By Edward Henderson
Travis Stocking is a local celebrity in Southeast. There aren’t many places he can go in the area without being recognized by community members, most notably the youth, who fondly refer to him as ‘coach’. You can often see him adorning his ‘Wake Up, Stop the Genocide’ t-shirt, which has become a popular statement of purpose and unity. Fresh off of his bus tour of the nation with local teens, ‘coach’ is ready to launch his latest offering to the community to improve its physical health: The Star G Fitness Multipurpose Vest.
Stocking began his fitness journey earning a black belt in martial arts, then training with boxer Archie Moore when he was young. The allure of street life derailed the promising athlete’s path towards becoming a professional fighter, however, as he spent nine years in jail after a physical altercation with three white men.
“I kept training when I went to prison,” said Stocking. “I started training young kids and teaching them how to box when I got out. If I can only teach you how to fight, I failed. I know so much more than just knowing how to fight. The boxing is a vehicle. I get the young people in there and I teach them who they are as an individual and the powers we have within.”
His national bus tour with teens was a demonstration of what this power can accomplish.
“I want them to see what real poverty is. I took them up to Chicago, DC, Atlanta, and Houston Texas wanting to show them something different. We went to colleges, and a lot of them want to go now.”
Prayer is another source of Stocking’s power. He received the idea for his multipurpose vest in a vision while in deep prayer. He took the vision to his nephew, told him what was in his head and he drew it up on paper for him. Shortly after the design was completed, Stocking took it to a patent lawyer to protect his idea then contracted a company to bring the design to life. A year later, he’s ready to present it to the world.
“This vest is special because it’s a multipurpose vest. It teaches you how to do a perfect pushup, you can cross train with it and use resistance bands. You can do everything with it. It comes from us. I always tell people ‘help me, help you, help us’.”
Stocking plans to release a CD with the vest to illustrate all of the uses of the vest and techniques to get the most out of it. Stocking believes his vest is ideal to build leg, core and upper body strength while getting a good sweat in due to the fabric it is made of.
The most exciting aspect of this venture for Stocking is creating another outlet to funnel money and a holistic outlook back into the community as a black business.
“I’ve been teaching [about loving us] because change starts with us. We can get in the most beautiful shape ever. Mind, body and spirit. [We need to focus] on eating better, exercising and getting these young men and women to study. I’ve been a lot of places and touched a lot of soil, but I always try to make sure I’m helping people and communities wherever I’m at.”
You can find out more information about the Star G Fitness Multipurpose vest and order one yourself by contacting Travis on Facebook.