Boxing, martial arts gym teaches life lessons

A regional fitness coach not only trains those wishing to gain physical strength, but also assists students find success on all life's courses.

Julio Pena, of Thrive Boxing and Martial Arts Center on Hillside Avenue, was recently awarded a New Hampshire Governor's Council on Physical Activity and Health outstanding achievement honor for his efforts training regional youth and other students in not only boxing and martial arts however likewise in making sound, effective decisions in life.

By putting students in the boxing ring, or on the martial arts mat, it's not simply training the specifics for successful matches, however likewise producing an environment where students can discover support and hope while battling with life concerns.

Take legal action against Centner, executive director of Community Alliance for Teen Safety, or CATS, stated Pena's efforts need to be honored and are a success story for those who may be attempting to guide away from unsafe habits or dangerous decisions.

" I came here for the very first time and was overwhelmed," Centner said. "It has such a fantastic feeling."

The gym on Hillside Avenue is filled with pictures and framed pictures of Pena's students in action, in addition to one large display on an interior gym wall of an all-time hero, the late Muhammed Ali.

Pena stated he recalls enjoying Ali fight on television and constantly expected a success story like the renowned heavyweight champ.

" I would not stay in business if it weren't for Muhammed Ali," he stated.

Pena said among his first loves was baseball, while growing up in Venezuela. When he then began studying martial arts and boxing around the age of 10, he understood he had actually found another enthusiasm.

" I said, 'This is exactly what I wish to finish with my life,'" Pena stated.

Now Pena is commonly understood for training a few of the sports' most well-known boxers and Olympians.

Singer and Godsmack lead man Sully Erna said training with Pena not only keeps him strong throughout grueling trip schedules, but it's likewise an outlet to support Pena's mission to assist youth remain healthy and away from dangerous behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse.

Erna said he typically informs his own story of growing in Lawrence, and not constantly making the best choices, getting into fights or discovering himself in other dangerous circumstances. He now works hard to bring benefit messages to young people by sharing his own experiences.

" I desired to be an artist, but felt stuck in the location with no method out," Erna recalled. You do your part in life.

Erna is no stranger to CATS. He has dealt with youth efforts in addition to Centner in previous years to assist bring those positive messages to location youth.

" These are messages I need to pass on," Erna said. "Now it makes good sense to me why I grew up because place."

Individuals that come into the Thrive gym may not only learn more about life success, however might perhaps be a champion one day, Erna kept in mind.

And students of any ages come through those doors.

" You never ever understand when the stars will align," Erna said.

Centner stated having Erna on board is a terrific way to improve support for area youth.

" Every so frequently we link, and he'll (call and say) I've got a concept," Centner stated.

She stated getting the word out about what Thrive does is not only for those wanting to discover how to box, however likewise for those wanting to find a location to belong and learn other important life skills.

Pena reflects to his young years growing up and said he wants to assist kids today make much better choices and have the very best chances for health, strength and success.

" I realize myself in them," he said. "I tell guys, if it weren't for boxing, I never ever would have made it. I show it today, and I aim to teach the kids."

It's not just teaching his craft to students. He desires this location to be a leading spot for boxing and steering his athletes towards the competitive ring.

It's also about exactly what he teaches when it's about making life options.

" We wish to provide the kids an opportunity to feel vital," Pena said. "It's what you think, you get to be a superstar for a day. I give respect to everybody that steps in the ring."

Erna stated seeing the athletes train, together with his own training, is a new outlet, a brand-new way to practice and grow.

" What's cool for me, it keeps me fit, it's tough, and I come in to assist with the kids," Erna stated. "To watch individuals get it, to see the enhancement, it's about practice, practice. That becomes their addiction. Kids feel that lift, that change in their lives."

Thrive hosts an open house at the gym, 109 Hillside Avenue, on Saturday, June 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. There will be demonstrations and info on boxing and martial arts training and programs and a chance to see students spar in the ring.