Casey Morton fights for her dream in a photo essay following her journey from the gym to her pro-debut.
by Erin Lefevre
“There was once a man who went to a guru because he wanted to be great, so he went to the guru and asked him how he could be great. The guru told the man to meet him at the beach the next day wearing shorts. The man showed up the next day all dressed up, and the guru told the man to go walk into the water. Confused, the man walked into the water and the guru followed him. The guru grabbed the man by the head and held him underwater until he almost passed out. He pulled the man out of the water and asked him what was the first word that came to his mind. The man replied, “air.” The guru told this man that the secret to greatness is wanting something more than he wanted air in that moment. That story kept playing through my mind because I want my dream more than I want the air that I breathe,” said Casey one day when we were driving back from her practice at Undisputed Boxing Gym to San Francisco.
The first time I met Casey Morton, I photographed one of her training sessions at World Class Boxing Gym in San Francisco as a part of a female boxing project I was working on for school. Within that hour I spent photographing Casey, I became captivated by her passion for both life and boxing, and realized that she needed to have her very own story.
Growing up as an at-risk teen in Hawaii, Casey managed to flee from her destructive environment to pursue a more positive lifestyle. Casey travelled from state to state and eventually put herself through college, worked as a motivational speaker for at-risk teenagers and then finally found her love for the sport of boxing. For an entire year, Casey has allowed me to photograph her journey towards becoming a professional female boxer. Her decision to pursue boxing as a professional career has completely dominated Casey’s lifestyle choices, proving that it is a long, often solitary road to success. Being a woman trying to succeed in a man’s world means that Casey has to work twice as hard as her male peers, and is confronted with twice the dilemmas, doubts and hardships. Despite facing these conflicts on a daily basis, Casey has defied all odds. Her success has made her a positive role model and proves that even from the humblest of beginnings, anyone can accomplish their dreams. This makes Casey a champion both inside and outside of the ring.
Erin Lefevre is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on individuals and communities that are under-represented or misrepresented by the media. Her approach to the world of photojournalism is producing artistic visual imagery that tells informative, truthful narratives. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, where she received her BFA in Photography and she is also an alumna of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Erin has interned in the past for MLive/The Muskegon Chronicle and The Hawk Eye Newspaper in Burlington, Iowa.