By Jonathan Jude, Director, Dream Boxer
“Impossible is a mindset.”
Charles Wilton said this to me the first time we met. Charles is a wheelchair boxer who has dealt with a lot of tragedy and trauma in his life — years of abuse in the foster care system, losing cutody of his own son and physical struggles related to Cerebral palsy. When Charles told me about his past, I wanted to feel sorry for him; I thought he was someone who deserved to be angry. But Charles isn't angry. He's passionate, and he inspired me to get myself back on track before making a documentary about his boxing career.
My journey hasn't been as traumatic as Charles', but I've had my fair share of turmoil. As a first-generation Indian-Canadian, I've dealt with bullying, discrimination and xenophobia. I've had to find my own outlets to cope with this — not all positive — but athletics has always been a safe space for me. Charles and I connected over this shared passion, and he inspired me to put myself in a new position as a documentary dircetor, advocate and friend.
My hope is that this project will help inspire people who have put their passion or interests on hold. Dream Boxer shows the power people have to make positive changes in their life — and that the changes start with your mindset.
Our journey to make this documentary took many dramatic shifts as we followed Charles' attempts to fight in his fist official boxing match. The boxing business is a scary place. And when you're trying to do something new, it becomes even scarier. Because of Charles' disability, he's had to use the power of his mind when his body hits limits. It's an incredible thing to witness.
Charles taught me that if I move forward with a positive mindset, and surround myself with the right team and mentors, I'll be able to change my life.
As Charles says: "this is not a physical fight, but a mental one."