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More Utahns turn to boxing to stay fit and improve mental health

Posted at 8:02 AM, Jul 07, 2023

RIVERTON, Utah — More and more people are turning to boxing as a way to improve their fitness and work on their mental health.

A new gym named "Rumble Boxing" recently opened its doors at Mountain View Village and it's committed to making fitness fun.

Lacey Jorgensen is the facility’s general manager and head trainer and said discovering the sport of boxing changed her life.

“I was not active at all growing up,” she explained. “Never got into fitness until my early 20s. I was very overweight and had health issues. I had just lost my dad to a heart attack and it hit me, ‘oh my gosh, I need to do something.’”

That's when she first stepped into a boxing gym.

“After I hit the bag for the first time, I came out crying,” Jorgensen said. “All these years of emotions, boom!  I left them all on the bag.”

Consistency and dedication led her to lose 60 pounds. The transformation also inspired her to begin a career in fitness.  

She hopes to help others find a passion for boxing at Rumble.

“Seeing passion light up in somebody else is rewarding,” Jorgensen said.

About 60 to 70 percent of her clients are women. According to Gitnux, 85% of young American women are interested in learning boxing.

Rumble is a gym free of judgment, welcoming to both men and women while lighting in the gym allows those working out to focus on their own punching bag and weight station.  

Trainers believe a session is good for both the body and the soul. 

“I realized that it relieved so much stress and so much anxiety and it even helped me when I was depressed,” said Ro Malaga, a trainer at the gym.

His background is in dancing and combat sports. Now, with each 45-minute class he leads, his goal is for gym goers to leave a little better compared to when they stepped up to a punching bag.

While boxers don’t fight against other humans, their internal opponent may present the most difficult challenge.

“All of us are are fighting something,” Malaga reflected. “We are fighting depression. We are fighting stress. We are fighting self image issues that we have. This is where you come to release that negative energy.” 

Conquering those demons can lead to a healthier life and help people on the path to physical and emotional wellness.

“A lot of people say, ‘oh I wish I could hit something,’” Jorgensen said.  “I say, 'I got you,' I totally get it."