Christina Desmond went from the verge of quitting boxing to winning a European Elite Championship silver medal in the space of just four weeks.
As a full-time member of An Garda Siochana and with World Champion Lisa O’Rourke being deemed #1 at middleweight, the Cork fighter was on the fringes.
Away from the High-Performance setup and elite environment, the decorated and experienced world-level fighter admits she was disillusioned to the point she wanted to retire.
However, a chance to travel to Montenegro arose, she took it and went on to secure a second European elite medal, winning silver and just missing out on gold in a tight and tense final.
“I kind of was in a bad mindset, I didn’t like boxing and wanted to quit it,’ she said reflecting on where she was at just over a month ago.
“‘I didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to train or nothing. The training I was doing wasn’t even much boxing, it was just to keep my fitness and my head straight.’
Four weeks later and the fighter, who lost to Armenian Ani Hovsepyan in the middleweight decider, helped Team Ireland make history as one of a record-breaking seven medal winners in Budva.
The Macroom boxer didn’t go into the competition with any great expectations and reveals there was a real ‘just give it a go’ feel to her tournament.
“Coming back was a big decision for me, and you know what it was, I said I’ll just do it for me,’ she said when speaking to the Southern Star. ‘And it was for me alone, it was for no one else and I think that actually was the best thing because I had no pressure, no one expected anything of me.
“Even the coaches didn’t expect anything from me, it was just kind of “here, we’ll give you the chance to go” so I just had to take it on and I did. I haven’t boxed that well in a long while, but the four weeks in training beforehand was hard and physical so it paid off.”
Desmond also took time to herald the team spirit and claims that togetherness played a big part in the success.
“If there was someone down we’d pick each other up,’ Christina said. ‘It can be hard, you’re away from family, away from friends and you’re emotionally and physically drained and you’re nervous about competition but the team was fantastic and every one of them did well out there.”