“I love having a business, and most days my mind is blown that I get to do this” says Lee Torres, owner of The Boxing Gym West Seattle. Located on the main street of White Center, a neighborhood that desperately needed something different in its commercial district, Lee marvels in the diversity of members of his gym – a mix of age, race, sexual and gender identity – and the community it creates between people who “wouldn’t normally mix.”
While the gym teaches people how to box, work out, and get fit, it also impacts lives. Lee and his team of coaches pride themselves in welcoming each individual as if they were walking into their own homes, with compassion, patience, warmth and unconditional acceptance. This is the kind of gym that brings people together in a way that many clients don’t expect.
After working as a Physical Trainer for 11 years in fitness and a boxing coach, Lee started exploring the idea of opening his own gym. When asked how he knew that he could go out on his own, Lee remarks “I don’t know that I knew that I could! I had no idea how to run my own business, but I was at a crossroads.” He went to friends who happened to work as business coaches at Business Impact NW and got the help that he needed on the business side, while his former students from local gyms where he worked gave him the nudge and support that he needed on the personal side. The Boxing Gym just celebrated its second anniversary in November, and has already doubled the interior space in that time.
“Every step of this business has challenged me to grow as a person. I’m always asking – ‘who do I want to be in the world – what is my why?’” The answer seems to come back to the community. “I’m so inspired by the people who come to this gym.” 9 out of 10 have never boxed before – they’re looking to get fit, but don’t want to get on a machine gym. They want to do something different. But what they find is not the same for each – some find acceptance – others a sense of belonging – while others solidify their love of boxing.
With a passion for boxing and a love of people, Lee is motivated to continue to refine the program offerings and continue to “provide the best possible service at the fairest price possible.” Learn more about The Boxing Gym West Seattle on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or just stop by and check it out at 9613 16th Ave SW – you’ll be sure to receive a warm welcome that just might change your life.