The true measure of a fighter is when he is down, it is his performance or lack of, that makes the determination. Just the same as when he is in a boxing ring, there is no help, but self-help. The same can be said about the ring of life!
Throughout the years of teaching there is one student I feel compelled to tell you about. His name is Michael Bruno.
Michael first came to train with me at age 40 for about three months. He never fully related to me what was actually wrong. One evening I received a phone call that he had a stroke and was in the hospital not expected to recover. The voice at the other end of the phone hung up and I never heard from or about him again. I thought to myself “wow! That never happened before with any student.” After some time passed I honestly forgot about him. Three years later, at a new gym location I was closing up for the day and Michael appeared at the door. I did not recognize him. He was about forty pounds heavier. He said he wanted to come back and train with me while he was recovering from an organic brain injury caused by a chronic bacterial infection, Lyme disease! He has and is recovering from significant encephalitis with the complication of “three” minor strokes. For two years he was on daily intravenous antibiotic treatments in which he was not expected to fully recover from. Now I must say, I have trained my share of injured, ill, handicapped and mentally challenged people ranging from: HIV, neuropathology, leukemia, obesity, mental depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, autism, etcetera, but, this guy “took the cake.” He came to me not only with an injured brain from the infection but a battered body from the I.V. Treatment. When he mentioned to his doctors that the addition of boxing training would be part of his physical recovery, they were not on board at first, to say the least. In fact, they were totally against it. But, Michael Bruno being Michael Bruno, was going to do it anyway!