Gym Up And Running

Well, its take almost a year if hard work and determination, but the gym looks like its finally coming together.

I’ve been so busy with buying equipment, sorting out insurance and signing up new members; that I all but forgot to update this blog! Truth be told, I’ve started using another website to advertise the gym – under the advice from a web developer friend.

However, now that the business has settled, the overheads are beginning to get covered and I can start to take a bit more time for myself.

boxerI always enjoyed writing these posts. Sure, they’re a little self indulgent but that’s half the fun of it. In a life ruled by physical training and brutal commitment to a schedule, its really satisfying to be able to take my time and approach a task in my own way.

I can honestly say that I’ve never been more challenged in my working life, than I have been in the last year. Its a completely different kettle of fish from professional boxing, that’s for sure.

I’d spent so many hours, cumulative weeks, inside gyms that I assumed that it would be a cinch to set one up myself. All you need is a space, some showers and a locker room, right?

Wrong!gym bunny

I’d neglected to think of all those little bits and pieces that make up the back end of a fitness establishment.

Membership rates, equipment rental, brand sponsorship, vending machines, staff pay, fitness sessions, trainers…the list goes on and on. What’s for certain is, gyms sure have come a heck of a long way since my glory days in the 70s.

For a little market research, I joined up a local chain gym to see what the competition would be like.

girl-worksThe first thing I noticed was the smell – not that it was bad. It was good, almost pleasant. Air conditioning was being pumped through the building, so that damp sweaty smell that I was expecting to be hit with, simply wasn’t there.

There were women there too. Good looking women – not that that’s all I care about. Back in my day it were just the butch types that came to gyms, they didn’t get any trouble from the men, for obvious reasons.

But these girls were dressed up in skin tight lycra, crop tops, backless numbers that I don’t know the names for. They were almost a distraction. I guess I should start considering making my place a bit more female friendly, maybe take down some of the boxing posters and replace them with…Beyonce?


Getting the Place Sorted

Life is strange, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. And that is the way it goes, it goes that way. Yes it does. But you, you can go your own way.

Yeah, go your own way. Go on. Do what the mac command! They know that that is the thing that you should do.

“You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Tell me why
Everything turned around
Packing up
Shacking up is all you want to do

If I could
Baby I’d give you my world
Open up
Everything’s waiting for you

You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way”


II’m going my own way and it’s working out ok. I’m now re-designing and re-building the gym that I’ve bought. That means operating as a sort of business man in a way I’ve never done before. My hardest thing is not knowing when to trust people. I’ve found some amazing traders, for instance I had all the re-gritting and windows done by Allerton Windows and they’ve been a pleasure to work with. I could just tell that i could trust them from the first time I met up with their boys. They just had respect, and I respect that.


Other people though, who I would not be so keen to name,  have not been so respectful. In fact, the way that some of them have behaved toward me, with their trying to get one over me at every turn and trying to get as much money as possible and trying to do the worst job they can get away with. It all seems to be a whole lot of not respect. And if you treat me with disrespect,  am only going to treat you with disrespect.


I’m a nice guy. But I expect to be treated with respect. Allerton windows built my windows and treated me with respect. Would you do the same? You have to really look at yourself every once in a while. I inspect myself. Do you inspect yourself? You should inspect yourself.


And when people do. You’ve got to give them a round of applause.


You’ve got to give them a hand.


And remember, many hands make light work.


New Place. New Space. New Trent.

Last night I slept on the wooden floor of an empty room. It was cold. It was empty. And I could not get to sleep. It was the best night of my life.  I was sleeping in my own building. In my own room. The room that will become my life. It is not my house or my hostel or a friends sofa. It is where Trent Boxer will become a reality. When you accept that you have a long way to walk, a long road to travel, you get used to walking that walk with a lot of struggle and very little reward. You slowly stop craving great moments, because you know how few and far between they are. You know that you have to somehow learn to embrace and cherish the struggle. Because it will be mostly struggle. Everything is mostly struggle.



But, whilst all that is true, sometimes those days do come along. Days which are benchmarks. Days which are milestones, days which mean a lot. Yesterday was one of those days. And it’s stretched a little into today if I’m honest. I have my own place. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe its happened. You know what I’m doing right now?  I’m looking at custom neon clocks for the new training center. I’m going to have my name up in lights, up in bright beautiful neon, on a beautiful, custom made, neon clock. With my name on it!  I’m blown away.


Nothing says boxing like neon. Apart from maybe a boxing ring. And boxing gloves. And other general boxing equipment. I’ve been looking at some pretty bonza neon signage You’ve got to have neon! It’s all there is! It’s the icing on the cake, but on one of those cakes that is mostly icing.


Yeah, that kind of thing.

