HOUSTON – Houstonian Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs is no stranger to challenges, both in and out the ring.
She’s the captain of the women’s USA Boxing team and is preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Fuchs, who has been boxing for 11 years, shared her inspiring story on how she made it to the top of her sport.
“My team got me to be number one in the nation, and I’m ranked number three in the world right now. I was number two for 4 or 5 years before I finally beat the number one girl. Perseverance, that’s what I learned from this sport. Perseverance and believing in yourself and if you just stick with it, hard work pays off and you can get there,” said Fuchs.
The 32-year-old flyweight boxer has achieved this accomplishment, all while dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD.)
She was diagnosed when she was in middle school, and for her it manifests in fear of contamination.
“I’m still working on it today with my therapist and, over the past years, it has really taken a toll on me. But boxing has kept me being able to fight it and being able to live a normal life or not let OCD take over my life,” said Fuchs, who calls her bathroom her OCD prison.
Her search for a clean feeling includes excessive teeth brushing, washing her hands too much, and having a specific way of showering.
“I get stuck in my rituals and I’ll be so focused on my cleaning habits that I won’t even realize that it’s been a couple of hours and, I could have been recovering or I could have been sleeping, being prepared for practice. I had to find a balance between that. It’s still a struggle today. I’m working on it, but I’ve been able to overcome these little day battles with my OCD and still stuck with staying on top of my boxing,” she said.
The Episcopal High School graduate has an advice for other people struggling with mental health.
“Don’t be ashamed, don’t be afraid to go out there and ask for help. There is help out there. Therapy and exposure therapy are the tools I use today to keep me managing my O.C.D. If you don’t know where to find help, there are foundations out there; research and they can help you find they right kind of treatment you need,” said Fuchs, who hopes to qualify and bring the gold medal home.
To see Fuchs’s complete interview, watch the video above.