A glove affair for 61-year-old
After two kidney surgeries, Charles Willis likes nothing better than punching out his frustrations
Charles Willis first donned boxing gloves when he was 12.
Now 61, with kidney surgery behind him, Willis is ready to let his fists fly again.
But since stepping into the ring against another boxer could put his kidneys in jeopardy, his workouts will be on Beyond Boxing Fitness Studio’s punching bag.
“I just want to get back into shape and do the things I enjoy doing. I still have a lot of life left,” said Willis. “I get a thrill out of watching other people doing it, hitting the bags, I just love it and sometimes you have to beat out your frustrations. How better than to hit the bag?”
As a youngster, Willis had plenty of ring fights with the Truro Police Boys Club, now the Boys and Girls Club of Truro and Colchester.
It was 1969, and Willis had just moved back home to Truro with his family from New York. While he enjoyed street hockey and basketball, Willis quickly followed his friends into amateur boxing.
“I love competition,” he said. “All my friends who belonged to the Boys Club also started box- ing. We’d all travel to Moncton, down to the Truro Legion Stadium; the Boys Club used to put on fight cards there. This was all amateur. I was just a sports jock at a very young age.”
Today at Beyond Boxing in Truro, Willis trains and receives regular instruction, dropping into the club’s Esplanade Street studio for week night sessions. He joined the club when it opened in September.
Willis is the club’s oldest member and attends with his 23-year-old son Tyrel Best, who he lives with in Truro.
While Willis cannot box in the ring, he says the club is a good way for him to meet people and socialize, while keeping his fitness levels up.
When he’s not hitting the punching bag, Willis focuses on cardio training and bodywork to keep his muscles toned.
“It does everything for you. It will get you and your friends out, makes you feel good,” said Willis. Outside the club, Willis has three other sons.
Twenty-two-year-old Taeshon shares his father’s sporting passion, having previously attended high school in Vermont to pursue his basketball career.
Meantime, 26- year- old Trevon is an army officer based in Edmonton and his oldest son Charles Chase, 41, is currently relocating from Winnipeg to Toronto.
Charles Willis is in his sixties and still dons his boxing gloves and swings his arms at the punching bags. While a recent operation on his kidneys means that he cannot box competitively as he did in his younger days, he still attends training sessions at the Beyond Boxing Fitness Studio on Truro’s Esplanade Street on weekday evenings.