Queen Underwood leaves this week for a two-month training session in Canada in advance of the Pan-Am Games.
She walked away from the circle of friends, coaches and advisers who formed QueenTeam2012 and has handedled her training and career up to this point.
But most importantly, the Seattle lightweight boxer is already moving past London and her chance to shine as the Olympics welcome female boxers for the first time. It is still her goal, make no mistake about it, and she says she plans to be on top of the podium, wearing gold and listening to The Star-spangled Banner a year from now. But she sees it as just a stepping stone.
It's the beginning, not the end, she said. My journey and my story go so far beyond that.
Where her story goes, she won't say exactly, how it started and what happened along the way don't matter. It was painful, it was humiliating, but none of it matters any more. The childhood that she describes as one of abuse and violation is over, long gone. She has none of the family picture albums or reminders of happy memories you find in most homes.
I almost don't remember it, she said. it's really not about what I've been through. It is all about what I'm doing now and where I'm going.
She and her current advisers have set up the Queen Underwood Foundation. They'll use it as a fundraising mechanism for the push to London, then keep the structure in place and use it to help kids. Somehow. Queen admits she's not exactly sure how that will happen but she's determined that it will, that her story, her strength, her achievements will be used to reach out to young people who are experiencing the kind of hell she experienced and overcame.
The ugly details? The painful past? It happened, she's moving on and isn't interested in sharing the details.
My story isn't to put it out there and tell what happened. It is mainly about 'Hey I can do it you can do it too,' she said.
The five-time lightweight national champion, the tireless trainer and relentless competitor, just wants to help. The young woman with the million-dollar smile and the savage right-hand wants to reach out. The killer in the ring wants to be a healer outside it. It's simple, she says, that's me.
There is a lot of us out there but we just keep it in, we don't want to say anything about it. We just want to hurt. And some people they don't get far, she said.
Watch the report on KING 5 News at 5 p.m.