Leaha Franks, salon owner. In her other life: ultimate cage fighter.
“If the boogie man wants to come after me I can knock him out with my hot pink gloves.”
I’ve run two half-marathons and one triathlon, and a one-hour fighting session with my trainer beats both of those,” says salon owner and Backscratchers educator Leaha Franks, who has been doing ultimate cage fighting since 2006. Cage fighting is a mixed martial art involving both boxing and wrestling. Fights take place in an octagonal cage and usually last three rounds. “I like the sport because it’s a great workout and wonderful stress reliever. Not only is it a workout, but it helps with self-defense,” she says. “When I’m fighting I only box with my trainer, Scott O’Brien. I do learn wrestling moves but this is done on a dummy.” Franks works out with O’Brien twice a week, unless she’s traveling for Backscratchers. A nail tech for 17 years, she recently opened a day spa, Hairitage Salon in Burlington, Ky. “I don’t think I could have gotten through it if I didn’t have these stress release sessions,” she says. She began training primarily to lose weight — she’s lost 30 pounds to date — but now she’s hooked. “I really like to watch the ultimate fights on TV and go to local matches as well,” she says. “It is lots of hard work but it helps that if the boogie man wants to come after me I can knock him out with my hot pink gloves.”