Thursday Aug 11 2011
Del Oro grad Gildone packs a punch
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
A dietician by day, Gildone is a tough competitor at Ringside Gym by night
The entrance to Ringside Gym, where Sadie Gildone trains, is nearly hidden. Camouflaged between storage units in the heart of downtown Newcastle, the sign on the door is the only indication that below lies a training facility for boxers, complete with a professional ring. Every day after work, Gildone, 26, leaves her day job as a registered dietician, descends the stairs to Ringside and steps into her own version of the movie “Fight Club.” Two years ago she decided to trade in the monotony of her post-work gym routine for something a little more hardcore, boxing. Gildone started out in the beginner’s class, two days a week, before deciding she wanted to compete. Now the Lincoln resident and Del Oro grad practices at Ringside five days a week. Last month, Gildone’s hours of sparring, jump-roping and squats led her to her first fight against a competitor from Salinas Boxing. Her first fight led her to her first win. Greg Kirkpatrick, Gildone’s coach and the owner of Ringside Gym, said her hard work at practice was evident in the ring. “I don’t think she started with the intention to be a fighter,” Kirkpatrick said. “She is in the gym every day jumping rope, a lot of stomach exercises, sparring, mitts, which I’ll hold, running. She is very skilled. It was a good fight to watch and it was a good win for Sadie.” For Gildone, who played basketball at Del Oro, boxing is a different animal than the team sports with which she grew up. “This is definitely the hardest workout I have ever done,” Gildone said. “I think it’s a great sport and there is an element of confidence you build knowing you can throw a punch. This is the first individual sport I have done, so winning feels different.” Along the way, boxing has become a family affair. Sadie’s husband Michael, also a Del Oro grad, was inspired by his wife to start training and fighting at Ringside, as was her sister-in-law. “It was really fun to do it together, to talk about it and be able to train together,” Sadie said. He has since taken a break to attend fire academy. Aside from sharing her love of the sport with her husband, Sadie said having Kirkpatrick as her coach has helped keep her motivated. Many of her classmates have also become new friends. “He really expects you to be committed if you tell him you want to fight. That forces you to be intense,” Gildone said. “It becomes another group of friends. You meet tons of different people.” Part of her finesse in the ring comes from having to spar with men because there are few women at her height, 5’8, or level. Gildone said while that has been her biggest challenge, it has also made her a more dynamic boxer. Initially, her family was also worried she would get hurt, despite the headgear and mouth guard she wears. “My parents were a little bit concerned for me. They thought I would get my nose broken,” Gildone said. “They watched the video of my first fight though and after that they felt better.” Gildone’s next fight is this weekend in Concord. She isn’t sure who she will be up against, but is eager to progress in the sport. “It’s not a sport you do for awhile and it gets boring,” Gildone said. “You can continue to improve. Even from a month ago I’m better. It pushes you.” Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org.