Thriller in the Chiller is regarded as the must-do event of the year in Queenstown and is also considered one of the top charity boxing events in New Zealand. Every year for the last six, local contenders have taken part in a gruelling 15-week boot camp, ending in a night of blood, sweat and tears while the rest of Queenstown watch on from tables in a night of glamour unlike any other.
It was here over a year ago that I had my first taste of Thriller. I watched the women in awe and turned to my boss and I told him that would be me next year.
One year later I hit the big 30 and with that came the decision to give up smoking after 15 years. I wanted to really push myself and reach the pinnacle of my fitness by doing something out of the ordinary. Thriller in the Chiller has been the opportunity and the motivation for me to do so.
There were 70 contenders in the initial boot camp, which had us up at 5:30 am four times a week. We learnt the fundamentals of boxing as well as being screamed at and pushed to our limits in a military style boot camp run by an ex-marine. Six weeks later, 20 contenders were selected to fight in Thriller – me being one of the lucky six females.
The training is tough. At the very least it’s once a day for between one and three hours, whether it be with the trainers or hitting the bags at the gym. As a result I am in the best shape I have ever been. We are pushed to our limits on an almost daily basis.
Despite us spending the majority of our time trying to punch each other in the face (blood is generally mopped up from the floor at the end of our sparring sessions) there is a surprising amount of camaraderie and teamwork between us. We are all in this together and help each other out when we can.
Now 10 weeks down with only five weeks until fight night I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I can already appreciate the journey thus far. Already proving to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, my life has become consumed with boxing. The reality is slowly starting to sink in: in five short weeks I will be inside that ring and it will be either myself or my opponent having an arm raised in victory at the end of six minutes.
Not only do we do this for the blood but also to raise money for local charities. I am raising money for the Branches Charitable Trust which supports the Branches Camp. For the past 46 years they have taken local students on unforgettable trips into the wild, educating them on self-reliance, friendship and teamwork. You can support my venture into the boxing ring by donating on my ‘givealittle’ page.
Legacy wishes Selina all the best for her training and fight. Selina is a reminder that a little will power and determination you can make your dreams a reality.
(Selina ‘The Devastator’ Turner is the contestant on the left)