isn’t worth the risk.
“I’m not going to be comfortable going back to work until the governor gives that order that it is safe. As much as everyone is hurting, it’s saving lives. I’m not willing to risk my health and the health of anyone else in order to make a dollar.”
The thought of social distancing is something that we all could be forced to deal with the foreseeable future. No matter how surly those who are affected by it may get, there just isn’t much of a solution at the moment to placate anyone.
With that being said, not every establishment can pull it off.
“It’s going to be really dangerous in there,” mentioned Hardy about the thought of social distancing inside of the boxing gyms once they reopen. “The bag area alone is dangerous. If you have each person on the heavy bag you’re not even two feet apart, let alone six feet apart. Working out in that kind of high intensity training isn’t really conducive to people running around with masks on.”
“I think we are all going to be conscious of germs. I can remember that for ten years teaching boxing, I never cleaned my pads off between sessions. You just don’t think of that. You’re just banging the pads. You’re having someone punch you in the face with gloves that have been sitting in the locker for two weeks. I think we are all going to be conscious from now on.”
For now though Hardy isn’t getting punched in the face as the boxing gyms remain closed. And while Hardy is known for her toughness, as illustrated in her second MMA bout where she continued to fight even after her nose seemingly exploded from a shin to the face, she also has a soft side.
“Bellator has sent my manager a note wishing me the best but for right now they are on a shutdown and there is no plan for the future. Lou Di Bella is more like family, sometimes family in a bad way but family,” said Hardy while laughing. “We keep in touch once a week just to make sure everyone is okay. This virus is just ripping through people’s homes and lives and tearing this apart. I’ve been conscious to keep in contact with who I miss. I miss boxing, I miss Lou.”