Amazing Grace

Cover model and MHP-sponsored athlete Sarah Grace shares her secrets to gaining mental strength.

Photo: Robert Reiff

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Sarah Grace knows how to take the lessons learned in the boxing ring and apply them to her daily life.

In fact, she knows how to literally bounce back from being knocked around by guys in the ring—something she admits never really bothered her too much. The only nerves she felt were before the match started. After she came out swinging, she was on her game. And on her game meant one thing: toughening, body and mind.

“You can’t be afraid, that’s for sure,” she acknowledges, adding that facing—and overcoming—fear has been an important part of gaining mental toughness. “I’ve learned fear can hold you back and you can’t allow that in any part of your life.”

The former boxer and Figure competitor who started her life in the ring as a bikini-clad ring-card girl speaks of how she learned the lessons of mental toughness, became exhilarated in the ring, and then took those lessons and applied them to her everyday life. “I found it empowering,” she recalls, adding that she’s always been involved in competitive sports. But learning to transfer the toughness from inside the ring to outside was a lesson she’s never forgotten. Today, she’s most at home in a CrossFit box but says all the experiences she learned along the way have made her the confident, poised woman looking forward to her wedding day in November.

“I found the mental toughness you need in the ring carried into all the areas of my life,” she says, recalling how she took up boxing as a release from a distressing breakup. For Sarah Grace, the key to excelling in all areas of life is finding the empowerment that comes from mastering your own body and mind.

And the MHP-sponsored athlete has come a long way from her days as a ring-card girl flashing up large numbers during a bout. That was her first exposure to boxing, but she quickly realized she wanted to do more—she wanted to get in the ring and figure out the strategy of the game.

Of course she’s always surpassed the superficial stereotype of a pretty blonde—she played full-on tackle football in the Lingerie Football League and, during her time as an NPC Figure competitor, she reached the national level after teaching herself the joys of weight training and adding progressive resistance to her training regimen.

However, injuries have plagued the 31-year-old. She’s torn her ACL and undergone surgery to repair various parts of her knees. Today, she’s hoping to make her way up the local CrossFit ladder to a regional ranking. Fingers crossed, she remains injury-free.

One thing you can bet on: She won’t shy away from any challenge. More important, she has the mental strategies to face it head-on and overcome it.

For more on Sarah Grace and her abs workout, go to Core Concepts.

Trending on Oxygen Mag