Twenty two year old New Rochelle resident Lindsay Tolpa will compete in this year’s New Golden Gloves Tournament. She represents the Main Street Boxing Club (310 Main Street, New Rochelle) in the 119 lb. division. While the above demographics appear routine, the story behind it is not.
Lindsay was born in Utica, N.Y., as were her parents. Her father is a mechanic with his own business, and her mother works as well. Lindsay did well in school, both scholastically and athletically. She concentrated on soccer and starred for the Coliseum Soccer Club, playing in tournaments across the country and in Europe. The highlight came when her team won a competition in Italy. She enrolled at Iona College in part to play on the soccer team. She gave up soccer in her sophomore year, graduating in May 2010 with an International Business major and a French minor.
A sense of ennui with the sport, rather than any particular incident, led to Lindsay’s decision to stop playing soccer. Tolpa had the desire to box since high school, but could never find a gym which was affordable. She wanted to use her hands and was interested in self defense. She didn’t want to use her feet anymore, so karate and jujitsu were not an option. She could have tried tennis or golf, but wielding a racquet, driver or even a shillelagh outside the playing field would result in misdemeanor charges. Main Street Boxing has allowed her to convert this long time curiosity into a reality.
Tolpa began to train in June with Head Coach Ryan O’Leary. According to O’Leary, “Lindsay has determination, grit, and will. She is very strong and powerful. She puts her head down and comes to work every day. She has no quit and is constantly getting better and better.” While impressed with her intelligence and aptitude, Ryan also praises her personal attributes. “She is a good, wholesome person. She is very sweet and generous and brings a positive energy to the team.”
Lindsay trains at the gym every day after work. Often she runs five miles prior to coming to the gym. She does two rounds each of jump rope, shadow boxing, double end bag, speed bag, hooking bag, and finally padwork. She spars up to three times a week with teammates Natalie Gonzalez, Michelle Herzl, and Colleen Moriarity.
Lindsay feels that she possesses a “good, strong jab.” As well, she throws a powerful right hand which she tries to launch before her opponent attacks first. She has been focusing on her defense recently, particularly with her head movement.
Lindsay had one exhibition thusfar, an over the weight contest with Nikki Russell at Gleason’s Gym in Manhattan. The discrepancy was not so much in the weight difference of ten pounds as in the height difference of about one foot. Surmounting the Mutt and Jeff disadvantage was difficult for Lindsay, but, on the whole, she was pleased with her performance. She was able to remain “aggressive and kept pressure on Nikki throughout.” O’Leary was a bit suspicious that Russell was more experienced than advertised, so he also was pleased despite the result. The fight was stopped when one of Lindsay’s contact lenses came out.
Lindsay has continued to spar with contacts but is quite limited when they come out. According to the 2008/2009 USA Boxing rulebook, “Any boxer with uncorrected vision between 20/20 and 20/400 may be permitted to wear soft contact lenses. If the lens come out and the boxer cannot continue, the boxer using the lenses will lose by ‘referee stops contest’.” Given her poor vision without contact lenses, this would seem to be a major rate limiting step in her fistic progression.
Although she does not follow the professional circuit, Lindsay is “attracted by the mental and physical challenges involved and wants to take boxing as far as possible.” If she does well in the Golden Gloves, she will aim toward higher levels of competition. Currently she works in the Marketing department of American Specialties Inc, a small manufacturer in Yonkers. As in boxing, she hopes to progress in her marketing career and may enroll in an interior design or MBA program at some point. Lindsay’s golden dreams extend well outside the squared circle.
For more information about Lindsay or any of the other Main Street fighters in the Golden Gloves, please call 914-636-2811.To inquire about membership in Main Street Boxing and Fitness and its various exercise programs, call the aforementioned number or contact owner Michael Stellate at [email protected] or Ryan O’Leary at [email protected].