Dylan Rutzen: boxing with school and work

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Dylan Rutzen: boxing with school and work

Dylan Rutzen, senior,

Dylan Rutzen, senior,

Dylan Rutzen, senior,

Dylan Rutzen, senior,

Samantha Baltzell

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Balancing a job with school and sports can be difficult for some students. Some choose to not even bother with work and solely focus on school and extracurriculars. Those that do work tend to stick with jobs revolving around the food industry and retail.

Holding a manager’s position as a student requires a lot of work. Dylan Rutzen, senior, has worked as the shift manager of a Culver’s for the past two years.

“There are a lot of things, like huge responsibilities, customer care, and making sure that everyone is on top of things,” said Rutzen. “I’m very committed to my job and I go in when no one else will. I put myself out there, so they made me a manager.”

Dylan works about 30 hours every week. He also boxes for around 20 hours every week as well as dealing with other things outside of school, which has taken a toll on his grades and his social life.

“I’m actually failing a couple of classes, but that’s not because of boxing, it’s just because of some outside stuff that I had to deal with, which was hard,” Rutzen said. “I just lost the motivation to work on things. Now it’s my whole life. School, boxing, and work.”

According to Dylan, most kids start boxing at six or seven-years-old, so he started a little later at 15, due to experiencing anger issues. Rutzen boxed for two years, took a six month break, but started again to help combat the depression he developed from breaking up with his girlfriend.

“I was angry. I broke three doors and I wound up having to fix them. I also had to fix these little drawer things that shattered when I hit them,” said Dylan. “I was also drinking a lot. I would rely on that, and I don’t want to go back to that. I had massive anger issues and boxing really helps. Now, I’m about four months into it again, and I’m not angry anymore.”

While life was busy throwing its punches at Rutzen, he was busy throwing his own punches right back. Through boxing, he managed to overcome his depression, continue working as a manager at Culvers, gain the motivation to fix his grades, and keep himself out of trouble.

For the past two years that Dylan has boxed, he has trained at Rising Son MMA in Wausau. He has been working with his class instructor, Lah Thao and his coach, who Rutzen calls Coach Dennis.

“I actually almost got kicked out of the gym because I got in a fight at school,” Dylan said. “The matching shoes were a gift from my coach. He said that if I could keep my nose clean then he’ll buy them for me but if I got in a fight then he would take them away.”

Boxing may have helped Rutzen with his outside issues, and he may have two years of experience, but it is not easy for him when he is boxing either since he is susceptible to injuries.

“I’m the bleeder of the group, said Dylan. “Everyone is at least 40 pounds heavier and I’m the youngest one there. Everyone else is over 20. I broke my nose during when I was sparring once. I was bleeding everywhere. It was the worst I’ve ever bled.”

Before he even starts boxing, he needs to warm up. Rutzen’s warm-up typically starts with at least 15 minutes of jumping rope, working with a speed bag and a heavy bag, as well as stretching his arms and legs to prevent injuries to his muscles.

“Boxing is a gruesome sport. It’s worse than football,” Rutzen said. “Football plays last about 20 seconds. Boxing rounds last for about three minutes.”

Although boxing is such a brutal and violent sport, he feels as if boxing has really brought patience to him.

“It gives you a mindset to keep your mind on something to complete the task. If I put my mind to something at school then I can complete it,” said Rutzen. “I bring all the stuff I learn through boxing into my everyday life.”

Dylan plans to continue boxing into his college career at the Northcentral Technical College and is also planning to get a tattoo that commemorates his boxing career.

“I want to get a quote from ‘Rocky’ tattooed on my forearm. It says ‘It doesn’t matter how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.’ To me that means that life is not about what you can do to people, it’s what other people can do to you and how you react to that. That applies to my whole life.”

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