Sightseeing in Northern Michigan: Trigger Boxing

"My idea was to do something for girls to empower them, to make them feel the power that we know that they have but sometimes they don’t feel it.”

You can bet these 7th and 8th grade girls feel this in what has become a knockout of a program for teacher Jami Gray.

"You feel better about yourself and it’s like there’s that power you didn’t want to have in you. It’s something you didn’t know you had in you until after you did it. Bill sort of brings that out of you." Says Harley Bargy

Bill is Bill Bustance, the owner of Trigger Boxing.

He didn’t know what to think when Ms. Gray approached him about bringing her girls in.

"I was a bit skeptical at first, because I’m kind of hardcore. We do it hardcore, well I do it hardcore, well that’s what we want and that’s what we gave them," says Bill Bustance, Owner of Trigger Boxing.

Because life can throw punches that leave a mark. 

"I won’t say this to his face, but I think that Bill has no idea what a male role model he is for these girls. They don’t need soft and caring and hugging all the time, they need tough love some of the time you can do this and he’s right in their face and he’s pushing them to the limits of what they can do."

"When he yells at you and pushes you more it helps you feel stronger, and, like, you can push yourself more."

They call themselves “Hashtag Power Pack”.

The group of girls and teachers from Cherryland Middle School hop on a bus once a month for a workout and a lesson that they just can’t get in school.

"Our saying is ‘chance favors the bold’ we are bold and we bring chances to us because we do this and we are bold enough to do this."

"It takes a bit of confidence and self-assuredness, and that’s kind of what I do and to cultivate that in people, and it may seem aggressive but they can answer back in an assertive tone. No is the magical word and that’s what I’m trying to get them to say, no instead of sorry."

Instructor Gabby Sniff says this gym changed her life. 

"Boxing is a lot more about the person’s individual spirit and what they can accomplish, rather than just punching people in the face, which does feel good, too."

Now she’s watching what it can do for these young ladies.

"They’re saying they’re a lot more bold every time they come in, and they’re more energetic, and more fueled and they just want to participate." Says Sniff

And their attitude isn’t lost when they walk out the door.

"The girls are talking more in class, they’re raising their hands more in class, they’re feeling more powerful. They come in here and I can’t believe what they do now. They complain and whine, but I can’t believe what they do, and it’s hard for me as an adult. I can’t imagine, but they are so powerful, and it just warms my heart that they feel like they can do anything."

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus