David “The Coffee Boss” Booker is a locally famous mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, but what most people don’t know is that his biggest impact happens outside the ring. As a mentor, husband, and father, David thrives by caring for the people around him in his local community.
Many of the men who fight in the MMA are just out of prison, overcoming addiction, or struggling in their personal lives. David and his “brothers”—his coaches and teammates—have a shared vision for bringing these men into the team and caring for them like family.
“If one of the guys isn’t showing up for training, we give him a call like, ‘Hey man, where are you? What’s going on?’ We give them rides, help with groceries and gas if they need it, and we provide encouragement. Whenever it comes up that they’re going through hard times or don’t want to go home because they’re in a fight, we share our hearts with them about fatherhood, how to be a good husband, holding down a job and paying bills. Like, I don’t get drunk or do cocaine and I respect my wife and kids.”
In some cases, these men are just one step away from doing something desperate. “I’ve had guys tell me that if I hadn’t stepped in right at that time and picked them up and helped them get something to eat, that they were going to end it all that night.” David’s care for his brothers has saved lives.
David started his career first as a painter over 20 years ago, serving a strong client base under his painting business, Christ Life Services. When David and his wife decided to focus on their eating habits—and David on weight loss—he joined a local gym and started to get into weightlifting. As he began to learn more about whole foods and discover new exercises, David became a trainer to share his knowledge with others. One day, a couple of his buddies approached him about fighting. “They were like, ‘Hey, you’re losing weight, let’s get you into a boxing match,” David says, “That was when it all started. My wife, knowing that I enjoyed connecting with people, encouraged the boxing. I started taking on new fights.”
We asked David why he is known as “The Coffee Boss.” His response made us laugh. “I really don’t drink as much coffee as I used to,” he says, “I used to drink a half a gallon a day (two coffee pots!) when I was a full-time painter. Now I’m down to 30oz per day (one coffee pot).”
David strongly believes that we all can have this kind of impact on the people around us. “My encouragement to you is that anyone can do this. When you’re driving to work, take a look around at who needs love in every moment. We’re all in the same coffee lines. Sometimes we just get lost and caught up in the mix. Just take a few seconds, minutes, hours and invest in each other.”