Lisnaskea woman punches her way to happiness

A LOCAL woman has landed a haymaker on her doubts and plans to go the distance healthwise thanks to boxing.

Two years ago Hannah Spokes from Lisnaskea ruptured two discs in her back while working as a nurse at the A&E Department of Cavan General Hospital.

She suddenly hit a downward spiral due to her injury after living happily in Fermanagh for the last 11 years.


“I was in agony and was off work for 10 months. In that time, I ate my way to three stones [19 kilos] heavier. I was miserable and couldn’t even do anything with my three sons,” Hannah, who is originally from Oxford in England, said.

“Eventually, I saw an orthopedic surgeon who told me to exercise my way out of the pain that I was in.”
She began walking regularly at first, and before too long, she was googling different sports and pastimes to find something more challenging.

“I started boxing at Enniskillen Boxing Club 16 months ago and it changed my life. Boxing was something a little bit different and I got hooked,” the 47-year-old explained.

“I go to the gym now three times a week and can lift more than my body weight. I’m out running with my youngest son and back at work doing the job I love.”

Apart from the physical benefits of boxing, which saw her lose all the weight she’d put on, Hannah could not believe the confidence it gave her and she is currently in training for her third fight.

“You need to be confident and disciplined to face someone in the ring, especially as you get older. Mentally and physically it’s hard work and you’re learning all the time,” she said.

“I would just really like to highlight the amazing effects of this sport on every aspect of my life and encourage women, especially older women, into the sport.


“There are just not enough, and I think many don’t understand the mental and physical demands and how positive all these are for our physical and mental well-being.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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