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This Just In: The unusual and improbable journey of boxer Floyd Patterson

Floyd Patterson as I remember him

Floyd Patterson as I remember him

“You try the impossible to achieve the unusual.” ~Floyd Patterson, American boxer and youngest ever Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

When I was a kid, I went to the same church in New Paltz, New York as Floyd Patterson. He was an usher who collected the weekly offering and every week I wondered how someone so kind and gentle could punch someone in the face for a living. I would watch for some sign in his personality that he could even swat a fly. I never saw one; he was known as a quintessential gentleman by everyone in our small community.

He was very elegant and graceful with a broad and beautiful smile. He never sat. Instead, he always stood in the back of the church. I remember thinking he was rather small for a boxer with teeth that seemed too perfect for someone who had such a successful career in the boxing ring.

In those years, Floyd Patterson helped me understand that people are very complex creatures. With his example, I couldn’t and wouldn’t judge anyone through a one-dimensional lens. From him I learned that what we do isn’t all that we are. There is always more to us than meets the eye.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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