EverybodyFights’ Lauren Keenan shares how she found her inner battler

January 11, 2020 View the Original Article

Fitness is a fight or flight matter for Lauren Keenan. After tussling with personal strife, the EverybodyFights trainer decided to dedicate her life to teaching people how to tap into their inner scrappiness.

“I had no background in fitness at all,” Keenan told the Track. “I had moved up from Philadelphia to Boston for a guy. I got my heart broken and I was in a place where I was either going to continue to drink and go down this depressing hole or I needed to make a move for the better.”

“Luckily for me, I had made a list of 30 things I wanted to do before 30, and being in a boxing match was one of them,” she said. “I had wanted to do it and I had kind of let the guy that I was with push me away from doing it. But he wasn’t in my life anymore, so it was time to just go and do it.”

As Keenan planned to cross this pugilistic item off her bucket list, she discovered the boxing-centric gym EverybodyFights. She signed up, strapped on some gloves and started learning the sparring basics.

“The energy there was so positive,” Keenan said. “I went and I was the only female. My now-fiancé ended up being my sparring partner.”

With a new significant other and support system of EBF friends, Keenan kicked her training up a level. Shortly after beginning her boxing endeavors, she was chosen to compete in the Haymakers for Hope’s annual Belles of the Brawl event. And as she prepared to enter the ring for the annual cancer fundraiser, she was finally forced to deal with her demons and find a sense of inner strength — which is when her hobby suddenly became her purpose.

“As I walked out the night of the fight, I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not going to look at the crowd,’” Keenan said. “But I walk out there, and the energy is insane so I can’t help but look. At that moment, I felt like the champion of the world.”

“Every single person, even if they aren’t rooting for me, is cheering and smiling,” she continued. “I see friends and family, and I look at my coaches and they’re just looking back with pride. I had this feeling of ‘I did this. I could have been on the streets right now, an alcoholic, and still been in a really dark place. But I chose this route and I fought for myself.’”

Although the outcome of the evening was not in her favor, Keenan maintains it was a turning point in her personal narrative.

“I ended up losing my fight, which is funny because I always talk about it being this big moment,” she said. “Stepping into the ring was the big moment. I think that’s an even more important message: It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s about what you gain from it.”

After that fateful fight in 2016, Keenan knew she wanted to become a trainer. After taking several classes to become an instructor, she opted to leave her old life behind entirely and quit her job in tech sales.

“There’s no better feeling in the world — self-love, self-pride,” Keenan said. “I was like, ‘I need to give this feeling to as many people as possible.’

“I went all in and never looked back.”