This article was published on Patch 7/28/20.
Though he didn’t know it at the time, the next chapter of Henry Mendez’ life all started when he took a boxing class in Queens [New York] late last year.
The Sunset Park native was looking for a new cardio workout when he took his first class at the TITLE Boxing Club in Forest Hills, and soon found himself coming back weekly to the boxing gym.
A couple months later when Mendez, like millions of Americans, found himself laid off in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, those classes would shift from his new favorite workout — to his career.
He plans to open his own TITLE Boxing Club in Park Slope later this year.
“The experience of taking a class at TITLE Boxing Club has no comparisons,” Mendez said. “…As the city reopens, I want my TITLE Boxing Club to be a safe haven for those looking to live healthier and be active in a post-pandemic world.”
Mendez had previously worked for a telecom company, where he led teams in sales, operations and financial controls for nearly two decades. The business had been going through a reorganization when the pandemic hit.
When he got laid off, Mendez said he asked himself “What do you want to wake up every morning and do?” before deciding on the new career path.
TITLE Boxing Club is a fitness franchise with more than 180 clubs open throughout the country, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
Mendez’ Park Slope studio will become TITLE’s first location in Brooklyn and fifth across New York City.
He is currently looking for the perfect space in what he calls his “second home” neighborhood. Mendez was raised in Sunset Park, lives in Bay Ridge and says he has spent a lot of time in Park Slope.
“One of the wonderful things about Park Slope is that it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about areas neighboring Sunset Park, Prospect Heights, or Gowanus, the location would be accessible to all residents and patrons from various parts of the community and surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.
The studio will likely be between 2,300 and 3,4000 square feet, Mendez said. He is looking at options including retail storefronts and bigger warehouse spaces that can be used for a fitness club. He hopes to open the studio later this year.
“For me, working for myself means serving my community and making a positive impact on their health and lifestyle,” Mendez said. “That’s why I have decided to own a TITLE Boxing Club. That is my passion, and that is now my career.”