Its the Shoes!

by Sandy Hackenmueller

I have a thing for boxing shoes.


I have no idea why, I just do. Just when I’d accepted that it was just my “thing” without reason, something beautiful happened.

I want you to meet Stephane Smarth, Muay Thai fighter, instructor, and passionate wonder.


photos used with permission

Besides putting his heart and soul into his love, Muay Thai, he also coaches disadvantaged youth at C3 Athletics in Stamford, CT as part of the program “A Better Chance of Wilton.

Stephane has been on my radar because he recently won a title belt for the promotion I write for, Friday Night Fights Muay Thai. I was creeping reading through his Facebook page when I saw this:

“So today I bought a brand new pair of boxing shoes. I took my old pair, which are still in great condition, and I gave them to one of the kids in the boxing program. He didn’t have any and couldn’t afford a pair,” posted Stephane.

“It didn’t hit me how much of a big deal it was until he came up to me with a big smile on his face, thanking me,” Stephane continued. “It was at that moment I realized my purpose in life. It’s not about wins or losses, belts, fame or money. It’s about making an impact on people’s lives. To me I was just being a good coach and teammate, but to him it was like I gave him the world. He’s wearing them now and he’s no longer the only kid without boxing shoes. Wow. What a good feeling!”

Oh my gosh – what a beautiful thing to read! Throw in the fact it was about boxing shoes, and I was a puddle!

And I wanted to see the shoes! Stephane took a pic for me. He posed with the young boxer and posted,  “My new Double A boxing shoes (blue) and Gabe’s boxing shoes (red).”


Stephane also said, “This is why we promote a family atmosphere at C3 Athletics. It’s all about taking care of each other and lookin’ out for one another. Fighters, friends, family.”

In his last fight Stephane earned the title belt, making him the champion. But it wasn’t the belt that made him a true champion…it was the shoes.

“I want to be that guy,” said Stephane, “the guy who wants to change people’s lives and make an impact in a way they’ve never imagined.”

I’d say he’s well on his way.


photo used with permission


3 thoughts on “Its the Shoes!

  1. yeah we do need to hear more like this – nice post – loved your little line “… and I was a puddle!” Never heard this before – great analogy! Great post too gonna like it and share it!

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