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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 97

Chicago Tribunei
Chicago, Illinois
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WEDNESDAY WOMANNEWS SECTION 8 CHICAGO TRIBUNE of the MARCH 28, 2001 adies WI'JJA j.j i 4 vi Y. 1 I J' Mi v- Ksti, Y. -z yT -vw. -yf ist -Yil --Y- ring -s -s. vi" 8 I l7T 11 i r'sry --v -Y I 4': tiVrfnrY Tribune photos by Stacey Wescott Amber Gideon (left) of Warrenvilie sends Rita Figueroa of Chicago reeling toward the mat during a practice match at the Windy City Boxing Gym.

These boxers puli no punches, but they do giggle between grunts By Anne Stein Special to the Tribune Sunlight streaming through a skylight illuminates the battered wood floors and blood-speckled mats at Windy City Boxing Gym. Two young boys are so absorbed in their Gameboy that they barely look at the boxers just footsteps from their heads. It doesn't strike them as unusual that their mom, Amber Gideon, is sparring in the next ring over with a small group of women who regularly meet here. "I didn't think women's boxing would take off the way it did," says boxing veteran Sam Colon-na, head trainer at Windy City, who three years ago started training women, along with the men, at his gym. "But the women work hard-some of them work harder than the guys and they don't want to be treated different.

So I gave it a shot and I think I went in the right direction. I enjoy it and you get 110 percent out of them." Since 1993, when a 16-year-old girl named Dallas Malloy filed suit and the sport's amateur governing body, USA Boxing, lifted the ban on women, more females have entered the sport. And with well-publicized pro fight scheduled for June between the daughters of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, women boxers have gotten more attention. Today nearly 2,000 women are registered with USA Boxing, and another 34 nations have an official women's boxing program. Later this year, the U.S.

will host the first Women's World Championships in Scranton, a first step toward getting a spot in the Olympics. And this March and April at St. Andrews Gym in Chica v. 1 1 sr. 1 f'M Janet LaRue is up against the ropes with a bloody nose during a sparring match.

GOLDEN GLOVES More than 200 amateur boxers, including 20 to 30 women, are competing in the 74th annual Chicago-land Golden Gloves Tournament. When: Finals are April 4-6, at 7:30 p.m. Where: St. Andrew's Gym, 658 W. Addison St.

it i i "Ilk For more information: Call 773-921-4000 or go to Jjjnet UR ht) es t0 ke her nose wliie Amber Gjdeon wjnds down after arri actke 3 3 go, 20 or so women are participating in the city's annual Golden Gloves boxing contest. "Some people find it hard to believe that I can be affectionate and kind and be a boxer," says Gideon, a former high school karate competitor who got into boxing because it was an affordable alternative to karate. "But it's not about brawling or beating someone up. It's about out-thinking and outsmarting someone else.

When you see their openings, you take their point. When you see them trying to score on you, you move and prevent their points." The men in Colonna's gym are whippet thin and muscular, while the women are generally compact and tough like fireplugs. While the men hit as hard as they can, emerging from rounds dripping blood and sweat, many of the women take a different approach. "They're more considerate and caring than the guys," Colonna says. "When females are encouragement and advice.

The women help each other with handwraps and gloves, and give each other water between rounds (fighters can't pick up water bottles with gloves on). While they may not punch as hard as men, women take the sport just as seriously, and for some, like 165-pound national champion Letitia Robinson, it's a career. The former Cabrini-Green resident took up boxing five years ago, at 15, and fought her first pro bout Friday in Chicago, winning with a first-round technical knockout. "As an amateur I was great, but as a pro I'm going to step it up," she says. "They'll say I came from a tough neighborhood and they'll know I can step it up," she says cheerfully "It was scary at first," she says of boxing.

"I was nervous about my face and afraid of getting hit. But then I started to know what to do in the ring." Says Rita Figueroa, 31, another of Colonna's boxers: "I think women have the skills to box and look good doing it, as far as technique. A lot of times people say we can't do it. And I say: 'Why not? We know what we're sparring, they talk to each other. They'll stop in the middle and say, "Oh, are you But the workout they go through is unbelievable.

The sacrifices they put their bodies through, the arrangements they make to get here with jobs and kids it's not about beating up another female or going in there and hurting someone, it's about a skill. It's about learning and getting in shape and sportsmanship." And indeed, the grunts and "whistles from the "women's" ring are. interrupted with giggles, SMART TALK i Low-fat lattes in hand, Trixies stake claim to Lincoln Park It mm mt-. QUOTEWORTHY "I'm shocked they want my chin I always thought it made me look like Michael Jackson. It always drove me crazy because of the cleft.

Why not my breasts? They 're fantastic. Sandra Bullock, responding to speculation that people are asking plastic surgeons to remake their chins to look more like hers, as quoted on "Every time Venus tossed up to serve, I was thinking, 'Oh, no, they won't fall out, will Thankfully, they didn 't. Pam Shriver, on the tank top Venus Williams wore while competing in the Australian Open, in Sports Illustrated for Women "Sometimes it's good to get away from that scene. Gwyneth Paltrow, on why she didn't attend this year's Oscar ceremony, on "People are constantly asking me who my doctor is and referring to my chest. I don't understand what everyone's obsession with boobs is about.

Every other person in the world has a pair. Jennifer Love Hewitt, perplexed over people always staring at her chest, in USAToday "The Hispanicfemale is seen as the one who is going to raise the children and be the housewife. I see a lot of abuse, physical and emotional, of our females by their families. Dr. Yolanda Cruz, superintendent of a Dallas charter school system, on the high school dropout rate of Latina teens and the multiple pressures they face, including the need to help their families, and low-expectations from biased educators, on would be really great if people would realize that stars are only people with the same weaknesses and flaws, not immaculate idols.

