Yes, Mommy Can! is a series dedicated to moms who are passionate about discovering their talents and pursuing their interests. Mommy Mundo believes that nobody is ever too busy or too old to learn a thing or two, and gives a big tight hug to moms who are not afraid to explore new facets of themselves.
Blows and punches aren’t usually the things that come to mind when one says the word mother. Mothers are usually seen as loving, nurturing creatures who cradle babies to sleep, make spaghetti, and kiss booboos away.
But every so often, there are times when a mother just needs to let off steam… and punch!
Carla Britanico is one such mother.
The mompreneur behind the children’s clothing line Princess and the Pea, Carla has been boxing for the past eight years. She says, “My husband and I are big fans of boxing and my Lolo was an amateur boxer in his college days. I like spending time with both of them, and they influenced me to start boxing as exercise.”
The very first time that Carla put on her gloves, she felt absolutely liberated! She says, “There are some days when a lady just needs let off some steam; boxing has taught me how to do that in style.”
Boxing maybe liberating, true, but it wasn’t such an easy thing to do. She says, “Everything is difficult at first, but when you start understanding the foot work and the combinations, boxing becomes really fun.”
Her boxing workout typically runs for an hour, and she tries to schedule a session four times a week. “It is not difficult to fit it into my schedule because I get a complete full-body workout in just an hour. Frankly, I use my workouts to destress and also to keep myself healthy and fit.”
On the ring, she’s learned many things about herself, foremost of which is her will to persevere. She says, “There is almost always something left in me for one more round. At times when I feel tired or want to stop early, I have learned to push myself until the bell rings. I have applied these lessons in perseverance to different parts of my business and family life. There are many occasions when things get tough and it is tempting to quit early. Boxing has taught me to keep going until I get the results I want.”
She has also learned not to be afraid of trying new things. “I started boxing in my mid-20s and was not very well-coordinated or strong at first. However, in just a few weeks, with the help of my coaches, I was able to throw combinations and develop speed and power. When I started landing my combinations, I was hooked! Everyone was a beginner at some point; we must simply have the courage to try new things and stick to them to advance our skills.”
It helps that she has heroes which give her loads of inspiration like her coach, Arlo Chavez, a national champion who won four consecutive SEA Games Gold medals, medalled in the Asian Games, and was the flag bearer in the Barcelona ’92 Olympics. She says, “He has an amazing style of boxing and is one of the most accomplished amateur boxers in Philippine history.”
Holly Holm is another one of Carla’s favorites. “She is now a UFC fighter, but she started off as a boxer. She is beautiful, humble, and feminine but also can kick butt!”
Fueled by her passion, she tries her best to encourage her daughter Luciana to pursue her interests too. “I try to provide a nurturing environment and encourage open communication so that my daughter can ask me questions about anything, particularly her interests. I also take her on regular exploratory trips to places that she is interested in. My husband and I also try to expose her to new places and activities so that she can discover new interests.”
Having learned so much from the ring, and getting fit and healthy besides, Carla coaxes fellow moms to give the sport of boxing a try. She says, “Go for it! Fitness is a great hobby because it helps you relax and stay young. However, almost any hobby can help moms spend time on themselves because with busy schedules and putting our family’s needs first before ours, we tend to forget to have “me” time. All moms deserve it!”