The first time Cassandra Aydin stepped foot in a boxing gym, she knew things would never be the same. She had loved playing sports throughout high school, but nothing had ever felt quite like this—the rhythmic, meditative feeling of hitting the punching bag as the rest of the world melted away.
"I felt like it was a healthy thing to put my energy toward," she says. "I was feeling so exhausted and drowned in schoolwork at the time, and it always felt like my mind was drifting. I had a hard time focusing. But when I was boxing, that was the only thing I was thinking about. It made me feel so much stronger."
As it turned out, Cassandra didn't just love boxing. She was also exceptionally good at it. "As time was going by, I felt like I was progressing faster than most people who were doing these cardio-boxing classes, which is why I started to be more interested in technique classes and fighting competitively," she notes. "When I started going for technique, my body was taking it up really quickly." So Cassandra decided to take her love of boxing to the next level by fighting competitively.