42-year-old mother set for first kickboxing fight
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
She holds down a 30-hour per week job as a researcher at FSU.
Catherine Hancock, 42, also is the mother of two children with a routine that she has to keep up with.
Somehow, though, she finds time to practice kickboxing. She said she has to because it’s her reprieve from her daily grind.
“I just don’t sit down and relax,” Hancock said. “I have to get it out. Stress sits in my body unless I could possibly do something.”
Hancock will let out some of her stress in the ring this Saturday night when she has her first competitive bout against Emily Downs. The scheduled three-round fight is one of the feature fights on a card of kickboxing, boxing and mixed martial art that takes place at Tallahassee Indoor Sports arena on South Monroe Street.
Hancock said she accepted the fight, in part, because it’s a bucket-list kind of thing.
“I’ve always wondered what it’s like to get into the ring,” she said. “It’s a totally different experience than just practicing.”
Trainer Bill Logan said Hancock is dedicated with a solid work ethic. She just hasn’t been tested in competition and she’s always wondered how she’ll get through it.
“Can I go the three rounds,” was what she was wondering a week before the fight. “It just pushes me (in training) and now it’s how far I can push myself.”
But she admits that she doesn’t have a grandiose fight plan.
“Part of it is I don’t know what to expect,” she said.
Hancock was at least 14 years younger when she first got into kickboxing. She took a six-year hiatus to have her children before returning to the gym in 2012.
Her desire to commit to the rigors of training didn’t wane during her time away from the gym, Logan said. In fact, he said, she is even more eager to learn and execute.
“She is like my walking memory,” he said. “I can teach her things and she would have them just in minutes. She is hungry now to learn more than when she was a white belt; maybe even more so.”
Hancock holds a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate. That in itself is a contact-filled form of martial art, but Hancock still had some concerns before she gave Logan the OK to book her for the fight on the Xtreme Amateur Championship card.
Kickboxing allows a maximum of eight kicks per round. Also head shots aren’t in the other target zone.
That seemingly met her satisfaction.
“My first question,” she said, “was what is allowed?”