Meet Dustin “Trill” Noel, boxing instructor (he prefers to be called Trill). His notorious classes in boxing will often leave beginners winded, but he is a firm believer in pushing his students to work to the maximum of their abilities. “No pain, no gain!” he yells at students he suspects are slacking in his boxing classroom.
Our fitness columnist, Elise Watness, interviewed Trill on his classroom techniques.
What initially got you into boxing?
Well to be honest it was an anime called Hajime no Ippo that really sparked my interest. As a kid I grew up watching all those shows where people had these amazing abilities and powers that allowed them to change the world and those around them… but sadly I could not fly. I could not move mountains. I couldn’t be completely amazing. But most importantly… I was wrong. When I watched this program, it showed me something that didn’t involve superpowers. It was about a boy becoming a man and going through school chasing after some girl.
I started jogging everyday, wearing ankle and wrist weights, and then finally, I started throwing basic combinations. Eventually someone noticed me doing all this and took it upon himself to show me the ropes.
He told me that if I could cut this tree down, then he would teach me to box. So by chance… small and fragile as I was, I cut it down. After that, each day when I would go to the track after class, Mr. Vamphuur (not sure how it is spelled It sounds like “vampour”) would be there with his boxing mitts. That is how it all began.
Has boxing influenced the way you carry yourself?
Well, aside from all that my trainer instilled in me, when I had my first break-up freshman year at LSU, I began to feel weak, like I wasn’t man enough… I started to go to the gym everyday and I spent countless waking hours at the bag. I was only about 175 lbs at the time. Today I am 247 lbs. I feel wiser, stronger, more outgoing, carefree, disciplined, and that I’m chasing a dream.
My best friend, Blake McCarty, passed away, and he loved wrestling to death and he also was the only friend I had growing up watching those same anime superhero cartoons with me everyday. He was supportive of my dreams in the entertainment industry and he loved MMA so when he heard about me boxing he was overjoyed.
I know he is watching me change the world from heaven with my teachings each day and waiting to see how my destiny unfolds.
Aside from boxing, I always did music and performed around Lafayette many times in concert.
My music name, Trilling Bird, is also reflective of my Native American heritage. I have a song called “Louisiana Animal” which I currently am trying to make into a party game day theme song for LSU and the Saints for years to come.
I also recently did my first music video,
“Won’t Let You Go,” which can be found if you look up Trill Noel on YouTube or Google.
What transformation do you see in people as they start to learn boxing?
The transformation is only noticeable to me in those who come to this world with a serious face. I have watched all my students grow. Over time, they become more at peace with the world and are no longer victims to the social media commercial world.
What might new participants have to expect in their first few training sessions?
For me to break them, expose them, and show them the true potential they possess as a human being. I am not vicious or ruthless but I do not believe in limitations and no one walks out of my door believing them either.
Can anybody start boxing? What are typical goals for those who start training with you?
Yes. Everyone should start boxing! People who come to me usually want to just get in shape or fix their body. After some time, they want to get better and faster. They want to be stronger. They want to be able to feel comfortable in any situation and practice their techniques. They want to be the definition of a boxer without necessarily stepping into the ring.
Do you focus on more on coaching, form, conditioning, or fighting? Why?
I try my hardest to give all my students a taste of everything but since this class is offered at the LSU UREC I have to limit what I can and can’t do. If we could get a large enough following and fight the system for headgear and intramural boxing I would add a whole more attention to fighting, rather than just shadow-sparring.
But in my classes, I make sure that my students understand completely what it means to have a boxer’s cardio. I do this by putting them into a system of exercises, I myself developed, known as The Arena.
Boxing can appear intimidating at first. How do you encourage new participants?
When I get new participants, I make them do simple easy things like throwing a weighted ball to each other by pushing it forward. This is simply a way for me to trick them into using their body the same way they would if they were throwing a punch. Its like having them take the first step before telling them where the last one will be.
They are walking blindly and I am the guide. If I show them everything and let them open their eyes the world of boxing may scare them. For this reason I break things down to the average person’s level and slowly work them up my scale.
How does boxing affect your energy level and focus on studies?
My energy has never been more endless in all my days. I can stay up for days at a time if I wanted to and continuously workout. My limits know no bounds. On the studying side, I see boxing and books as two separate entities. I approach them thus. Last semester I made a 4.0 G.P.A.!
Dustin “Trill” Noel teaches beginner and intermediate boxing at Louisiana State University’s free fitness class series known as Group X, available for free to all LSU students and faculty members. For more information on Trill’s classes and other classes through the Group X program, visit http://www.lsuuniversityrec.com/lsuurec/fitnessandwellness/groupx/.
You can reach fitness columnist Elise Watness at firstname.lastname@example.org.