His broad shoulders filling the Zoom display screen, Henry chuckles as he recounts the incident from his residence in Perth, Western Australia the place he now lives together with his fiancée Katie Jackson and their canine Kodah. “I believe that sums up my angle,” he says. “I’ve all the time had that mindset: I do not wish to simply do issues, I wish to do them proper.”
He additionally desires to be a world file holder.
Born in Burnley, Henry was by no means notably focused on sports activities rising up. Then, in 2011 and aged 15, he skilled a sequence of what he calls ‘traumatic’ occasions, together with the deaths of two individuals near him and the unfavorable influence of an emotionally-abusive relationship. He was recognized with despair, PTSD, nervousness, and anger points. Henry wanted an outlet.
Impressed by the movie The Fighter and inspired by his uncle, himself a former skilled boxer, he took up boxing and instantly fell in love with it.
“If I hadn’t had boxing, I might both be a very totally different individual or I would not be right here,” he explains. “It turned my go-to factor and, once I wasn’t boxing, I used to be operating, skipping, or coaching. I used to be so centered it most likely turned unhealthy, however I cherished it as a result of it took my thoughts off the whole lot else.
“I simply clicked with boxing and cherished the whole lot about it as a result of it allowed me to channel the whole lot and let loose some anger,” he provides. “From the beginning I used to be determined for a struggle; it was all I might take into consideration, all I might speak about. However boxing additionally taught me self-discipline and respect and it is solely trying again again now that I can admire the way it helped me mentally.
“It allowed me to focus my power into one thing intense and, whereas I used to be coaching, it felt like several points I had have been gone.”
Embraced by his fellow boxers, a pure assist community grew round Henry, who says that – to at the present time – he is nonetheless mates with individuals he is had ‘correct punch-ups’ with. His confidence boosted, Henry additionally set about seeing simply how far he might push himself bodily and, in 2015, took on the problem of finishing 100 consecutive three-minute rounds on a punchbag.
He all however breezed by means of the problem and located himself hungry for extra. And so have been planted the seeds for what would develop to be his now-ironclad dedication and refusal to offer in.
In 2017, Henry upped the ante, finishing a 10-hour, 150-round charity punchbag marathon for Pendleside Hospice in honour of his late grandfather Michael Awty, who died in 2016 on the age of 75. To arrange, he’d go on lengthy, arduous runs; he skilled in a 10kg weight vest; and he soaked his knuckles in salt water to cease them splitting towards the punchbag.
“My granddad was an enormous affect on my life,” explains Henry, who says he was ‘like a second father’ to him. “He was actually cussed; we might go to the pub collectively and he’d purchase us Previous Navy Rum and he’d drive that down my neck! For his funeral, all of us wore Hawaiian shirts as a result of he hated the concept of individuals turning up in black.”
A couple of years handed, after which a useful alternative cropped up. Having been working as a mechanical engineer, the prospect to take a job as a steel machinist in Shellharbour, some 60 miles south of Sydney, got here alongside and Henry took it. He and Katie moved Down Underneath in 2019, however previous habits die onerous: Henry was quickly planning one other epic problem.
Appreciating the significance of psychological well being provision, notably for younger males, extra keenly than most, Henry took on a leviathan 24-hour bodily trial for psychological well being charity The Prime Blokes Basis in 2020, which noticed him full eight hours on the punchbag, eight hours on a treadmill, and eight hours on a stair machine. He raised greater than £4,000.