NSRD Official Fighting for Charity

This weekend, one of our officials will be trading her stopwatches and whistle for boxing gloves. Irish Frisky, a night-shift ER nurse, will be stepping into the boxing ring for charity, taking on a coworker to raise money for fellow first responders in crisis.

Frisky’s fight is part of the Unite + Fight charity boxing event held March 9 at Upper Cut Boxing Gym in Northeast Minneapolis. Unite + Fight brings together the first responder community (fire, EMS, emergency departments, and police) in a charity event to raise money for paramedics, firefighters, officers, and their families who are in situations of great need. First responders take each other on to raise money. For many, this is their first time boxing.

This is year 7 for Unite + Fight and Frisky’s first time giving boxing a try. 

This year’s recipient is Brooklyn Park Police Officer Emily Krob. She’s fought in Unite + Fight twice before and has been diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She is currently on medical leave and undergoing chemotherapy.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., fists fly at 7. Tickets are $30 GA, $60 VIP. They are available at the gym and Central Avenue Liquor in Northeast Minneapolis prior to Saturday. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the event.

If you can’t make it to the event, but you would like to donate, you can do so on the GoFundMe page.

What’s it like being an ER nurse? Why are fundraising events like this important?

Being a nurse is crazy. Being an RN in the ER at HCMC is even crazier. I was a software developer for 15 years before I became a nurse and my job is still often very surreal to me. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I see people’s worst days, and sometimes their best. I might catch a baby one minute and then code a cardiac arrest the next. I work long, exhausting hours, I sometimes go days without seeing my kid because of my work schedule. I miss holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Because I love what I do. It’s an adrenaline rush, sure, but it’s also just knowing that you’re there to help someone at the exact right moment. 

This event to me is important because at my job I see how peoples’ lives change so drastically in an instant. In the blink of an eye your world changes. I hope it never happens to me, but it could. And the recipients (and the fighters) are the people who are there for you in that instant, so now it’s my turn to be there for them, for 3 glorious minutes of my life. 

What motivated you to sign up for this? Do you have any background in fighting?

I’ve done some martial arts in the past, like BJJ and MMA, but at a really low level, nothing like this. A couple of my coworkers have done it in the past and talked about how fun it was. I turned 40 this past year, and this is my “Year of Shenanigans” so I’m trying to do things that challenge me like jumping in a frozen lake, running a marathon, and apparently boxing! Also, as the mom to a young daughter, I want to do these things to show her down the road that girls can do anything, we’re badass, and that we learn and grow the most when we do the things that scare us. 

Irish Frisky dodging a punch.

How are you training for this?

Part of the event includes a 9-week “Fight Camp” at Uppercut and access to their classes, which has been amazing. I’ve been trying to hit lots of classes, absorb everything I can, and get in all the cardio I can. I may not be strong but at least I’ll have the lungs to carry me through those last few seconds of the round!

Have you found any crossovers with boxing and derby skills/concepts?

Surprisingly, yeah! A good derby stance is great practice for a good fight stance. Bend the knees, balance, tight core. Keep your feet under you, and use your hips, that’s where all your power comes from!

Who are you fighting? How are you feeling about that?

I’m actually fighting one of my coworkers, which I was not expecting! That’s going to make it a lot harder than fighting someone I barely know, or don’t know at all. Plus, she’s super tough and strong, and I’m fairly certain that she’s going to destroy me… hopefully, I’m really good at dodging!

What are your feelings on boxing, think you’ll keep it up after the thing?

Despite the fact that I learned that I absolutely hate getting punched directly in the nose, I actually really am enjoying boxing overall! It’s been incredible for my core strength, upper body strength, (look mom, muscles!), and dexterity. I’m absolutely joining the gym and plan to continue taking classes and even sparring after the fight is done. Whether I ever take another actual FIGHT again remains to be seen. 

Final thoughts?

Hug a nurse! They work hard for you! And if they don’t, sic me at them, I’ve got a mean right hook and I’ll set them straight!