It’s no wonder Charles is in such great shape, if you’ve ever seen his moves. He’s a scheduler by day, but by night, he’s a martial artist and break dancer. The following interview has been edited.
You are interested in martial arts?
I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 3 years old. I started off in Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo Karate, and then I came to Gainesville and had a hard time finding a place to train. Then I got into Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. I teach [jiu-jitsu] on Sundays, and I train at pretty much every place you can in town that offers grappling.
Do you ever worry about getting hurt or hurting someone else?
I haven’t had any broken bones, but I’ve had bloody noses and all that stuff. You learn a lot about yourself in martial arts. There’s no faking it. When you’re in that situation, it’s just you and your opponent. Either you hit the person or you didn’t; either you defend yourself or you didn’t. You learn about perseverance, you learn about hard times, and you learn about who you are.
And you are also passionate about dance?
I never really liked dance as a kid, but my sister told me that there was this group of break dancing people at the University of Florida that I might get along with. And I fell in love with it. I used to not be able to listen to music unless it had words. Now my ears break down all the pieces of the music from the bass lines to the treble to the cymbals. A friend described it to me like a surfer rides the wave, a break dancer rides the beat.
What do you like about working at Infinite Energy?
I enjoy that IEI has always embraced my desire to make things better and more efficient. I have always been treated well and given opportunities to grow my skills. Never has a manager tried to hold me back. They have always helped me grow and progress. I’ve been here seven and a half years, and I am still learning something new every day. Also, honestly, I like it here. People are nice to me.