Travis Hartman

of The Boxing Amusement Park



Travis Hartman was a spectacular amateur boxer -- 156-13, with three national championships -- who has struggled as a pro. The 26-year-old, who hails from the small town of Osborn, Missouri, is still an active fighter who maintains a passion for the sport that has consumed him since his childhood.  Hartman's training journal reflects his physical, psychological and emotional struggle as he continues his an ongoing quest to become the best.





Early mornings, freezing weather, miles of roadwork ...

Hartman recalls his amateur passion, and longs to get it back


Feb. 15, 2009

Ultimately I am a small-town kid, born and raised in Osborn, Missouri, a town that only recently eclipsed the 400 barrier in town population (455 to be exact). Maybe that is why I was so accomplished as an amateur. I always felt I had to prove myself every match, being a skinny little white boy from a small country town and going up against kids from California, New York, Florida, Cincinnati, Texas, Louisiana and Michigan.

I worked extremely hard and really had a small chip on my shoulder, wanting to prove to everybody that a small town kid could make it. Even after I won my first national at just 11 years old, I still didn't feel I had accomplished anything.

In fact, I still had that chip on my shoulder even after winning nationals two years in a row -- in 1995 and 1996 -- and, now that I look back, I think that's what kept me so hungry to keep winning.

I remember my father (who also was my coach) waking me up at six in the morning to go run the school track. I know this is going to sound like one of those exaggerated "I walked five miles to school, in a foot of snow, uphill both ways" kinds of stories that our parents always like to tell us, but my story is true and not exaggerated.

We'd go to the track before school when I was in fifth grade, with snow still on the ground, in single-digit temperatures. There I'd be, all bundled up in three jackets, sprinting around that track as some of my teachers were just getting to school. Every other normal fifth grader in America would be sleeping, all cuddled up in nice warm blankets. But, no, I was out running in the freezing cold.

My dad always said "I bet no other 11-year-old is training like this." And "You have to be willing to do more then the next guy." There was no preaching necessary for me, though, because I wanted to be out there. I wanted to do that little extra bit to help me be as successful as I could be.

At that point, I think my dad knew I was going to be something special. The funny thing is, the average parent would frown upon such things. Why are you making your 11-year-old get up and run outside in the cold weather blah, blah, blah…  Little did they know I was the culprit of this all. I wanted more and more.

 Sometimes they would have to force me out of the gym and tear the gloves off of me. Because of all that hard work, boxing has become a way of life for me, financially and emotionally. I loved boxing then and I love boxing now.

I've been watching old tapes from my amateur days in search of this hunger I once had. What happened? Where did it go? I think I need to put those blinders on, focus, and let my true passion for the sport come out yet again.

Look out. Success is what happens when hard work and motivation meet ambition!




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