BUTTE — All boxers have reasons why they fight, why they step in the ring and push their bodies to the absolute limit.
For Rheanna Brush, it goes beyond trying to win. It’s how she’s coped with some of life’s toughest challenges.
“Honestly, my mental problems — I’ve always struggled with depression and anxiety, and fighting is really the only thing that helps me with that,” said Brush, 15.
The scars she bears aren’t your typical bumps and bruises. They stretch across her arm, a constant reminder of how far she’s come.
“Those are self-harm scars, that was when I was really in the worst of my depression. I was very suicidal, and boxing was kind of a last resort for me, but it ended up helping me out,” added Brush.
Brush is a fighter — not because she steps in the ring, but because she refused to quit on her friends, her family and, most importantly, herself.
Once boxing became a part of her life Brush’s whole outlook was flipped upside down, in the best way possible.
“She was coming in here and kind of just going through the motions, as most of them were, but then when she got a little better, confidence, everything switched. You could see a little sparkle in her eye,” said Brush’s coach, Wes Ogan.
Her fighting style is unique.
“She definitely has her own style. It’s an art and she’s already an artist, so she tries to do that in the ring the best she can,” added Ogan.
Going toe-to-toe with Brush is a nightmare for her opponents.
The ring is her release. It’s how she battles through whatever life throws at her.
Through every setback she encounters, Brush wants others who share a similar story to know that there are always better days ahead.
“Every time I do it, it shows me that there’s kind of a light for everything,” she said.
“It helps breaks mental barriers of all kind of different things, from depression and everything, just because you’re doing something that very few other people can do or willing to do even,” Ogan said.
Brush will showcase her talents in the regional junior Olympics May 4-5 in Casper, Wyoming.