Five years ago on December 11, 2006, I stepped into a professional boxing ring and choked in front of thousands of fans. After the fight I was teased mercilessly for my performance inside the ropes and was even dubbed “Glass Joe” after the infamous character from the arcade game Punch Out! Though I will always second guess what happened inside the ring, I’ll never regret that I tried.
I learned this from my father, Paul Oliver Flaim. He came to this country with nothing and ultimately learned how to speak six languages, earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and built a wonderful life for his family. If I can accomplish half of what he did throughout his life, I’ll be proud. My Dad taught me to work hard and to continue to strive to achieve new goals. And that is what led me to writing my first book.
Though I fought five years ago at the Patriot Center, I decided to write this book when my friend Tom Doyle challenged me to write about my experience. I had no idea if I could write a book –you will have to be the judge — but I decided to give it a shot. As they say in the movie Risky Business, “Sometimes you just have to say ‘what the f@#!'”
Chasing Rocky did take me much longer to complete than I ever imagined. I was almost halfway done in 2007 when my father’s health worsened. When he passed that August I quit pursuing my book project for several months. At the beginning of 2008 I vowed that I would complete the book by the end of the year and I accomplished that goal. Soon thereafter I submitted drafts to publishing houses and agents. Seth Davis, college basketball insider for CBS and frequent Junkies guest connected me with his literary agent and he actually liked the book. I was optimistic that the book might come out that year but personal issues derailed my enthusiasm once again. I’m not going to lie, I just didn’t feel like working on the book anymore while I was going through a divorce.
Fast forward to 2011 and I toyed around with getting back into the ring to make the book more relevant to Junkies listeners, especially our new audience. Ultimately my fiance Jess convinced me that I didn’t need to step back inside the ropes to promote a book. She reinvigorated me to get the book published. That’s when fate helped me as Governor Ehrlich started asking me about my book during an Orioles game this summer. The Gov thought I should publish Chasing Rocky and he put me in touch with one of his former classmates at Princeton. As luck would have it, Kevin Weiss happened to run the largest self-publishing company in the world, AuthorHouse.
So for the last couple of months I have been going back and forth with AuthorHouse editing the book, designing a cover and getting it ready for publication. Today I finally announced that it was ready. Though I am a little bit embarrassed that it took me so long to finally get it published I must admit that I am proud that it is finally ready.
Chasing Rocky presents an inside look at the brutal training boxers endure. From facing fears to dealing with the pain of getting punched, I tackle the sacrifices boxers make and explore the promotional aspects — from choosing the perfect heel to creating a grand ring entrance. I think many of you, especially all the P1’s, will enjoy reading about the behind the scenes in radio to make this promotional idea a boxing reality. The book follows my journey from encountering a dubious boxing promoter who sees only dollar signs, a no-nonsense trainer who tests my resolve, an aspiring pro who longs for a title shot, and an icon who has inspired millions.
Oh, there are pictures in the book and some personal revelations I never have discussed on the show! I do want to thank everybody who helped me make this happen especially Kevin Weiss and Alan Bower at Authorhouse. If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, AuthorHouse can help you fulfill your goals!
Finally, thanks to everybody who endorsed the book including Governor Ehrlich, Luke Thomas, Mike Wise, Dan Steinberg, Rick Snider, Jackie Kallan, Eric Bickel, Chris Kinard and John Auville. I hope you will check it out soon — I think it makes a great stocking stuffer for Christmas — and stay tuned for announcements regarding book signings. I even plan to have one at my townhouse sometime in January!
Anyway, you can order the book online via Amazon.com. Click Here:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Felicidades!