An uppercut above: A nightly news anchor with a passion for punching

When she isn't in front of the camera for "KUSI News at 11" on KUSI-TV Channel 9/51, anchor Lauren Phinney runs, scuba dives and volunteers for various organizations. But her true love (not counting her 9-month-old son) is boxing. PACIFIC: When did you pick up boxing? LAUREN PHINNEY: I started boxing in 2011 with a personal trainer I met through one of my former co-anchors. I originally started doing CrossFit-type training with her, but she said I would love boxing as a workout. We started incorporating it into our workouts, and it quickly became my focus after a few weeks because I enjoyed it so much. What do you like most about the sport?I like the mind-body connection of boxing - it's a great workout for both. With other workouts, I would just dig down and use strength and endurance to get through the rough parts. But with boxing, I have to use my memory and keep my mind sharp to remember combos and react to what combination my trainer may call out. Does the mental side of boxing come into play outside the ring? I think any kind of physical activity is great for your mind and keeping you sharp. Obviously, in the news business, you have to keep a lot of facts stored in your brain, and I really do think boxing as an exercise has been great for keeping that skill honed. Where do you train? I currently train in my garage. Glamorous, right? My husband used to train Muay Thai (a form of kickboxing), and together we had a lot of gear when we moved to San Diego from Orange County. We never really found a permanent gym, so we set up a makeshift gym in the garage. How would you describe your current boxing skills? I'm not trying to join a lightweight division or anything. I think I'm fast and I usually hear, "You're stronger than you look." I think that's a compliment. What are you most proud of regarding your boxing experience?I'm most proud of trying something totally outside the box. Most of the gyms I've trained in previously didn't have a ton of women, but it was a fun new way to stay in shape. I wore my pink gloves proudly. Do you spar with others or box competitively? I don't spar with others - not that I'm opposed to trying - but I started really as a way to work out that was fun and mentally challenging. I did, however, have a former boss jokingly tell me, "No sparring, because black eyes don't look good on TV."   Have you ever been injured while boxing? I've never been injured, but I was clipped in the shoulder once while holding mitts, and it reminded me why I'm OK working with a bag and not sparring. I also quickly learned wrapping my hands was important ... and I need to keep my long nails a little shorter. Has motherhood affected your practice? Motherhood has affected everything. Working out literally came to a halt during my pregnancy - I was super sick - and then, when my son arrived, I was exhausted for the typical first couple of months. Now that he's 9 months, I'm starting to pick up on my workouts again. Thankfully, he sleeps through my workouts, even though the heavy bag is right under his nursery. Tune into Lauren Phinney's news broadcast weekday evenings on KUSI-TV Channel 9/51.
Copyright © 2019, © 2019, The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. All rights reserved.