Boxing has taught Oscar Medina to see the strength in people, even if they don't see it in themselves - like the mother who recently came to his studio hoping to help her son.
"She said, 'He's a wimp, like me,' " Medina recalled. "I said, 'Really? You're a wimp? Are you married? Do you have a child? Did you go to college?' Because you can't be a wimp and be married or have a child or go to college. You're a fighter, not a wimp."
It's a message he shares with everyone who visits Medina's Boxing Camp, the boxing and kickboxing studio he started more than 20 years ago.
"We don't just sweat here, we build character," Medina said. "Your will is going to be challenged. Your strength is going to be challenged. You'll want to give up. We don't let you give up."
It's a philosophy Medina began to embrace when he first started boxing as a youngster. And it's been reinforced as he traveled the world, learning kickboxing in Thailand and becoming a certified trainer in Europe.
He brought that message home when he opened a gym in Waukesha and, later, moved it to Wauwatosa for a more central location.
His experience qualifies him to work with professional athletes - and he has, from the Milwaukee Bucks to Division 1 soccer and hockey, even a would-be contestant on "The Biggest Loser."
But, Medina said, "Ninety percent of our people are here to learn the sweet science of boxing and kickboxing."
Medina offers everyone a free lesson and teaches all ages; his students range from 6 to 70s, he said. Classes are offered six hours a day, and about 20 to 30 people attend each class.
"They're my medication for life. I don't need drugs. I don't need alcohol. I don't need the fast life. This is what drives me," Medina said. "I've always felt that this sport has given me a lot. I just give it back."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS:Medina's Boxing Camp
ADDRESS: 718 N. 109th St.
PHONE: (414) 257-3993
TYPE OF BUSINESS: boxing and kickboxing studio
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