Sarah Lacina has been in her share of skirmishes.
Physicality is sometimes required as an officer in the Cedar Rapids Police Department, but she’s starting to fight in a whole new arena. Lacina, 25, of Marion, will compete in her first live boxing match Saturday in an outdoor event that starts at 6 p.m. in the Village Bank parking lot at 1201 Third St. SE.
She has craved a chance to fight since she started training in January.
“I’m not a very patient person ...,” said Lacina, a four-sport athlete at Muscatine High School and 2006 graduate of Wartburg where she ran track and cross country. “My teammates were like, ‘You have to put your time in before you can fight.’”
Lacina has put in her time, training with coach Joe Ruiz of the Apache Boxing Club at Valhalla Club in southeast Cedar Rapids. Fellow CRPD officer Tom Grubb, a well-known mixed martial arts competitor in the area, suggested she start fighting in MMA.
“There’s so many aspects of MMA,” Lacina said. “I really enjoyed the boxing so I’m taking a boxing match, but I think after this I’m going to start training on the ground a little more.”
Lacina said someone who knows how to fight will come up short against someone who can strike effectively.
“What I enjoy about it is the challenge of just learning,” she said. “Anyone can just throw a punch but to throw a punch correctly, effectively and quickly is another (thing).”
The lessons, she said, have benefitted her on the job.
“Sometimes you can be fighting for your life,” Lacina said. “I can think of a number of occasions where I’ve been in a physical fight. Never has it been against someone smaller than me ...”