MARSHALLTOWN - Most people, sports fans or not, don't ordinarily visualize boxers and kindergarten teachers in the same picture, much less in the same person.
This preconception is one of the things Deb Moore has had to deal with, along with slipping right hooks and keeping her hands up, since deciding to take up boxing in November of 1999.
Moore, who teaches at Rogers Elementary School, has been learning the "sweet science" of pugilism with Kenny Buffington's Marshalltown Boxing Club.
While her mother and older sister have been very supportive, according to Moore, her father's reaction, might best be described as bemused.
"He just couldn't understand why I'd want to do this," she said.
Moore is also a student at Master Bill Shaw's twice-weekly taekwondo classes at the Marshalltown Community YMCA.
So, what's with all the recent interest in martial arts?
While traveling in Mexico a couple of years ago, she related, Moore was robbed at knifepoint while walking an airport terminal stairway in Guanajuato.
Fortunately, she said, she was neither hurt nor assaulted. However, as might be expected, the incident made a strong impression, and in Moore's case, fostered a determination to not to be a victim again.
"When I was robbed, the man with the knife had two accomplices who came up behind me," Moore recounted. "Neither boxing nor taekwondo would've done much good then," she granted.