This is it for me, there’s is for sure a lot of work left ahead. But I’m going to face it and I’m going to take it on. It’s going to be hard and it is going to be a challenge. But I have faced enough challenges already. I’m sure I’ll make it.

With you all by my side, I can achieve anything.



My story 3: Where to next?

You know, it’s all very good and well to resolve to change, to resolve to take the punches and get up again, its a hell of a challenge but in certain ways it’s a simple one: it just takes a will of absolute steel that is all. But if you manage that, if you manage to stop curling up when your getting pummelled. Or stop just trying to rage your way out of the corners that life backs you into. If you manage to deal with your issue in this area and maybe push out to the point where you can function to some extent, you are then faced with a very different challenge that in many ways is far less dramatic, but equally as hard, maybe even made harder by its lack of drama. That challenge is called: life.

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Oh yeah. That thing.

What I mean is, life isn’t just a struggle for those battling the big demons and problems. It is a struggle all the time for almost everyone. Just the days man, just the getting up and getting to work and going through all that stuff. Just trying to find a way to make your way in the world! That’s what I’m facing now. It’s more of a challenge than I ever imagined.


Just like when you get back in the ring after a while. Life is a challenge.

For instance, right now I’m trying to sort out how I can become a trainer for real. Do I set up as a sole trader? Do I work out of someones gym? Do I just try and get a job? I’ve found myself talking to a guy who helps people set up franchises this week. I’m still not even really sure how a franchise works! Or what a franchise really is! The guy was dead nice and it sounded like it could work. Have any of you got any experience with these things? Franchises sound great, but i’ve taken a few too many hits to the head over the years I reckon, can barely get my head around the whole thing.


Even Ali’s struggling.

So I’ve kicked drug habits, confronted demons, ended bad habits that had lasted decades and done good by people who I’d wronged more times than I’ve been smashed in the face. I did all that, and I don’t want to blow my own recorder, but it wasn’t easy. But the mundane difficulty of this stuff is worse in a way. But these difficulties are, I reckon, a privilege. For these things to be my biggest issues is an amazing feeling compared to my biggest issues a couple of years ago.


So here I am. Trying. Any help with this franchise thing would be much appreciated.

My Story Part 2: Getting Better.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Rocky Bilboa:

“Somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.”


Yeah, it’s called rock bottom. Have you hit it? I spent years hitting it, there were times I was hitting it harder than I was hitting the damn punch bag. I hit rock bottom and I hit it hard. I spent weeks stopping past the service stations on the way home just to shame eat baked beans with my bare hands and call myself fat in the mirror. That’s no life, no life to lead. That is rock bottom my friends. I had punched my way down there. And I was just trying to punch my way out.


I needed someone to get me out of that funk. I needed my own rocky. I needed to be told something, what I needed to be told was something which, deep down, I already knew:

 “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! “

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“Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!” Rocky Balboa

I’ll be posting soon with a few more details on myself and what it is I offer. Until then- stay strong.

My Story Part 1: Old Me. New Me.

People always say to me ‘Hey, Trent what d-‘ and I say ‘Oi! Call me coach! Or I will rip your balls off” and they say “Ok, well, what does boxing have to do with my life and business career? My job isn’t punching another man in the head until their brain temporarily stops working. I sell mattress protectors’ And to that I say what is mattress protector selling if not a fight? If not a fight between you and your competitors? Between you and your client? And ultimately between you and the beast within. That’s the true fight, the fight we’re all fighting all the time. Forever.


And I want to help you win that fight. I know how to win that fight. I know how to punch your own self into the ground until it stops talking, stops thinking, stops filling your mind with the all the shit that it doesn’t need to hear. The constant shit. The shit that makes one day ruinous and terrible because you wake up convinced your a dumb failure who’s on the verge of being found out. That today you walk down the street and everyone recognises you as a fool. You’re naked and screaming, you scream with your eyes and lie naked in your mind. It’s no life, it is the life of one who has lost a battle with themselves.


I was on the loosing side of that fight for a long time. Boxing served as an outlet and a focus for me, and when I finally had to retire I realised that the ‘solution’ of boxing had been a temporary and a some what false one. It hadn’t solved my problems, it had just provided a distraction and a pressure valve. It relieved the pressure somewhat, but it didn’t stop it at the source, it didn’t stop the cause of all my anger and aggression. I used to tell myself that I hated my opponent. I used to train and teach myself to hate my opponent. And then I would hate my opponent and I would destroy them. But in reality I just hated myself. And in reality I only wanted to destroy myself and once I retired and there were no opponents left that is exactly what I did. With no more people to punch, no more gym sessions that I needed to push myself through, I just punched my self, and nearly pushed myself over the edge…


So what happened? How did I manage to pull myself back up? Well, you’ll have to stick around and find out…