This is part of a monthly series about side gigs—nurses with interesting side jobs or hobbies. This month, we spotlight a boxing coach.
By day, Cindy Bohmont, RN, SEN, Med, CCRN, CSD, works as a staff nurse in the Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. She’s worked at Mercy for 48 years, and during that time, she’s worked PRN in Coronary ICU, Pediatric ICU, Medical ICU, Neurotrauma ICU, and Mercy Home Health Care. For five years, she even taught at St. John’s School of Nursing.
In her free time, though, Bohmont does something that you might never expect from a nurse: she officiates amateur boxing matches and is moving into the professional field to work as an official for professional fights.
About 25 years ago, Bohmont developed her interest in boxing after two of her sons got into a fight on their ranch. When he was in the Marines, her husband boxed, and he suggested that they find a gym for the boys to learn boxing.
“We found a boxing program at the Boys and Girls Club in Springfield, Missouri,” says Bohmont. “And I was hooked!”
Bohmont says that all five of her sons as well as her youngest daughter became involved in boxing, although none of them ever went pro.
While Bohmont began as a supportive mom, attending her kids’ matches, she soon learned enough to become an amateur official and began judging boxing tournaments all across the state. She also began coaching at the club. “I discovered that the sport of boxing is not just a legal fight. It’s a very complicated sport—[boxers are] trying to land scoring punches while at the same time protecting themselves,” explains Bohmont. “The most important things I taught were integrity, fair play, good nutrition, good sleeping habits, believing in yourself, generally taking care of your body and mind, and no drugs, smoking, or alcohol.”
Because, Bohmont says, boxing is an individual sport, whatever athletes put into it—in terms of training and the like—that’s what they get out of it.
Although some may think that it’s counteractive for a nurse to coach a sport where athletes get injured, Bohmont says that “If you listen to the news, you will rarely hear of a boxing injury. Everyone knows someone with a tennis-elbow, football knee, etc. Most boxers are in tremendous shape and are very skilled at defensive maneuvers.”
Over the years, Bohmont has won a number of awards, including the Outstanding Official of the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Mesquite, Nevada as well as the Greater Kansas City Golden Gloves Coach of the Year. “Those are major accomplishments when you consider this is generally a male domain that I’ve jumped into,” Bohmont says.
Considering that coaching boxing can be tough on the coach’s joints (Bohmont would hold practice pads and mitts for up to 30 kids to hit each night for four nights a week over 20 years), she has decided to focus on moving into the professional field of boxing and aspires to be an official for pro fights.
That’s just one reason why Bohmont has begun working one week a month in the ICU at St. Rose Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the area holds tons of professional boxing matches.
“It has been difficult stepping back a little from coaching. Then I get an email or see a Facebook posting from one of my former boxers with a new aspect of their lives that I had a hand in guiding them toward,” says Bohmont. “It’s so good for my soul to be able to work with healthy, thriving young men and women after caring for the sickest of the sick in the intensive care unit. It keeps me emotionally healthy and balanced.”