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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC LEVIN BEFORE THE DAWN BREAKS inside the box W BEFORE A DAY OF NEGOTIATING DEALS, REAL ESTATE AGENT MELINDA SARKIS JUMPS INTO THE RING. BY JESSICA LANIEWSKI hile the sun is rising over Boston, Melinda Sarkis pulls on her navy blue boxing gloves at the sweaty, pulsing Peter Welch's Gym in South Boston. Taking a defensive stance she lowers her bent right arm and plants it hard into the bag. "I really wanted Hello Kitty boxing gloves because I am obsessed with the brand," says Sarkis with a laugh. "But my friend whom I box with said no, and instead I was gifted these. They are made for boys, and they smell, but they are mine." The New Hampshire native understands the power behind your fitness accessories— as a realtor and exercise buff, she became a brand ambassador for Lululemon Athletica this past year and teaches in the Newbury Street outpost. In her role, she travels for the company and promotes the message that good health is integral to a well-rounded lifestyle. " These gloves are made for boys, and they smell, but they are mine." Although Sarkis is comfortable with girly accents and Lululemon's feminine, flattering styles, she certainly knows how to land a punch; she is a senior associate for Hammond Residential and has been selling luxury real estate in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and South End for 12 years. A former ballerina who went to a private performing-arts high school in Natick and trained in France and Canada, Sarkis turned to Core Fusion at Exhale Mind Body Spa a few years ago and is now a teacher with continuously sold-out classes at the Back Bay location. Having run two Boston marathons (to raise money for Tedy Bruschi's stroke and cardiovascular disease awareness charity, Tedy's Team), she was looking for a new physical outlet when a friend suggested she attend an early-morning class at Peter Welch's Gym. "I wanted a challenge, and I found it both mentally and physically through boxing," says Sarkis, who often spars with the agents and attorneys she works with on a daily basis. Her fast-paced morning routine is a warm-up for the day to come, where she might be running from showing a townhouse in Beacon Hill to a spacious loft in the Back Bay. Not a natural morning person, Sarkis has trained herself to get up early by setting two alarms, before she jumps into warm-up drills like jumping rope and sprinting around the ring. "It's about you, your workout, and the drills. The trainers at Welch's Gym will motivate you, but never intimidate you," says Sarkis. Her time in the ring is much like selling real estate; she must remain focused while anticipating her opponent's next move. "I like boxing because it isn't reinventing the wheel," she says. "It's refreshing to start my day with something so straightforward." BC 56 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM

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