Hey everyone, welcome to our first MEMBER SPOTLIGHT. We plan to feature an MN Top Team member on a regular basis (no promises on timing) so stay tuned for future spotlights!
Meet Slava Gekht. Slava is one of our original boxing students who has been with us since we were a one-room gym and Alex was just finding his voice and teaching style. Those were fun days where every night we got punched in the stomach competed to see who around the circle could take the hardest hits. Slava now plays an important leadership role in our boxing program. He helps out in the ring during adult class and cheerfully takes all the punches everyone can muster and he is heavily involved in the competition classes with sparring and mentoring some of our aspiring boxers.
Take a look at our interview below:
MTT: How long have you been a member of MTT?
Slava: About two and a half years.
MTT: How did you find us and how many other boxing members were here?
Slava: In boxing classes maybe 8 or 10 depending on the day, but I remember there was only one class. It was Sergei (another long time MTT member) who told me about this place.
MTT: What do you remember about the gym when you first started?
Slava: I remember that it was pretty tough exercise, well structured, almost like having a one on one or a private instructor.
MTT: Tell us more about you and your family.
Slava: I've been in the US for 22 years but I am originally from Ukraine. My wife is also from Ukraine but we actually met here in college. I'm an engineer, I'm 40 years old (yes, i'm that old)(oh Slava, that's not old) and we have two kids ages 13 and 9. They are at a really fun age and are very active - I'm just trying to keep up with them. For me to make it into the gym regularly I have to make sure I've got a good structure and I need to work things around my family time.
MTT: Why do you box?
Slava: I was always interested in martial arts and had a passion for boxing. It's a sport that really exercises all body parts as well as your mind. I don't believe any good boxer can be a dumb boxer, you have to think when you're inside the ring.
MTT: What keeps you interested in the boxing program at MTT?
Slava: Well, it's a challenge, especially at my age. Every time I come in, thanks to you guys, you keep the class advancing and changing the exercises and it's fun to see all the new people. I like to work with advanced students but I also like to work with the newbies. It's exercise and it's almost like a relaxation drug for me where I can leave everything else and not think of anything else when I'm inside the ring.
MTT: What differentiates MTT from other gyms?
Slava: I haven't been to other martial arts gyms but I have been to your typical gym with treadmills and weight lifting equipment. For me personally I need more than just lifting or some of the standard kickboxing and group fitness classes. MTT offers me something different. I also wanted something that I could apply in my life if I had to and like I said I've always had a passion for boxing.
MTT: What's the best advice you'