Meg Ryan (left), saying her Author searches past to find the present "My grandmother's tattoos were the great mysteries of my childhood," writes Mira Kam-dar in the opening pages of "Motiba's Tattoos" (Public Affairs, $24), a memoir of her paternal grandmother. For the author, these tattoos, which formed geometric lines on Motiba's face and forearms, were mysterious symbols of an ancient era in India. Kamdar traces her family history back to the beginning of the century in a feudal village in India, and from there to Burma in the '20s and '30s. By the 1960s, the political climate of Burma had become so threatening that Kamdar's family fled to Bombay, where her father had his first encounter with America as it was represented in Hollywood movies. As an engineer, her father was part of the early wave of Indian immigrants who worked in American companies, and, with his marriage to a Norwegian woman and decision to move to the U.S., he left India and Motiba firmly behind.

But for the author, haunted by the tattoos of her grandmother, the family's symbolizes one of the significant social themes of the 20th Century: severing family roots for the promises of other places and different cultures. The book is filled with exotic, compelling momentssuch as when Kamdar, pregnant and unable to travel, must tearfully tell the seriously ill Motiba that she will not be able to journey from America to India to see her before she ies. There also are strong passages on the trials of growing up in the U.S., with "normal American kids who didn't have to worry about where the two halves of their identity came together." Kamdar weaves a frequently touching story of locating herself in the present by searching deeply and honestly into her past. Her book is packed with unusual tales, history and even a handful of recipes from her native country Chris Petrakos When it comes to youth and affluence, subtlety in Lincoln Park is about as easy to find as a parking spot. The signs are all over SUVs on every corner, Patagonia-clad joggers at every turn and Crate Barrel boxes in every alley.

But that's not enough for one local group, which is dedicated to making it downright impossible to ignore the area's most prominent residents: 20-something females. The Lincoln Park Trixie Society is amplifying that voice you hear ordering a low-fat concoction at Starbucks, talking on a cell phone at Treasure Island and requesting a round of chocolate martinis at Marquee Lounge. According to, the society "has provided the backbone and courage necessary for many young Trixies to climb the social ladder, and continues to provide the structure necessary to maintain Lincoln Park as one of the most wonderful neighborhoods in all of Chicago, if not the nation." Certainly the Trixies must be joking, but don't expect anybody to take credit for the joke. Suggestions that the society may be a gag are tossed aside like last year's capri pants. "Hoax? I think not," says executive director Abigail Kendrick O'Rourke.

"I challenge you to walk through the Village members' pet name for their neighborhood on any Friday evening. Look around you, hit a few bars, see a movie at Webster Place. Then tell us our organization isa hoax. Oh, we're far stronger and larger than you might think." Whether it's serious or seriously funny, the Trixie Society may be on to something. Add some baseball caps, Greek letters and a barn dance at Tequila Roadhouse, and Lincoln Park is just one Big Ten college campus.

And what's a Photo for the Tribune by Erik Unger One of the hubs of Trixie activity is the area between Armitage and Webster Avenues near Halsted Street. Big Ten school without a sorority? The society has strict membership criteria (such as an ability to cut people off in your Jetta or dispense nasty glances to anyone who looks your way) and social events (Irish pub crawls, Ravinia trips), and soon will sell T-shirts and other Trixie gear. And to demonstrate they're not all hair and makeup, Trixies delve into serious issues via the Trixie Poll of the Week. Recent question: "Do you still drive to work, even with the hassles of the Wacker Drive Reconstruction Project?" Answer choices include: "Yes, I love my Jetta too much," and "No, I'll risk the bus." Interested in signing up? Worried your address might disqualify you? Fear not. The society already has expanded into Bucktown, and O'Rourke just bought a loft in the South Loop.

Amanda Temple marriage to Dennis Quaid "had already fallen When it comes to food cravings, giving in a little can go a long way A. apart" before she began a relationship with Russell Crowe, in InStyle's German edition "As soon as a script says, 'An incredibly beautiful woman walks into the I send it back. mood improved after indulging their craving. All cravers but especially women said they were more concerned about their weight and dieted more than non-cravers. Cravers also tended to consider themselves "too heavy" even when they weren't overweight.

Because repeatedly resisting cravings may set you up for bingoing, many dietitians recommend giving in when you've got it bad. But be smart about it: Experts say it only takes 100 calories of a craved food to quell the yearning. What that looks like: Eight Tostitos chips, 14 Gummi Bears or one fun-size package of Sally Kuzemchak as many women as men experienced cravings more than once a week. Women also reported feel ing bored, lonely or depressed when they indulged in their desired food, while men associated giving in to cravings with feelings of happiness and relaxation. Some other findings: Less than 40 percent of cravers said they were hungry when they experienced cravings.

Chocolate, cheese, and cakes and cookies topped the list of most-desired foods. Female cravers took in more sugar and calories per day than non-era vers. Prime craving time: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The majority of men and women said their Go ahead: Just try to tell us you've never expe-rinnced heart palpitations at the thought of chocolate.

Or been driven, by some unknown force, through the aisles of a convenience store searching for a tub of buttercream frosting. It's nothing to be ashamed of. After all, food cravings have been estimated to strike up to 97 percent of women. A recent study, published in this month's International Journal of Eating Disoi'ders, sheds some light on serial cravers and reveals a few Mars-Venus differences in this as-yet-unexplained food phenomenon. According to the French researchers, who studied more than 1,000 men and women, twice Emma Thompson, in TV Guide, saying it's difficult for her to imagine playing the ingenue roles usually called for in Hollywood films Compiled by Cassandra West LI.

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