Who is Bobby Hornsby? @TheKidBam
So you know by now – I am addicted to boxing. Yep, I wrap my hands and hit things. Before you start laughing – try it – you will be amazed! But, do you know why or how I became addicted. This is a great story, buckle in. Life is funny, if you just pay attention, go with the flow and let doors open, you might be surprised what happens. So, who is Bobby Hornsby (or @TheKidBam)? I will get to that in a second, the story is too good, I can’t just jump to the end.
Aside: I am on a plane right now flying to Las Vegas to watch the Tim Bradley, Juan Manual Marquez fight!
As I am thinking about this story, I am actually laughing. I have always been a “decent” athlete (and by decent I mean, better than you at most things – ha). So, it is about 3 years ago, I am sitting at breakfast with a good friend saying that I wanted to start training hard again, get it great shape, and not end up in a bad place when my 40th birthday showed up – he says, oh, you should see if David Buer will take a meeting with you. Of course I say, who is David Buer, he answers, the best trainer and fitness expert on the face of the earth (oh is that all). So I reach out to David, funny, it takes like a week for him to get back to me, we set an appointment, he swings by my office. He walks in, asks me what my goals are, I say, “you know, I am pretty close, maybe lose 5 lbs or so, and get a little stronger”, he says nothing, 3 years later, I know what was running through his mind – 5 lbs and a little stronger, dude you are in terrible shape and crazy if you think that is all that needs to happen! (of course he didn’t say that – we both laugh about this constantly now).
Stick with me, we are getting to who is Bobby Hornsby? David takes me on as a client and we start training. During our initial sessions I share with him that I am interested in boxing, interested in learning, etc. He quickly says, in that humble, but special David way, I can help (later I find out, he has trained World Champions in Boxing, a small bit of information he leaves out, he has a way of doing that). The very first time I put on the gloves and hit “mitts” with David, I am hooked, done, forget about it.
Next up, I go looking for a boxing gym to train at. I find my way to Atlanta Art of Boxing, run by the famed Johnny Gant, home to the most serious boxers in Atlanta, this is not LA Fitness, this is more Rocky. Imagine this scene, there is Johnny holding court on Spring Street in the front of the gym, like he always does, I roll in, and say, I wanna learn to box, I swear he looks at me like I am crazy. He ways, you can join the gym, it is $25 dollars. I respond, you don’t get it, I wanna learn to box, I want you to train me, personally, he picks up the phone and calls the police (just kidding). I do the Jedi-mind thing on him, he agrees.
I know, who is Bobby Hornsby? Hurry up already.
So now I am training with David Buer, learning to box with Johnny Gant, and the best part of this story hasn’t even happened yet. So I am training at the gym and one day Johnny Gant says, what is it that you do, I say in my special way, besides being a professional boxer, he gives me that crazy look again. I tell him I am in the technology game, if you wanna see it live, come over to Georgia Tech Research Institute tomorrow, I am speaking at an event. He comes. While we are sitting there together I get a text from a young man in Las Vegas that I’ve become friends with who just won a boxing tournament – I show the picture to Johnny.
The next day, in the gym, Johnny asks me if I will meet someone, someone special, someone different, a young man he has been training for six years. I say, sure, would love to. That Saturday, I meet Bobby Hornsby, he walks in, and everyone in the gym stops and says hello to him. He and I start talking and he tells me he wants to make the Olympic team but he needs help. I am not sure, I say, hey, are you going to work out today? Bobby says, I can. He changes clothes, steps into the ring, and everyone, I mean, everyone in the gym stops their workout, and just watches him. As an decent athlete, I immediately see the difference. His stance is wide, his balance is flawless, it is automatic to him, he and Johnny start hitting the mitts, and I just sit there and watch, thinking, wow, I suck.
So begins a two-year friendship. Over that time, I have learned more from Bobby than I have ever taught him. He is artistic, that actually comes across in his boxing, he is a different athlete, listen, I know what you are thinking, I am pretty good athlete, believe me, you aren’t. I’ve actually had the chance to be in the ring with him, did he go at me, of course not, but I can tell you this, being in the ring with him, even when he is not trying, is frightening, he is agile, crazy fast, and always moving, it is a humbling experience, for me and I am sure his opponents.
Bobby is a Five-time (5x) Golden Glove Champion, has won 10 amateur titles, is now a professional boxer with an 8-0 record and is ready to make his Atlanta debut on Sunday, November 3rd. Bobby is part of my family now, my girls love him, my friends support him, and did I mention, he trains with David Buer.
What is the lesson in this story: I was in terrible shape, life is funny, be open to new opportunities, and if you really want to give back, get involved in someone’s life that deserves it, and make a difference. See you at the fight!