As one way to control my violence as a young guy, I actually started to box.  And I was training for the Golden Gloves Competition down in Lowell, the town that the movie “The Fighter” made famous - for those that don’t know Lowell or that Jack Kerouac came from there.  I was very disciplined about this and that was something I was really planning to do.  

One night, dressed in my sweats after a long day at construction, I had every intention of going to the gym to train, and something made me sit down with a cup of tea and a notebook and start to write.  

It wasn’t a well-written scene, but I remember finishing at that moment and it’s like steam had left a valve in me and I already felt less eager to punch anything.  I had found a new way to express myself, and it was with words. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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