Updated: Oct 24
“My mom has been my biggest influence. She works tirelessly every day to put food on the table and to take care of me. I notice how tired she is. Even as the weekend approaches, she barely has time to sleep because she makes sure the house is clean after her 9-5. One day I’ll tell her, ‘I want you to retire’; I want her to never need to work again.
I’m Damani Chance. I’m Jamaican, born and raised in Brooklyn for pretty much my whole life. When I was younger, we struggled to the point where my mom sent me to live in Jamaica with my father for two years. When I came back I started boxing and I’m here now.
I started boxing when I was 13 years old. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it in the beginning. Most kids come try it out and don’t come again. I didn’t have that mentality, I didn’t feel that way. There was something that kept bringing me back. Over time I got better and I’ve grown in many ways. I developed spiritually, I’ve become more disciplined, and I matured a lot. I earned responsibilities that I never thought I could do like being a mentor to younger kids. I never thought I would be in a position where I could help somebody get better and become a better version of themselves. I built a family here. To me family means love. I feel like I can talk to some of them about anything. I can depend on them and they trust me.
Every workout, I look forward to the outcome: the sweat, the progression, and the fact that it’s bringing me closer to where I want to be.
There are a few lessons I learned over the years. One is to never steal (a mistake i made when I was younger). I also learned to always dream big. Set your standards high, never think that a challenge is too great for you to achieve.
I want to be my best self. I want to inspire others. I want to become wealthy to provide for the people who have been taking care of me for the longest. I see myself opening up my own business in fashion. Eventually, I want to live comfortably.”
By Damani Chance / Tommy Martinez