“I should have been alarmed at the canvas I had, in my bullheadedness, unwittingly stepped into—but I never could back down from a challenge,” writes Lynn Snowden Picket in her frank, powerful memoir. An accomplished journalist, Lynn had just completed the New York Marathon and was toned and fit, but underneath she was smarting from a recent and hurtful divorce. Seeking an outlet for her stifled aggression, her trainer led her to a sweat-stained gym in Brooklyn, a place renowned for producing skilled, hard-hitting boxers. At Gleason’s, Lynn would learn how to fight.
Lynn steps into the ring with a cockiness that is “part naÃ¯vetÃ© and part rage.” Before long she’s sparring with men twice her size, with years more experience. For the men at Gleason’s, fighting is sometimes their only available path to glory, money, and fame. At their hands, three times a week, Lynn’s ribs slam against her lungs, her face bruises, her hands swell. More difficult to overcome, however, are the tenacious panic attacks that come both in and outside the ring. Gleason’s has become the focal point of Lynn’s life