It’s been over a year since I interviewed Dalton Outlaw, owner and head coach of Element Gym. A lot has happened since we sat down in his office and talked, covering the history of his boxing career, how he ended up owning such a great gym in St. Paul, and how the 2-0 professional super middleweight reconciles his responsibilities as a family man, businessman and trainer with his potential as a fighter. The truth is, time to fight hasn’t existed for him as he’s concentrated on building a boxing team, facilitated other trainers, and collaborated with St. Paul Ballet Company to produce a unique artistic presentation that has attracted national—and even presidential—attention.
Linda McMahon, founder and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and now Administrator of the Small Business Administration in the Trump presidential cabinet, stopped by the gym on Tuesday, October 17, to recognize Dalton, who was named SBA Entrepreneur of the Year in April. The visit resulted in editorial praise from the staff of St. Paul’s daily newspaper, the Pioneer Press editorial .
Having participated in early March along with Dalton, Michael Faulk and Phil Sherman in the first Element collaboration with St. Paul Ballet Company, To Billy, a boxing themed ballet developed by SPB’s Artistic Director, Zoe Henrot, it was exciting for me to be a part of The Art of Boxing and the Sport of Ballet on October 14 at the St. Paul School for Recording Arts. Further collaboration is planned, including the opening of a Collaborative Sports Movement Center. Even more exciting for me is that I have now opened an office in the gym, so I’m spending most of my hours here writing, training boxers, training fitness clients, or working out. So anyone looking for personal training for physical fitness and self defense can utilize my service, Fighting Chance/Boxing for Life (est. 2003, the undisputed original), as well as the rest of what Element has to offer. I welcome boxers who wish to develop for amateur and professional competition as well as those just wishing to be in shape, defend themselves, and feel good. I assist Dalton and the other coaches with the amateur team, so if you want to compete there is that option. Furthermore, in the coming weeks I intend to feature on this site the trainers and teams making Element their home. So keep your eye out for my stories. This office at Element Gym, 655 N. Fairview Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104, is not just the World Headquarters for Fighting Chance/Boxing for Life; it’s also the World Headquarters for Boxers and Writers Magazine.
Last but not least, for the first time in a long while, I am writing creatively, back on the stage at different open mics. Danny Klecko (known among the local literary scene as “The Sexy Old Man” and MC for Carol Connolly’s Readings by Writers series at the University Club in St. Paul, is a member of Element Gym and has been encouraging me to reignite my productivity as a literary pugilist. He has me working on a chapbook and wants to book me for a poetry performance soon. So be prepared to see and hear from me as the months go by.
Before Christmas I intend to have an open house, welcoming people to my office, to see the gym and celebrate boxing and writing. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring together some people from the literary and arts community with the pugilistic bunch I see every day at the boxing gym. It will be great fun and the paragraphs will pack a punch!