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Irish Daily Mail, Saturday, May 17, 2014 Page 19

Intense training regime: Felix at work in the gym, which she attends twice a day, six days a week
Her day job is selling shoes in Arnotts
and the effortlessly glamorous Felix
Ameerordien is indeed a stiletto lover.
But anyone who thinks Felix is a soft
touch be warned: outside work, shes
Irelands premier Thai kickboxer. And
shes gearing up for the fight of her life...
trainers. It was while working in
Arnotts that she spotted a
familiar face from the Irish Thai
boxing circuit, Clondalkin man
Paul Norton.
We had fought at the same
shows, she smiles. Hes an
electrician and was doing a job in
Arnotts. We started chatting
about fights all the time and then
went on a few dates. That was
four years ago.
The couple got engaged in Jan-
uary and plan to get married in a
couple of years. Hes been to
South Africa three times already
and he loves it but I think well
probably live here now for good.
Ive just renewed my ten-year
residency visa and Im eligible to
apply for citizenship. Id like to
have dual citizenship, I like to
come out with the two flags at my
fights: South Africa because
thats where Im from and Ireland
because I like to pay homage to
my gym, my trainer and my
training partners and because
Ive been fighting out of here.
In fact, Ive already represented
Ireland a few times now.
Her success in the ring has been
hard-won, not just during her
gruelling matches but also the
intense training regime that she
follows religiously, which includes
a strict diet, one that most would
find it difficult to stick to.
Oh thats the worst bit, she
admits. Theres a lot of protein. I
eat five meals a days, I train first
thing and then have a protein
shake. After that its four eggs,
scrambled usually, and a grape-
fruit or oat bran cereal.
Then I have what I call lunch
one, mostly its a lot of spinach in
a salad, with fish, chicken or tur-
key. Second lunch is usually the
same or Id have brown rice, with
fish, chicken or turkey, no
dressing, just spices to make sure
it doesnt get boring.
Later I have a snack, Greek
yogurt with flax seeds or I make
jam, to make sure theres not
loads of sugar in it. Actually Paul
usually makes the jam! Its really
good that we live together now, it
makes it so much easier.
After training I have a protein
shake, and then its eggs again
before going to bed. Its the bore-
dom of it all thats the hardest. I
try to switch it up and on
Sundays we have a cheat meal,
but its not pizza or stuff like that,
its a sweet potato. So yeah, its
hard. I miss chocolate most. Cake
is my kryptonite, and it doesnt
help that Pauls mum is a baker
she keeps making Ferrero
Rocher cakes!
I rarely have stuff like that. If
Im four weeks into training and if
my wei ght i s goi ng OK I
might have a couple of squares of
chocolate, but thats it.
I also rarely drink and because
I train so much I get drunk really
quickly, its same for all of us
[fighters]. Our Christmas gym
night out was hilarious, we
were all hammered so quickly.
Cheap dates! If the diet sounds
extreme, Felixs training schedule
is hardly a walk in the park either.
She takes part in four to five com-
petitions and shows a year, for
which she has to be in tip-top
condition and at her optimum
weight, 53kgs, roughly 8st 5lbs.

TRAIN twice a day, before
work and then I go straight
to the gym afterwards,
she explains. I get up at
6am and go for a run with
Paul for about an hour. I also do
sprints and step sprints, or kettle
bells or a workout at home.
Were lucky to live quite close to
the Phoenix Park so its a good
place for a run. After work I get to
the gym for about 7pm, I go for a
run with the boys, then I warm up
and train until 10.30pm. One
night a week I do weights and
strength training.
If Im lucky I get to bed by
11.30pm, but I have to clean my
training gear, make lunches for
the next day, shower and eat. A
lot the time myself and Paul have
fights at same time, so were both
training and hardly see each oth-
er. But Sunday is our rest day
its when we watch a movie and
try to relax.
Fighting professionally means
she gets paid a small wage for
the fights and shows she takes
part in. Its not much but the
promoters pay for accommoda-
tion and flights, she says. I have
to work full-time as well, but its a
great way to see the world. So far
Ive been to Portugal, England,
Scotland, Hong Kong, Thailand
and Hungary.
There are five rounds during a
professional match. Class A
rounds, where you use your
elbows, last three minutes each,
while Class B, no elbows, last
two minutes. The promoters
bring fighters from other coun-
tries over, says Felix, who just
last month beat a competitor
from Portugal. She was strong, it
was a tough match. The last few
have been in the Red Cow [Ho-
tel], we get a pretty good audi-
ence of up to 400 people.
Lots of my friends from Arnotts
have been to see my fights, they
love it and are so excited about
the TV show in September.
Her next competition is an in-
ternational one in London next
month, then it will be into even
more training for her bid to be-
come Wonder Woman.
Ill always do Muay Thai, she
says. Its the kind of sport you
can do well into your 30s and 40s.
When I finally do retire, I hope to
become a trainer.
I love it because its a very hum-
ble sport. Its very destructive,
but it teaches you about respect
for your opponent and for
your trainer. And theres lots of
traditions, like the Wai Kru, which
is a little dance you do before
the fight, she says.
Theres so much to it, a whole
philosophy. Honestly, I could talk
about it all day.
Why fight? I just get a kick out of it!
Dressed up:
Felix shows
off her