Where Boys Become Men, And Men Become Heroes

When I used to train amateur boxers at my old gym I used a motto when the fighters were having a hard condition session.  It was “Horton’s Gym is Where Boy’s Become Men, And Men Become Heroes.”  I would shout that over the music that blared in the background as the fighters would struggle through the routine of the day. It was my way of encouraging them to push through the pain. In life there is pain and there is struggle. I would push the fighters to go beyond their comfort zone. In life, as well as in boxing, we all have to push through struggles no matter the extent of the pain. This type of training helps develop the will power needed to succeed in the ring, and in life. 

Chuck Horton

Chuck Horton in the gym

I would often use humor and anger during these routines; I feel that one should learn to laugh at pain, to scream at pain or whatever emotion is needed to get through it. It is my experience that if you use emotion as you instruct, you will evoke emotions from those that are being instructed, and emotions always came to surface. It was my job to see and take mental note of which emotion each fighter used to get through their struggle.

 I wanted to see what drove the fighter to push through. I would praise the fighters that tried their best, and would take note of the ones who slacked. I would also use these sessions as team building exercises, Taking note of those that chastised, and also noting those that encouraged their teammates. I would quickly punish the slackers and the chastiser’s with extra conditioning after the drill. The slackers needed to learn to pull their own weight, that nobody could save them but themselves.  Those that chastised their teammates needed to learn that negativity is contagious and has to be prevented from spreading. 


In the next article, Chuck Horton will discuss the importance of storytelling to create the culture of a hero.