Growing Up Golden, the Making of Caleb Truax
Sometimes something happens to you that seems like it’s going to ruin your life, but then all of a sudden something else comes along and things get better than before. Caleb Truax knows that feeling all too well.
Excelling in baseball and football at Osseo High School in Minnesota, Truax was headed for a college football career. As a walk-on at Virginia State University, he had a promising athletic future ahead of him.
Until a devastating knee injury ended his gridiron career.
Growing up, Truax says he was lucky to live in Osseo, calling it a “cool small town” where “not much happens and there’s not a lot of trouble to get into”. But that doesn’t mean everything came easy to the athlete. When he was five or six his mother moved him, his twin sister, and younger brother to Alexandria, Minnesota so she could go to school.
As a biracial student, Truax found himself the focus of some bullying in their mostly white small towns. Moving around a lot left him without a close group of friends until they moved back to Osseo. When asked now about bullying, the smirk in his voice is entertaining as he responds, “Nothing I couldn’t handle”.
When he was in fourth grade his family returned to Osseo. Truax felt more at home there and enjoyed the large number of kids that were around, many of whom he still counts as friends. There were always things going on and a lot of sports options for someone who was athletically inclined.
After his year at Virginia State, unable to play football, Truax returned to Osseo in search of something to fill the void. He transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he would later graduate with a degree in Sociology. But he still needed a physical outlet. That’s when he and a friend entered a “tough guy” fundraising tournament for nearby Lyke’s Gym.
Thinking he was in relatively good shape, Truax felt he’d be fine. He had run a few times, played high school and college sports, and was athletic. But he had no idea what hell lay ahead of him. After three one-minute rounds, he found himself lying on the bathroom floor of a bar hyperventilating and waiting for death.
Luckily life went on.
He had always enjoyed watching boxing on TV, but he didn’t really think the sport existed in Minnesota. So when Truax found an ad in the back of the City Pages, he jumped on it and stuck with it ever since. Trainer and gym owner Ron Lyke has been in his corner from the beginning.
And that is when a young man from the University of Minnesota became Golden.