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Viviane Obenauf: flying fists for fitness

She’s a professional boxer who steps into the ring at international competitions. As if that wasn’t enough, she spends her spare time with fit boxing. Meet Viviane Obenauf.

Viviane Obenauf is always on the move.

The 31-year-old is supposed to sit on a stool in the boxing club Boxen Bern for our interview. But it soon becomes clear that she can’t keep still; her fists are flying and her body is swaying while she’s speaking – as if she was dodging punches. Viviane Obenauf is a boxer.

Viviane Obenauf lives and trains in Intelaken where she owns a gym.

«I’m not in shape at the moment,» she says. Christmas has left its mark on her. She speaks fast and with a Brazilian accent. There’s a broad smile on her face. She tells us that she doesn’t have much time, as her training is due to begin in 15 minutes. Viviane warms up before the warm-up to the actual training.

She’s definitely not one to sit still.

Fighting off extra pounds

She trained to be an educational teacher, but today, she’s either taking part in a boxing match or teaching boxing and fit boxing in her own gym in Interlaken or in Berne. Her life is all about boxing.

«It all began after pregnancy,» she explains and mentions that her son loves play boxing – a sport she developed herself. «But only boxing gets too boring for a child,» she adds and then gets back to the subject : After pregnancy, she wanted to get back in shape.

«Boxing was the only thing that worked for me,» she explains and shrugs, «I couldn’t get as excited and ambitious about any other sport.» «Boxing is different. It just clicked.»

She lost pounds and gained fitness. Without injuries and pain, but with thousands of punches at focus mitts and punchbags. Fit boxing is based on boxing; it includes jabs, hooks and uppercuts, but only ever aiming at punchbags, not at a human opponent. Broken nose or black eye? Not in this sport. Strong arms, toned abs and great endurance? Absolutely. She easily keeps up when her course of 20 fit boxers is warming up in the boxing gym in Berne – a place that exists since 1935. Viviane is cracking jokes while others are breathing heavily, she’s keeping her pace while others are slowing down and she’s even chatting to video producer Stephanie Tresch, who’s filming the warm-up. That’s that take ruined, but Viviane doesn’t mind. She’s in her element. Her curly hair, tied back to a bun, is bobbing up and down with her movements.

More than punching

Viviane doesn’t do things by halves. Sit-ups, punches with weights, jogging in place…she doesn’t only keep up, but goes the extra mile. And she always stays focused. When she gets tired, she doesn’t breathe heavily, but remains in control. Her first punch in a series looks exactly the same as her last one. She changes to crosses – a punch thrown with your rear hand – and her leg carries the movement in the same way for every cross punch. This sport is all about controlled movement.

After the birth of her son, Viviane got back in shape with fit boxing

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That’s the warm-up done. Viviane puts on black Hammer gloves, her boxing partner black/pink Leones gloves. They practise jabs; a short punch that usually serves to distract the opponent and establish a feeling for distance. Four jabs, four steps to the front. Four blocks, four steps to the back. Viviane makes a mistake, laughs and lowers her fists.

«Boxing isn’t only a boy’s sport,» she says, «girls are good at it, too.»

She knows what she’s talking about. Viviane steps into the ring at international competitions – sometimes successfully, sometimes not. She took quite a beating at a boxing match against Chantelle Cameron last December. She was fighting for the International Boxing Organization World Female Lightweight Title in Leicester, but had to give up between round four and five and accept defeat. The day after, she posted a video on Facebook to thank her fans – with a swollen eye and busted lips.

«That wasn’t my best performance,» she explains. She looks down for a second, but lifts her head again straight away and focuses. She continues her workout with body shots; upper cuts to the side of the opponent. She doesn’t execute these punches with full force; fit boxing isn’t about injuring your opponent, but about collaborating. Perfecting your technique means avoiding injuries.

Viviane is just as focused before as after training

Her feet hardly ever touch the floor at the same time and her fist hardly ever rest by her side. Be it boxing or fit boxing, Viviane Obenauf is definitely not one to sit still.

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Dominik Bärlocher, Zurich

  • Senior Editor
Journalist. Author. Hacker. A storyteller searching for boundaries, secrets and taboos – putting the world to paper. Not because I can but because I can’t not.

1 Comment

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User danmaster333

Cooler Artikel und coole Frau. Irgendwie ist es immer so, dass die ganz guten Trainer mit Akzent sprechen (auch meiner). Ist wohl ein Master Yoda Dings.