In the Ring with Dacey Perez

Dacey Perez is a boxing coach and personal trainer driven by her passion for empowering others to realize their potential both in and out of the ring. For her, true beauty emanates from the profound impact she makes in the lives of those she influences.


What has your journey been like from those first few classes to becoming a professional in the boxing space?

I’ve always loved seeing where I can take my body, not just my physical appearance, but how it makes me feel inside. So I’ve always been involved in sports from soccer, track, volleyball, basketball, tennis. My mom actually dragged me to my first boxing class and I ended up falling in love with it. 

I’ll be honest. When I first started… I had no idea what I was doing! So I started training with various coaches to not only teach me how to not hurt myself - but also to learn the fundamentals of boxing. I boxed every single day and those lessons allowed me to progress super fast starting with the heavy bag, then on the speed bag, and then finally sparring in the ring with a partner. And even today - that’s what I like to give to other people - the ability to see and feel progress every single day.


What was teaching your very first class like?

I actually remember this day very vividly because I was SO nervous. It was a 5:30 PM class so everyone was there. The anxiety was insane. 

So I just told myself, “You know what to do. You know how to style this class. You know how to throw a punch correctly. Just teach people that in simplified terms and give your personality in this class and people will roll with it.” 

I started teaching those types of group classes until I completed my Personal Training Certification, then I was able to work with people one-on-one and really start making an impact. 


You said you fell in love with boxing, what has boxing done for you personally?

It’s made me feel happy and like myself again. So it’s more than a sport to me - it’s a form of therapy. Boxing has really forced me to work on my mind-body connection and coordination because you're using your entire body at once. But with boxing... I can expect the unexpected. No one's ever going to expect a punch thrown at their face.  But now I know how to avoid that punch, how to throw the next punch and control all of that “quick thinking” in your head. 

It has also led me to be very independent and now I know I can handle myself. I’m confident in my physical ability but my mental ability has gotten so much stronger. I did not used to be a confrontational person but now I know I can handle and protect myself. And that kind of translated physically to mentally too like, “I can do this on the outside, I can do this on the inside too”. So my confrontational skills have gotten so much better. Respectfully of course! I'm never a mean person, but if I need to tell someone something, I will tell you that something! 

So I just kind of fell in love with giving people that same confidence in themselves and their abilities. 


How did you feel entering such a male dominated industry? What did that look like for you?

I love being underestimated and that's definitely the field that I chose as a career. I knew going into it that boxing was a 100% male dominated industry and I was like, “I just don't care”. When I first got hired, I was the first female boxing coach and knew I needed to let these guys know that I'm not just what I look like on the outside. That's why in my classes I give off “Drill Sergeant” energy to set the tone that I'm not just here to give people a good workout. I'm here to teach them the fundamentals of boxing. 

When someone thinks of Dacey, I don’t want to be thought of as just a pretty face in boxing -  I want to be thought of as a badass coach who you can go to and learn how to box, how to spare, or even fight in the ring someday.


What makes you feel most alive? What does beauty mean to you and what makes you feel most beautiful?

Boxing has trained me to be super independent and to not rely on others opinions or affirmations to feel confident and beautiful. That’s what I love to give to people. I can tell when people are just faking it. It's very easy to see when someone is not truly expressing how they're feeling on the inside. When it translates to personal training, I like to make people feel more confident about themselves on the inside, so that it will show on the outside. When I start to see that change in people I work with, that “independent confidence” where they don’t rely on others for their happiness and create it themselves - that is what makes me feel alive. When I am making an impact.

If you crafted a mission statement for your purpose here on this earth - what would it sound like?

I would say my purpose here on earth is to help people realize their potential. My mission statement would probably be centered around the fact that in order to remain happy, you just have to be okay with whatever happens and know that I have control with the "controllables" in my life. When one door closes, another one opens. And that first door closed for a reason so you just have to let most things go. Only control the "controllables", everything else is just energy wasted.


What is the most impactful piece of advice you’d like to share?

Showing up is the hardest thing to do.  I always tell people, show up, and you're already 50% there, probably 75% there. All you gotta do is show up, do the work and leave, and you will see progressions no matter what. Our brain is so powerful. You just have to get past those blocks and be consistent.



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